Resort Expansion Rejected on Density Issue
The owner of a popular Minnesota resort says he won’t pursue an ambitious expansion after having plans denied Tuesday (April 22) by the Otter Tail County Board.
John Frank, owner of Frank’s Lodge & Campground, said Tuesday he’s likely to abandon plans for adding 42 camping sites and eight sites designated just for tents at his Star Lake Resort. Barring any successful appeal, which Frank said is doubtful, it’s likely he will remain with five cabins and 42 camping sites, according to the Fergus Falls (Minn.) Daily Journal.
The county planning commission submitted a report to the county board outlining several concerns about density and other issues it deemed would make the expansion inappropriate on the western arm of Star Lake, located in western Minnesota, 30 miles east of Fargo, N.D.
Tuesday was the second time Frank had expansion plans for his resort rejected by the county board. Earlier Frank sought to increase the number of units at his resort and campground from 47 to 97.
The county planning commission, in its recommendation to the county board, said that, due to the size of the project, the request was not compatible with the surrounding area.
The commission also stated that the Star Lake Township road near the current resort and campground is not suitable for an increase in traffic and said there would be increased dust when more vehicles used the road.
There would be other adverse environmental effects if the permit were allowed, county officials said — including the funneling of noise toward the lake that would disturb the natural topography.
Chris McCann of Interstate Engineering, who is representing Frank and the project, said his client has put a lot of effort into the permit and asked the board to send the issue back to the planning commission so that a worthwhile dialog could take place.
The county board rejected that option.
The commissioners decided against tabling the matter because the permit had been rejected once before. If Frank wants to reapply, he will need to start the process all over again – including payment for a new application fee and going through the notice and hearing process again.