Michigan RV Park Plan Raises Eyebrows
In reaction to a mailing one resident sent earlier this month to all Port Austin, Mich., village utility payers about a proposed 150-site campground in the industrial area of town, a large number of residents of this town in Michigan’s “Thumb” region came out to the June 17 local village planning commission, which was moved from the village hall to the old gym in anticipation of a large turnout, according to the Huron Daily Tribune.
In the gym, which was nearly filled with residents — some of which were in favor of the project, others opposed and the rest undecided or just wanting more information — the Port Austin Planning Commission approved a land clearing permit request from Gene Clancy & Sons Excavating.
The excavating company has proposed the project, named “Bird Creek Campground and RV Park,” and spans about 17 1/2 acres in the industrial area of town.
Company representatives met with planning commission members in April to present a tentative project plan. At that time, the planning commission approved the concept of the campground.
Village officials then sent a letter informing residents about the proposed project in the last village newsletter. The letter told residents there would be a meeting to receive public comment regarding the project on May 20.
During that May 20 meeting, residents packed into the local village hall to ask questions, air concerns and/or voice support for the project.
Officials stressed no formal site reviews have been conducted, and the point of the meeting was so village officials and representatives from Clancy Excavating could keep everyone informed about the project.
While many residents at the planning commission meeting attended last month’s meeting, there were some who had not, and who were upset because they said they never knew anything about this project until they received the letter about it from resident Kenneth McNeil.
One resident’s letter
In his letter, McNeil raises concerns about no enforcement actions taken or warnings given in regard to activity that has occurred on the property in anticipation of the proposed development. His letter cites portions of the ordinance stating that in order to initiate a site plan review, the village needs a village compliance permit application, which had not been submitted for this project.
“My question is, why wasn’t the project’s work stopped weeks ago based on our zoning ordinances or at least temporarily suspended until a legal opinion could be requested from the village attorney concerning the need for a village compliance application from the developer?” the letter states. “ …. There are even violations, penalties and remedies if a developer is deemed out of compliance regarding the village’s ordinance.”