Rustic Campground Eyed for Island Enclave
A public hearing will be held Feb. 13 in southeast Michigan's Monroe Township on a request to open a rustic campground on what’s commonly known as Dog Lady Island off East Dunbar Road near I-75.
The island, also called Kausler’s Island in Plum Creek, once was used for concerts that drew protests about too much noise from neighbors, the Monroe Evening News reported.
Frank Grzywacki of Monroe is seeking approval from the Monroe Township Zoning Board of Appeals to build 30 campsites without an approved sewage treatment system and restrooms (toilets and showers).
If all approvals are met, it could open in July. The five-member board headed by Randy Kull will hold the hearing at 7 p.m. at the township hall, 4925 E. Dunbar Rd.
If the variance is OK'd, Grzywacki would have to seek final site plan approval from the township planning commission under the township ordinance, said Kim Fortner, zoning enforcement officer for the township.
Grzywacki already has received conditional approval for a special land use from the commission and has agreed to remove a stage used for the concerts, Fortner said
Grzywacki, 59, told The Evening News he owns 32 acres off East Dunbar, of which eight acres are above water. The campground would be built on three acres and be called “Plum Creek Campground.”
Each campsite would have electricity. There is an existing asphalt parking lot that would serve 16 of the campsites. The other 14 campsites would have parking on grass.
The campground is intended as a destination spot for people with recreational vehicles who want to fish and camp near Lake Erie. People who don’t have RVs also can camp.
The island was picked the best place in the United States to fish in a nationwide contest last year. Five fishermen from the downriver area nominated the island.
Grzywacki, who has owned the island for more than 15 years, said he is changing the focus of the site from an entertainment venue to a fishing and camping hotspot for people who enjoy the outdoors.
“It’s a pretty area and does fit into the island’s natural setting,” he said last week. “Camping and fishing are a lot more popular than entertainment. The fishing is the best here. People can bring their grandkids and fish off shore.”
He said the vast majority of people who would stay at the campground would come from southeast Michigan.
Most of the state regulatory agencies like the Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers have verbally OK'd the concept, he said. The next hurdle is to convince the local zoning and planning committees. If he does, he hopes to open the campground in July.
“This would be very positive for the community,” he said. “Most people don’t even know it’s out here because it’s hidden.”
Click here to read about a legend from the island as reported in Absolute Michigan.