County okays amended permit for Shady Lawn

Despite the protestations of commissioner Don Carlson, Hubbard County commissioners approved a conditional use permit for Shady Lawn RV Estates, LLC last Wednesday.

Despite the protestations of commissioner Don Carlson, Hubbard County commissioners approved a conditional use permit for Shady Lawn RV Estates, LLC last Wednesday.

Environmental Services administrator Eric Buitenwerf reviewed the terms of the conditional use permit.

Developer Robert La Sage obtained a previous conditional use permit from the county for the Shady Lawn RV Park in 2005.

La Sage approached the planning commission in July to amend the permit. As part of the terms, La Sage agreed to reduce the number of occupant spaces on the facility from 49 to 40, said Buitenwerf.

Buitenwerf indicated the planning commission approved the permit with a few alterations.


Carlson voiced objections to several of the conditional use alterations in the application. "I have some opinions, so let's go over these point by point," he said.

According to planning commission notes, RV park owner requested exchanging the docks used for mooring and launching boats.

Carlson said the dock switch would be beneficial, but he wished to keep the language regarding when the docks must be brought in for the winter.

Another proposal in the conditional use permit would allow the resort to use three of the 13 slips on the mooring dock to rent boats to other residents, continued Buitenwerf.

As the shoreline ordinance is written, only owners of the first tier along lakeshore may use the boats moored at the slips.

Buitenwerf said the modification would reduce boat traffic into and out of the lake, but does not conform to the ordinance as written. The environmental services office recommended allowing only first tier residents to use the docks.

Carlson spoke in favor of retaining use of the dock strictly for first tier residents.

"When we have an ordinance, we should either enforce it or not have it," Carlson said.


Several commissioners sided with the applicant on the request.

Commissioner Lyle Robinson said resorts rent boats to customers.

Commissioner Dick Devine asked if the ordinance as written would forbid a Tier I resident from allowing a neighbor to use a boat moored at the dock.

"That's how it is written," Buitenwerf said.

"That's asinine... it sounds like it's against the Constitution," Devine shot back.

Buitenwerf said the Planning Commission determined the intent of the law was to only allow use by Tier I residents.

La Sage said his reading of the ordinance was to use first tier residents as a calculator for how many boats to allow at docks.

"We don't want to have 40 slips, but we do want to have 13. We want to provide access, but limit the boats on the lake," La Sage explained.


Commissioner Greg Larson said he thought the request's logic was consistent with riparian usage.

Chairman Cal Johannsen added the dock limits would be bound by the total shoreline of the property.

"I like the idea, but it isn't proper or legal," responded Carlson.

Another modification would allow the developer to build a central fish cleaning house.

Carlson said he thought the dimensions of the fish cleaning house should be included in the permit.

Under the new permit, residents would be allowed to store RVs year-round on the grounds.

Commissioners added language to the conditions to ensure the units are not used between November and May.

The new permit allows residents to possess an 8-foot by 12-foot shed and set up a screened or camping tent for temporary use.


La Sage said the resort would construct the sheds to preserve a uniform appearance. The tents would allow residents' visitors to camp outside.

The new permit grants the developer 100 more feet of managed shoreline.

According to planning commission notes, the increase will not result in a development expansion as 150 feet of beach and 50 feet of paths by the boat launch already exist on the property. The resort shoreline footage totals 1,055 feet and the current ordinance permits half of the property's shoreline to be developed.

Finally, the permit would eliminate gravel pads underneath the RVs. La Sage said the modification would allow skirting to promote the permanent placement of RVs.

The motion to approve the permit, made by Devine and seconded by Robinson, passed 4-1 with Carlson voting against the measure.

In other environmental services action last Wednesday, commissioners:

??Approved the final plat of Fisher Park, being developed by Moose Island Construction and Tom Fisher on Crow Wing and Spider lakes in Mantrap Township.

??Approved the preliminary plat of Ben Israel Cemetery, being developed by the Ben Israel Fellowship in Hart Lake Township.


Buitenwerf said soil samples did not indicate the likelihood of frost heave on the property.

??Referred language in Sections 901 and 902 of the conditional use permit to the planning commission for a recommendation to the board.

Johannsen said the board will review possible ordinance changes in early 2008. "There are some other issues I want to talk about this winter," he said.

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