Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

RV park developer surprises planning and zoning board

Confirms that he plans to sell, rather than lease, the RV sites he’s proposed, sparking debate about ordinance

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 6/27/18

TOWER— The proposed developer of an RV park along the East Two River caught city planning and zoning officials by surprise on Tuesday evening, as he confirmed a rumor that he intended to sell the …

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RV park developer surprises planning and zoning board

Confirms that he plans to sell, rather than lease, the RV sites he’s proposed, sparking debate about ordinance

Posted

TOWER— The proposed developer of an RV park along the East Two River caught city planning and zoning officials by surprise on Tuesday evening, as he confirmed a rumor that he intended to sell the individual RV sites he hopes to build, rather than rent them.

Developer Dave Rose revealed his plan in response to a question from planning and zoning commission member Kevin Fitton, saying that it had been his plan from the start to sell the sites. Planning and zoning officials, who have been overseeing the environmental review of the project for almost two years, said it’s the first they had heard of Rose’s concept.

“That changes everything,” responded Planning and Zoning Chair Steve Altenburg, “because the whole process was built on a conditional use permit for an RV campground.” Altenburg added that Rose’s plan would essentially be a subdivision, that would require legal descriptions for each of the sites as well as separate electrical and sewer services. “And every single lot would have to conform to the standards,” Altenburg added.

“We shouldn’t even be talking about this because none of us really know what the standards are until we review what he suggests he wants to do,” said commission member Steve Abrahamson.

But commission members continued to try to make sense of how Rose’s revelation would conform with the city’s ordinance. Rose maintained that his project has been treated as a planned unit development, which has different rules than a subdivision. “If you read your rules for a planned unit development, you can sell in a planned unit development,” he said. “That’s what I applied for, for two years I’ve planned a planned unit development.”

Altenburg agreed that the plan was “technically a planned unit development,” but added: “It’s not a traditional one in which everyone owns a house on it, or a condo.” Yet the city’s ordinance does appear to contemplate that RV sites could be sold. The city’s ordinance defines PUDs as being comprised of “dwelling units or sites,” and said the units “may be organized and operated as condominiums, cooperatives, time share units, full fee ownership, commercial enterprises.” The definition specifically includes “recreational vehicle parks.”

But city officials weren’t convinced by Rose’s contention. City Clerk-Treasurer Linda Keith said Rose’s plan would likely require a new environmental assessment worksheet, just as Rose and the city had spent months trying to finalize an EAW for the project.

“I think we’ve got a lawyer issue there,” said Rose. “If your lawyer says ‘No’ then it’s no.”

“But if your lawyer says that I legally can do it?” Rose asked later.

Altenburg predicted it wouldn’t make any difference.

“We’d have to then discuss that but I don’t think anyone’s going to agree to that,” said Altenburg.

Altenburg also suggested that Rose might not get as many RV sites as he had hoped. The city had previously determined that the site would allow for no more than 20 sites, but Altenburg hinted that it might be less than that. “I’ve gotten the feeling that, for sure, that I don’t think that ultimately 20 sites is going to go through. That you’re going to be asked to make the sites bigger to reduce the way it’s crowded.”

Altenburg continued: “I’m guessing, and it’s not just me, but I’m just going to tell you right now that I keep hearing the number 15, and I think ultimately that’s more in the range of what might get approved. I can’t say that 100 percent, but I’m warning you right now that I’ve got a pretty strong feeling. I don’t want you to spend money on plans and having to go back and have them redone.”

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Dave Rose

Now that you are done reading the article, I'd like to have you Google in Tower Minnesota ordinance number 80 and 82 it explains what is legal and what can be done with zoning. As far as quantity of the RV sites each site has to be 2000 square feet with 2,000 more for green space. figured in this does not include the roads or wetland. The city's figures show we should have been able to have 20 sites . My figures show with my Engineer we should have 24 sites but I have agreed to the 20 sites to try to keep the project moving. I have paid the city a $7,500 check to be put in escrow for as a SEH and city to look over my paperwork and to pay for anything they decide to spend it on. I do not see anybody else writing checks to pay the city and SEH. I see money going out for projects but nothing coming in

Thursday, June 28, 2018