Though standards for campgrounds are included in the township’s current ordinance, it does not actually permit them. An amendment to the zoning ordinance must be made to allow them in any district.

Such a request came from Wildlife LLC, who purchased property north of Haas Lake Park in August and was contemplating seeking approval for a campground on the parcel. The request was for a text amendment that would add “Campgrounds” as a Special Land Use in Residential-Agricultural Districts. In addition to their request, the company sought variances to every standard identified in the municipality’s ordinance regarding campgrounds.

A public hearing for the request was held by the township’s Planning Commission last month, at which a majority of residents spoke in opposition to it. Opponents cited decreasing property values, traffic concerns, and tax revenue impacts as their reasoning. A letter to the PC also claims “excessive noise and strong odors of exhaust” coming from the property have already “become the norm”.

The potential for a campground on the property did receive some support, as proponents suggested it’d be the best use for the property and would keep the area free of residential development. Ultimately, commissioners voted to recommend denial to the Board of Trustees.

The board reviewed the recommendation and request at their meeting Monday, and even considered sending the issue back to the Planning Commission for further discussion. However a motion to do so failed in a close vote, making the rejection official. Following the vote, one resident asked to speak in favor of the campground, but was shut down by Supervisor John Dolan who stated the discussion was “over”. Emotions flared and the exchange continued until a police officer guided the resident out. Dolan declined to comment after the meeting. (DK)