Archived Story

Otter Tail Lake campground clears hurdle

Published 11:11am Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A proposed 70-acre campground that would be located near the junction of County Road 5 and State Highway 78 near Ottertail is a step closer to having its fate decided.

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners adopted a negative Environmental Impact Statement declaration Tuesday regarding the application for conditional use permit for the Homestead at Ottertail RV Park and Resort.

The EIS statement is part of the required environmental review process by the county to collect information on any negative impact projects may have on the local environment before issuing a permit. By adopting the negative declaration, the county board has found that there will be no such negative impact on the area.

Now that the EIS findings are in after an earlier Environmental Assessment Worksheet was reviewed by the county board and distributed for public comment at the end of January, the county can move forward with the permitting decision.

According to Land and Resource Management Administrator Bill Kalar, the Planning Commission will make a recommendation for the permit on May 22 barring any appeal after the EIS findings are made available to the public. That recommendation would go in front of the county board on May 28.

Owners Greg and Beth Swanberg originally applied for a conditional use permit on August 24, 2011 for the construction of a 186 dwelling cluster development at the location. Since that time, area residents and business owners have spoken out in favor and against the project. Many against the development share concerns over the increased road and lake traffic the campground would attract, while those in favor hope it will help draw more business to the area.

  • tomdaniels

    thats alot of people to be launching their boats into otter tail lake. glad i dont live around there. half the amount of asked for lots would be too many. wow

  • walleye29

    I just don’t see that much impact to the lake. There were a lot more boats running around Ottertail during the 70’s. Sure, I would like everyone off the lake except for me. But I don’t own the whole lake. I don’t have a problem with this, it will create little impact on county services and bring in tax dollars!

    • tomdaniels

      thats alot of cars for a tight area anyways. in that area you have cabins on one side of the road, a resturaunt, a golf course, an already busy park and lake access. drive over there once daniel, you will see what i mean. this campground is being given a go based upon no lakeshore. what happens when the owner buys some across the road? not much in taxes will be coming forth as campgrounds have no real structual improvements just moveable campers which already pay tax in the form of license. no other taxes will be gained. this is a bad idea in this location. would be a great idea in a less congested area.

  • Tinker

    @ Tom, what restaurant is in that area? The closest is the Otter and that is farther down the road. How many of these campers do you think will launch a boat at the same time? How about fishing tournaments? They launch a greater number of boats at one time. It will be nice to have another camp ground in the area. It is hard to get into one for a weekend due to many going to a majority of the sites being seasonable.

    • darnold

      The negative declaration for an EIS does not mean they have determined there are no negative environmental impacts, only that the board feels they have enough information to make the decision on granting a conditional use permit or not. There are impacts that would have to be handled by existing laws and any the planning commission feels would need to be part of the CONDITIONAL use permit. The EAW had about 75% of the comments strongly opposed to this development. The compatibility [ability to live together harmoniously] is where this proposal does not pass the test for the granting of a conditional use permit. The majority of the 25% that made favorable comments in the EAW are businesses that stand to benefit financially, several are family and similiar businesses in WISCONSIN and the RV consulting firm from IDAHO that my be working on this proposal. Very few or any have to live near this proposal.Not in their back yard!

    • darnold

      A lot of these campers will have boats as most of these sites are proposed to be seasonal, their RVs will be parked and set up with a deck and never moved, even over winter ,for many years. Each site has 2 parking spots, people will leave their boats there from weekend to weekend also. I agree with the comment about taxes as a similar campground that even gets taxed for lakeshore pays less RE tax than a lot of individual lakeshore homes across the road from this proposed campground. It would be much more of a user of services than a contributor of taxes.

    • tomdaniels

      elmers texas bbq

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