Despite the looming cold weather, multiple planning and parks boards across the region are busy with upcoming park projects, including the proposed redevelopment of Northport, Mich.’s Timber Shores, new recreational amenities at Sleeping Bear Dunes and Leelanau State Park, upgrades to the Grand Traverse County Civic Center and Silver Lake Recreation Area, and a possible new dog park in East Bay Township, according to the Traverse City Ticker.
Walter Johnson, of Vogel Advisors, appeared before Leelanau Township planning commissioners Thursday (Oct. 24) to discuss plans to bring the long-shuttered Timber Shores RV Resort back to life. Johnson, speaking on behalf of property owner Fred Gordon, outlined ambitious plans to use 67 acres for a revitalized park, which would host 335 sites: 69 pull-thru overnight sites, 135 back-in overnight sites, 111 seasonal sites, and 20 park model RV rentals.
Plans also call for a beach swim area with a giant inflatable floating waterpark, an 18-hole mini golf course, a pedal kart path, a playground area, and shower facilities, among other amenities. On-site staff housing is also shown in concept renderings.
“The plan is simply to restore Timber Shores to its former prominence as a premier family-oriented RV resort,” Johnson told The Ticker in an email. “In addition to the RV campsites, there will also be some mini cabins that tourists to the area may use for overnight lodging. As a family-oriented resort, there will be many outdoor recreation amenities. This will be a destination quality resort that will bring many new tourist/campers to Northport, which once benefited significantly from the tourist dollars generated by Timber Shores.”
Concept renderings indicate the park would be open not only to campers, but also to day visitors, with more than 100 parking spaces reserved for the latter. Parking and high volumes of traffic were cited as potential concerns by some residents in attendance at Thursday’s meeting, though others praised the economic boon the park could bring to local businesses.
Representatives from The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, noting the prominent wetlands on the property, said they wanted to make sure development plans would not negatively impact the environment. Thursday’s meeting was only a conceptual discussion for developers to gather feedback before they return with a formal application, which will then go through the township’s approval process.
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