The planning commission in Duluth, Minn., delayed voting Tuesday (Dec. 11) on a plan that would transform the old Spirit Lake Marina in Duluth’s Riverside neighborhood into a recreational vehicle resort, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
A preliminary vote on the proposal Tuesday came out 4-2, but at least five votes were needed for it to pass.
So commissioners intend to revote on the measure at next month’s meeting. While there were eight out of nine commissioners present, two opted to abstain from voting on this issue, citing potential conflicts of interest.
Right now, the marina allows people to rent out the boat slips, but they can’t park RVs there.
Under this proposal, the marina would be completely updated and designed so people could drive their RVs to a spot by their slip and live there during the warmer portion of the year.
And instead of renting, people would be able to buy their spots, and a boat slip or slips.
If the city council ultimately approves the proposal, the developer, William Stauduhar, a native of Duluth who is putting together an RV park in Orlando, Fla., plans to purchase the property.
Planning department officials said the property has been for sale for several years. “We’re going to set it up so it caters well to the large motorcoaches,” Stauduhar said. He estimated it would be used from mid-May through mid-October.
“It may be the first time it’s done in the Duluth area,” Stauduhar said, but these sorts of resorts have been built in other parts of Minnesota, he said.
Plans call for 106 slips and 45 RV spots. Right now, there are about 60 to 70 slips available.
Stauduhar planned to also pay to have sewer and water lines and electric hookups for the vehicles.
He anticipates each lot for an RV will sell for between $70,000 and $100,000, while boat slips will sell for $30,000 to $40,000.
“I think we’ll attract local buyers and buyers from the Twin Cities that just want a little retreat,” Stauduhar said.
But Robert Fierek, who grew up in Morgan Park and owns 11 acres adjacent to the marina, said the expansion would be a planning nightmare because of increased traffic. He said it would eliminate an affordable spot for people to rent space for their boats and create an enclave of rich residents in a blue-collar neighborhood.