A view of some of the sites in Big Pine RV Resort, Park Rapids, Minn.

A recreational camping area within Park Rapids, Minn., will be allowed to add an additional 24 campsites.

Northern Lakes Co., owner of Big Pines RV Resort at 501 Central Avenue South, requested a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow the additional campsites for a total of 40 sites. The 13.83-acre property is located adjacent to the Fish Hook River, the Park Rapids Enterprise reported.

The Park Rapids Planning Commission recommended approving the permit after hearing from people both for and against the project.

Some of the items of concern included temporary vs. seasonal sites, fencing, property taxes, noise across the river, four-wheelers and dirt bikes along the river, extra water demand, water quality concerns, setbacks of the units to the east along Central Avenue, aesthetics and tree removal on the site and issues with the rental cabin on the site.

The planning commission discussed the issues and determined many of the issues were addressed or will be addressed by the applicant. It recommended approval to the Park Rapids City Council.

City Planner Dan Walker said the staff feels that most of the issues that were raised at the public hearing will be addressed by the applicant through the campground rules, which will be monitored and enforced by an onsite campground supervisor. There is also nothing that would trigger any additional environmental review, because the portion of the site being used for the application isn’t within the Shoreland Overlay District.

Jeanne Troge attended the meeting and voiced some concerns about allowing the additional campsites.

She said that although no trees will be cut down for the project, she worried adding plumbing could hurt the roots of trees and cause them to die. She also wondered if there would be a water shortage.

“We didn’t have enough to water our lawns this summer but we have enough for 40 RVs?” she questioned.

The council considered her comments but thought the permit was reasonable.

Councilman Dave Konshok said that if the applicant doesn’t meet the conditions, the permit will be revoked.

The permit was approved with several conditions:

  • The eight sites to the east will need to ensure that the RVs are parked a minimum of 25 feet from the eastern property line along Central Avenue.
  • A revised site impervious calculation will be required prior to the return of the escrow.
  • Location of street/security will need to be provided on the revised site plan.
  • A new plumbing review will be required by the Department of Health. The applicant will be required to provide a copy of the inspection report to city staff.
  • If the applicant would like to pursue a future expansion of the number of sites on the property, a new CUP would be required.
  • The applicant needs to provide a copy of the lease and campground rules to city staff.