This photo shows an early design concept for a proposed RV park in the ovals area of Pere Marquette Park beach. Courtesy of Beachwood Recreational Park LLC.

The city of Muskegon, Mich., is exploring its options for development in an unused area of Pere Marquette Park beach known locally as “the ovals,” but not without some backlash from residents, according to MLive.com.

The city has been presented two proposals for campgrounds in the man-made dune area that refers to the circular route of Beach Street and Pere Marquette Park. The area remains undeveloped but is often used for public parking near The Deck restaurant.

One of the proposals also included plans for housing and retail shops around The Deck.

City Manager Frank Peterson said the city’s goal is to activate the space with some type of public amenity to help increase tourism during summer weekdays and the off-season.

A public amenity such as a campground, retail shops, or both, could also mean a boost in revenue for beach maintenance – something city leaders and neighbors say is sorely needed.

“We think the beach is so great that it should be self-sustainable,” Peterson said. “So many people want to be there that we don’t have an excuse for it not to be self-sustainable. A campground that brings people down there more consistently would help The Deck; it helps the concessionaire; it helps the food trucks that come down there. It helps everyone out.”

One proposal from Beachwood Recreational Park LLC., details plans for a 98-site, seasonal RV park complete with nine cabins, showers, bathrooms, a picnic area and a children’s playscape. A similar proposal was introduced by the same developer in 2007 but was rejected by the Muskegon City Commission in 2008.

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