Campground developers say they're not giving up

September 05, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

HANCOCK - Two local businessmen will continue to pursue plans to build an RV campground near Hancock, even after the Washington County Commissioners said they do not support the proposal, according to an attorney for the businessmen.

Harold Walter and Donald Tollefson will consider submitting a new application for the campground if the commissioners vote to deny the project.

They might also appeal a denial in Washington County Circuit Court, said attorney Jason Divelbiss, who is representing Walter and Tollefson.

"They do intend to pursue the project one way or another," Divelbiss said.

Current plans for the campground include 89 campsites on 40 acres off Orchard Ridge Road near Hancock.

The campground would be a members-only facility that would be open from April to October.

Campers could bring travel trailers or temporary cabins onto the property for stays ranging from two days to eight months, according to current plans for the project.


Residents in Hancock and Indian Springs have argued against the campground at public hearings, saying it would increase crime and traffic in the area, and strain local water and sewer resources.

During their Aug. 28 meeting, the commissioners reached a consensus not to support a Washington County Planning Commission decision to rezone the land to allow the campground.

Some commissioners said the applicants seemed to be trying to circumvent residential zoning requirements by calling the project a campground.

"My idea of camping, as one who camps a good bit, isn't 80 units stacked up against each other," Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire said.

Divelbiss, who attended the commissioners' Aug. 28 meeting, said he was disappointed that the commissioners did not suggest alternatives to the plan.

"With some give and take and feedback, everyone could have come to a mutually agreeable decision," Divelbiss said.

Walter and Tollefson will consider reducing the size of the project and submit a new plan if the commissioners vote to deny the rezoning, Divelbiss said.

The commissioners likely will take a formal vote on the matter in the coming weeks, according to Assistant County Attorney Kirk C. Downey.

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