A controversial 50-unit campground proposed in the town of Sand Lake was denied Monday following another marathon Land Use and Information meeting. An earlier draft of 150-unit campground was denied back in September.
Brian and Melissa Bocan applied twice to build a campground on a piece of land wedged between Big Sand Lake and Viola Lake. Dozens of residents and concerned citizens spoke at the virtual meeting.
Hidden Haven would have been a 50-unit seasonal campground with five year-round camper cabins. It was the same location that was previously denied.
Supervisor Conroy said it was a good design for a campground but in the wrong place.
Residents made their concerns heard during the public hearing portion of the meeting. They mentioned the environmental impact of a campground, the potential for more boat traffic on the lakes, decrease in property value and the dangers of vehicle traffic on Highway 70.
Brian Bocan stated he had reached out to residents, the Town of Sand Lake and the St. Croix Chippewa Tribe to try and come up with a solution for the campground.
Representatives from the tribe said Bocan had not reached out to them and reiterated they were still opposed to the campground.
The letter stated, “The Tribe is most concerned with the possibility of added lakeshore erosion on Big Sand Lake, an issue that has been addressed multiple times over the past several years and continues to be of concern by the Tribe: the possibility of an increase in invasive species being introduced in the lake as a result of increased boaters and campers.”
In the future the Land Use and Information committee could send a resolution for a moratorium on campgrounds and expanding campgrounds.
Supervisors described the campground requests as flooding in and arriving in an avalanche. The committee compared it to the CAFO (Concentrated animal feeding operation) moratorium that was passed last year by the full county board.
The same process would apply to this moratorium. The committee would need to pass a recommendation and then the full county board would need to approve a resolution putting a moratorium on new campgrounds and expanding campgrounds across Burnett County.