Burnett County passed a resolution establishing a four-month moratorium on campgrounds on March 18. After hearing some comments from the public and some discussion amongst themselves, the board of supervisors believed it would be the best option for the county right now.
County Board Chair, Don Taylor, said during the meeting, “We received a number of letters and emails of course supporting the moratorium, and you know, we always walk a fine line between supporting the community and the property owner’s rights within that community to use their land as they see fit, and it’ll always be somewhat controversial when they come up, and they always are.”
Supervisor Craig Conroy explained in an email, “The Moratorium will provide some “breathing room” for the Land Use Committee to evaluate our Land Use ordinance provisions, and potentially recommend amendments to address some of the numerous issues raised in the often-contentious public hearings, on both applications new campgrounds and expansion of existing campgrounds, we’ve held over the last year.”
Gary Lundberg, Supervisor, agreed what the county needs is more time. Time to talk about tornado shelters (which is always an issue with camping units), fire and ambulance that will have to be provided, the fact that there will be more bicyclists and ATVs, and time to talk about economic impact and expenses. “We just need some time to look at all the aspects of the whole thing and go from there.”
Supervisor Duane Johnson said with the moratorium, the county should be looking to the future and what they want 50 years down the road.
“Do we want to have increased business or more wildland? It kind of comes down to that. How do we retain our young people to stay in the area if there’s nowhere for them to work? But the plus side to that is how do we attract people to this area if it’s an industrial land?” Johnson just wants the county to get the discussion on their future started.
Taylor stated, “As always, in the end, the county can only do what the state lets us do.”
When there were no more questions on the moratorium, the resolution establishing a four-month moratorium was passed with the potential for a six-month extension if determined to be necessary.