RV park expansion approved

Provided photo The Brown County Board unanimously approved a conditional use permit application Tuesday filed by Brian Domeier to allow for expansion of 24 campsites to up to 70 campsites at Shirley’s Park and Country Retreat in Sigel Township.

NEW ULM — After extended discussion about dust control Tuesday, the Brown County Board unanimously approved a conditional use permit application filed by Brian Domeier to allow expansion of Shirley’s Park and Country Retreat from 24 to 70 campsites.

A condition added to the application requires 300 feet of gravel road dust control for events with more than 100 people.

Other conditions are recreational vehicles must have toilet and bathing facilities. If not, the operator would be required to provide a central building with such facilities.

Several letters praised the park, calling it a great community addition with live music, handmade items, meditation classes and caring owners and fellow campers.

Several people who farm near the campground voiced concerns, mostly about dust control. Other concerns were about speeding on roads with agricultural machinery, storm shelter capacity and rapid campground growth.

“The park looks nice and is kept up, but are we rushing through this?” asked Tom Beranek, one of the speakers.

Storm shelters are not required in county parks, said Robert Santaella, assistant zoning administrator.

“I think it should be looked into,” said Commissioner Scott Windschitl of New Ulm.

Musician, singer and songwriter Andrea Lynn said Shirley’s Park has a brick storm shelter. She said park expansion to 70 campsites is a long-term plan.

“There were 300 to 400 people in the park on Labor Day. We did dust control,” Lynn said.

Others talked about the value of Brown County farming.

“Agriculture is what made Brown County. The U.S. is losing ag land at an alarming rate,” said Karen Sellner.

“I’m a dairy farmer. I won’t stop hauling manure just because campers are there,” said Mike Sellner.

Several farmers brought up farm tile lines.

Commissioner Tony Berg of rural New Ulm said private tile lines require landowner agreements.

“Some of the lines are 80 years old, and may be crushed” by larger RVs, said Lester Hillesheim.

Brown County Attorney Chuck Hanson said private tile lines are private issues.

Windschitl made the motion, which was seconded by Jeff Veerkamp of Comfrey to approve the permit.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.)


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