Village grants permission for campground build


July 9, 2019

Jan Tucker/Daily Globe

Keith Penegor, Ontonagon, was given permission Monday by the Ontonagon Village Council to create a small campground for as many as three sites on his land adjacent to the Ontonagon River.


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Ontonagon - The Ontonagon Village Council acting as the Zoning Board of Appeals Monday held a public meeting and later approved a small campground to be located on the Ontonagon River.

Keith Penagor, Ontonagon, proposed a three site campground for Tiny Houses, RV's and tents on his property which has 219 feet of frontage on the Ontonagon River. His lot is 1.4 acres but the zoning regulation allows campgrounds as a conditional use and requires a minimum lot size of 10 acres.

The proposed site has potential flooding issues so permanent construction is prohibitive. He presented a site plan that provides three camp sites which are moveable if flooding occurs.

He requested the zoning board for a lot size variance and will ask the planning commission for a conditional use permit.

Several councilmen said they had visited the site and it was "well set up." During the hearing Vicki James said the site is "clean and beautiful." Tony Smydra, who presided over the meeting in the absence of village president Ken Waldrop, said the campground is an example of a "cottage industry," and is "good for the economy." He also praised Penegor for working through the system to get the proposal approved. The council unanimously granted the variance. Penegor will now approach the planning commission for the final conditional use permit.

The village is working with the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region to prepare an energy plan and the process is underway. Consultants will perform energy audits at village owned facilities to identify efficiency improvements and upgrades. Village facilities to be audited include the water treatment plant in White Pine, the marina, the department of public works facilities, sewer treatment facility and other places. They are now hosting a community energy program to help residents save money on their electric and heating bills. The event is Thursday, July 11 at 6 p.m. at the Ontonagon Theater. Information will be shared concerning resources available to the public to lower their utility bills. Free food will be provided and those attending are eligible to win a $300 gift card and prizes.

The council urged citizens to attend the event.

Resident Wayne Sheffield objected to a beach mat being placed across from his house on the Lakesore Road. He noted it would increase traffic and parking in that area. He noted the mat could be moved further down either way. Sheffield added the mats were not there when he bought the house and it was unfair to put them there after he bought it. The placement of the mats will be discussed by the recreation commission and the council will consider Sheffield's requests when it then comes before the council.

Several residents said the board minutes were not on the website and other information should be included there as well especially how to reach the village on a weekend if there is a problem. The need for a way for residents who want to get into the locked village dump and get the keys will be discussed with Griff Roehm.

The problem with a resident setting off fireworks at 4 a.m. was referred to the community development committee.

Tom Hamilton again discussed the kayak landing facility and commented the village had erected beautiful signs in the village to all its facilities but not to the kayak landing and speculated it was because they were ashamed to advertise it.

In other action the manager Joe Erickson said a walk through for registered bidders to tear down the former Wager's restaurant building is scheduled for Tuesday with bids due July 15.


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