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Final Vote Postponed on Seasonal RV Park in Gardner

To provide an opportunity for the applicant to present additional information, the Gardner town board agreed Aug. 10 to postpone a decision on whether to approve or reject a seasonal RV park in the 3400 block of County CC, where a mobile-home park used to be located.

Neighbors of the proposed Goetz RV Park were among those who filled the Gardner Town Hall on July 25 to voice their opposition during a plan commission meeting that resulted in the commission’s unanimous denial of the project. 

Plan commission chair Mark Lentz said the town kept neighbors of the property informed about the project, such as by sending them letters with a copy of the plans submitted by the Goetz family.

Lentz said the town asked the Goetz family to provide rules for park guests and a business plan, with the latter not provided to the commission last month when it made the recommendation to deny.

“We did ask them a lot of questions, again, as did the audience,” he said. “Neither their consultant [Mark Stevenson], nor John Goetz was able to answer. Mary Goetz was not at that meeting.”

Gardner town chair Carl Waterstreet said he favored postponing a vote until Sept. 14 – the board’s next regularly scheduled monthly meeting – after the town’s attorney, Randy Nesbitt, was contacted by an attorney representing the Goetz family.

“Randy apparently called their attorney back, and told him what we are really asking for was a business plan, and they have not come up with this business plan, or the things we would like them to come with to prove to basically us on the board, and to the public, what they’re going to do there,” he said.

Waterstreet said the Goetz family’s attorney asked the board not to make a final decision on the proposed RV park during the Aug. 10 meeting so that additional information could be presented at a later date.

“It would have to go in front of the plan commission first, I would assume, whatever they would come up with,” Waterstreet said. “I mean, obviously they’re not going to get this thing going this year anymore.” 

When neighbors of the proposed RV park voiced concerns to the commission about the project, they noted things such as complaints that the Door County Sheriff’s Office had responded to when the site was run as a mobile-home park.

Lentz said the plan commission’s job is to be responsible not only to the town board, to which it answers, but also to the neighbors, who want answers to questions such as where people go to register if they arrive at the RV park at 9 pm. 

“Well, the answer we were given was, ‘We’ll probably have a volunteer down at the old post office, or they can go down to the bar and register down there,’” he said.

If the Goetz family would submit a business plan, Lentz said Waterstreet or town clerk Amy Sacotte should look at it first.

“It’s not fair to ask the plan commission to have a meeting to look at the plan if there’s nothing more put into it than [what was last submitted],” he said.