Potential Quarry Developers Say Subdivision Is Not Campground

Tom Goelz and Mike Parent are waiting for traffic and engineering studies on their proposal to develop the old Leathem Smith quarry on Bayshore Drive into a subdivision before filing a conditional use application with the county.

“It’s so important to have the conditional use permit correct,” Parent said. “Everything is based on facts and objective information as opposed to subjective information.”

Their proposal for what they’re calling the Quarry Bluff Development is for what they describe as a subdivision for motor-coach enthusiasts. The word “campground” has been used for the project, but the developers say that is simply the land-use category that works for the development they have in mind.

“In this case, we would have detached, single-family homes with a pad in the yard in which you can park a motor coach,” Goelz said. “The only reason we had to use the campground usage category, which has gotten everybody so stirred up, it’s the only way someone could occupy their motor coach for more than 30 days a year.”

“That’s the only term that fits what we want to do there,” Parent said. “We’re looking at it more as a subdivision for motor-coach enthusiasts who want to park it on their property and use it. It’s not a traditional campground. It’s a single-family, residential home with somebody who owns a million-dollar motor home.”

They point out that there will be no tents, trailers, wood campfires or the amenities and activities that are typically associated with a traditional campground. The project will cater only to Class A motor coaches. A Class A motor coach, by definition, is a motor home constructed with a heavy-duty tour-bus frame. Price points for these homes on wheels range from several hundred thousand to more than a million dollars. 

They say there is a demand for this type of development, especially in Door County, which currently underserves Class A motor-coach clientele.

They also note that both the Town of Sevastopol and Door County have ratified the zoning of the property as recreational commercial, which allows for the type of development they are proposing.

“For over 40 years, it’s been zoned recreation, and with the boat launch and all that public access [across Bayshore Drive at George Pinney County Park], it’s a great fit,” Parent said.

“Not everybody agrees, apparently,” Goelz said, referring to the opposition that has grown around the development. “Anytime you build something, it’s in somebody’s backyard, and, generally, they’re never happy about it.”

“We’re local people, and we don’t plan on leaving the area,” Parent said. “There’s a lot of noise in the background with this thing. When we submit our conditional use application, we definitely know there are issues out there that have to be addressed.”

“Our next milestone is to file with the county, but we’re waiting on those couple of studies,” Goelz said.

The experienced developers said the quarry project would be no different from any development on the peninsula.

“If you’re going to put a development in anywhere else in Door County, you scrape off the topsoil and put it off to the side, and you’re down to the bare rock. Then put the topsoil back where you want it,” Goelz said. The difference here is that they would start with bedrock and add topsoil later.

“Clearly, this resort development will introduce to Door County a highly desirable visitor demographic that has the financial capacity to support local businesses and enjoy/contribute to all that Door County has to offer,” the developers wrote in explaining their proposal.