June 8, 2023 at 6:27 p.m.
Wild Mountain expansion plan heads to county commissioners
Owners of Wild Mountain Recreation Area got unanimous support last week from the county planning commission (minus Chair Chip Yeager) to proceed on a major expansion. The commission’s recommendation to approve amending the Conditional Use Permit goes to the County Board of Commissioners to consider at their June 21 regular session for final action.
Plans are focused on expanding Wild Mountain’s warm weather activities. According to the packet of materials submitted by Cashmere Properties LLC, Brad and Sara Larsen, the improvements will take place in two phases needing until possibly 2033.
The first phase would get underway this summer, and consists of a 5,485 square foot, ADA compliant pool; a bath house with showering facilities etc. and a 50 by 28 foot pumphouse to protect the mechanicals. There is an open shelter structure here currently (see graphic.)
The second phase is incorporating giant waterslides into the site.
The general area where the additional amenities can be installed is off the south corner of Wild Mountain’s existing main parking area.
The planning commissioners were being asked to amend the Conditional Use Permit. issued in 2005, which was the first such permit the zoning staff was able to locate issued by the county.
Commissioner Jim McCarthy asked about the “camping” conditions in the 2005 permit use language and was advised the amendment for the Larsen's is not addressing camping. There are occasional “lock-in” overnight youth events held, and the authorization to continue to be able to offer these remains unchanged. At this time camping is not part of operations at Wild Mountain, commissioners were told.
Commissioner McCarthy also said the condition in the permit allowing live music until 2 a.m. on weekends and 10 p.m. weekdays is not a usual permitted activity. The response was that Wild Mountain sometimes hosts weddings and other events with bands. Again, music is not a requested action amendment.
There was nobody in attendance at last week’s public hearing either in favor or opposed to the Wild Mountain expanded business plan.
The approval also calls for a professional septic system review to determine if existing wastewater handling is sufficient for the approximately 365 people daily extra capacity for the pool.
The Larsen's estimate the expansion may require adding about six to 10 part time seasonal jobs to the 60 part time employees on staff now. Wild Mountain also has 15 full time staff.
Fish Lake Township coffee shop not quite ready for vote
Acting Planning Commission Chair Chris DuBose also directed discussion on the second piece of business on the agenda.
A proposed drive-thru coffee business in Stark submitted a site plan and related drawings for action. The building footprint already on site will be expanded and have a second floor added for residential uses.
The application documents, however, contained inconsistencies and the project still needs county highway review for access points from Highway 10 (Stark Road) A well on an adjacent lot needs to be capped so a new septic system can be put on this site. Intercom equipment for placing drive-thru orders still needs attention.
Applicant Joe Beaulieau was provided a list of items/projects requiring more information and the public hearing on the proposal was continued to July 6. The 60-day window deadline in state law for the land use to be decided, was also extended.
Beaulieau asked if it would be okay to continue work on adding another story to the historic building making five bedrooms and adding bathrooms, deck, repairing siding, etc.
Planning Commissioners understood that the plastic tarps on the removed roof need to be taken care of, but they cautioned him that if the business part of the land use doesn’t win final approval, the residential use is tied to having a commercial use as well, and any residential would become non-compliant.