Planning Commission wants more info on RRVS, Inc. 15-campsite proposal

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    The City of Crookston Planning Commission has tabled a request by Red River Valley Shows, Inc. for a conditional use permit that would allow 15 full-service campsites to be placed on property RRVS, Inc. owns southwest of the former Winter Shows building and behind Crookston’s AmericInn by Wyndham.

    Commission members didn’t directly come out against the proposed project, they simply want more information than they have now. Building Official Greg Hefta noted that he’d invited a representative from RRVS, Inc. to attend Tuesday evening’s commission meeting, but no one showed.

    Current zoning fits what RRVS, Inc. is envisioning, Hefta said.

    The main question driving the commission’s decision to table the matter is the purpose of the campsites and who will be able to use them. If the plan is to make them available for people participating in various weekend horse-related shows, go-kart races or other events at the former Red River Valley Winter Shows building, commission members seemed to like the idea. But with the City looking to break ground this summer on a new RV campground in Central Park with up to 45 full-service campsites – electricity, water and sewer – as part of a seven-figure grant from the state, some commission members wonder if the proposed RRVS, Inc. campsites would compete with the City’s Central Park initiative.

    “The City is putting a lot of money and effort into Central Park, so I don’t want this to compete with it long-term,” said commission member Joe Kresl, also the Ward 5 Crookston City Council representative.

    Hefta said in his preliminary talks with RRVS, Inc. representatives, it’s his belief that the 15 campsites would be primarily for people coming to town for weekend events at the former Shows building. He said he also heard Express Personnel might want to utilize the campsites in the fall for people coming to work the American Crystal Sugar beet-hauling campaign.

    “This is more of an amenity for people coming to events and people with horses and trailers, so they can be near their animals,” Hefta explained.

    Commission member Shirley Iverson noted that every town she’s traveled to to show a horse, there have been campsites nearby for participants to use. “I think we should encourage (RRVS, Inc.) to come here because this is a good thing,” she said. “I don’t want them to think we’re not accepting their vision.”

    Kresl said he didn’t want to make a negative impression, either.

    “I totally agree, whether it’s horse things, go-karts or other events,” he said. “I think they’ll spend money in Crookston.”

    Cory Dallager, AmericInn general manager, told the Times prior to the commission meeting that he had several questions about the project.