Stone House Park Lives Another Season

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UPDATE: 10am 5/17/12 to the recommendations and restrictions

After the vote to deny failed by one vote, county board members voted 13-8 in favor of accepting Stonehouse Park’s amended special use permit Wednesday evening at the DeKalb County Board meeting. The approval came with eleven new conditions and contingencies from the hearing officer and health department and board members warned owners that a single violation could lead to a revocation. Keeping them ‘on a short leash’, an expiration date of Feb. 28, 2012 2013 was also added to the permit.  Owners Steve Cecchin and Gregg Larson must reapply for the special use permit at that time.

The vote came after the park was closed for health department violations and went through two public hearings on the issue. Neighbors have complained about the change of the park from a family campground to a primarily music and festival venue.  Late night noise as well as lost and inebriated campers have been a concern for the Rollo farming community.  Stonehouse Park is on the Sheriff’s Sale list for June 14th, 2012.

DeKalb County Board members who voted to keep Stonehouse Park open include Democrats Jerry Augsburger, Bob Brown, Sally DeFauw, Julia Fauci, John Hulseberg, Stephen Reid, Ruth Anne Tobias, Anita Jo Turner, Derek Tyson and Patricia Vary. Republicans Julia Fullerton, Riley Oncken and Jeff Whelan joined them in support of the park. Republicans Marlene Allen, Larry Anderson, Dan Cribben, Russ Deverell, John Emerson, Charles Foster, John Gudmunson and Scott Newport voted against the permit.

Following were the recommendations and restrictions put on the special use permit:

1. The Special Use Permit for an RV camp and agri-tainment use shall be restricted to the five-acre parcel containing the Stonehouse (P.I.N.: 16-22-200-012) and the surrounding 32.3-acre parcel (P.I.N.: 16-22-200-010), and shall not include the 16-acre parcel included as part of the Special Use Permit approved by Ordinance 2008-14 (P.I.N.: 16-22-200-011), and no bridge or other access to the 16-acre parcel from the properties governed by this Special Use Permit shall be constructed or permitted;

2. The petitioners shall provide proof to the DeKalb County Planning, Zoning and Building Department within 90 days of the date of this Ordinance of adequate financing to complete the improvements shown on the amended Site Plan for the Special Use Permit;

3. The Special Use Permit shall be constructed and operated in substantial accordance with the application for Amendment to a Special Use Permit, received December 30, 2011, and the amendments thereto, as maintained in the file by the Planning, Zoning and Building Department;

4. Permitted uses on the subject properties shall include:

a). Rental and use of 200 RV camp sites;

b). Rental and use of six “rustic” camp cabins;

c). Rental and use of the historic buildings and structures on the subject properties;

d). Pioneer living history demonstrations, and museum and historic building tours;

e). Historical re-enactments and festivals;

f). Equine events;

g). Dog-training and sheep-herding events and seminars;

h). Corporate retreats, family reunions, church and youth group activities, and group meetings and camping;

i). Weekend festivals;

j). Camp store and associated retail sales; and

k). Commercial kitchen for production and sales of baked goods, jams and food for sale to campers and visitors and for use by campers;

5. Approved site improvements include construction of six (6) camp cabins, a new shower house, a camp kitchen, parking lot and vehicle circulation areas, signage and lighting, a “summer kitchen” addition to the historic Old Stone House, and other site improvements as depicted on the Site Plan received as part of the Amendment to a Special Use Permit.  A final Site Plan for the subject properties, including the permanent location of camp sites, shall be submitted for review and approval by the Planning, Zoning and Building Department staff prior to the issuance of any building permit. All approved site improvements shall be completed by the end of December 2013;

6. No RV camp site shall be occupied by persons nor shall any RV be parked at any camp site for more than 250 days in a calendar year.  RV camping shall be permitted from April 1 to November 15.  Year-round camping shall be permitted in the historic Old Stone House and the “rustic” camp cabins provided, however, that no permanent residents shall be permitted on the subject properties;

7. The subject properties shall be maintained in a neat and orderly condition;

8. The petitioners shall comply with the recommendations and requirements of, and obtain necessary permits from, the DeKalb County Health Department regarding potable water, sanitary service, and food service;

9. The petitioners shall comply with the recommendations and requirements of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office regarding safety, security, and law enforcement related to uses and events on the subject property;

10. Events and activities that take place on the subject properties shall be restricted to not more than 2,000 attendees and this restriction shall be monitored by the petitioners through the issuance of tickets and other means, provided, however, that the maximum number of permitted attendees may be reduced by the DeKalb County Zoning Administrator if, in consultation with the DeKalb County Sheriff, the Zoning Administrator determines that events held on the subject properties after the date of this Ordinance have resulted in problems related to the use of alcohol or drugs, with excessive noise, or with the parking of private vehicles on public roads or private properties or trespassing on private properties by event attendees;

11. There shall be not more than eight (8) music festivals/concerts and historical re-enactments involving shooting held on the subject property between April and October of any calendar year;

12. No loud noises or loud music shall be permitted on the subject property between 12:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and no shooting shall be permitted after sunset;

13. A storage area for portable sanitary units shall be identified on the final Site Plan, subject to review and approval by the Planning, Zoning, and Building Department;

14. No events or activities that require the use of any building, structure, infrastructure or facility (including water and sanitary service) shall take place until all required permits for such building, structure, infrastructure or facility, have been issued by the County;

15. Existing “construction” trailers on the subject properties shall be removed prior to the issuance of any building permit for proposed improvements to the site; and

16. This Special Use Permit shall expire on February 28, 2013 unless a permanent Special Use to allow the continued operation of the RV camp and “agri-tainment” use is applied for and granted by the County Board prior to that date.

Full Ordinance 2012-09 can be seen here.

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