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Letter to the Editor: RV resorts as a new kind of invasive species?

It begins with a simple question: How would you appreciate a resort with 185 RV parking plots, a swimming pool, dance pavilion and other assorted outbuildings being located less than a half-mile from your family’s lake cabin or lake home?

The Otter Tail County Planning Commission is about to answer that question for you by either approving or denying an application for such an “RV resort” just south of the state’s wayside rest on Highway 78 near Ottertail City.

Approval for this “double-wide” development of farm acreage in the vicinity of Otter Tail Lake, acreage without lake access, poses a grave threat to all those that enjoy the quiet character of our area lakes.

Approval would set a significant legal precedent that could and will most certainly bring similar resort developments to your family’s lake area.

The negative aspects of this resort proposal are overwhelming. It’s conceivable that this RV resort could have a population density greater than that of incorporated Ottertail City but without any regulatory ordinances, police presence, or dedicated fire protection. The amount of unregulated noise, car/boat trailer/RV traffic, and residual pollution can easily be imagined.

Without lake access, but with permanent residence virtually across the street from the state’s wayside rest guarantees these RV resorters will easily commandeer the wayside rest, overwhelming other vacationers daily with sheer numbers.

The dangers of increased foot/auto traffic near the wayside rest are obvious and more boat/trailer traffic at the boat landing forces boaters to “in and out” more quickly, increasing the likely spread of milfoil and zebra mussels.

“Double-wide” developments such as this RV resort are a bold attempt to circumvent Minnesota state laws that prohibit subdividing lakefront property into smaller lots in order to prevent overcrowding on our lakes.

What makes this proposal more unsettling is the brazen sell tactic of including, with a permanent RV parking spot, easy lakefront residency via the state’s very own wayside rest and boat ramp.

To me, when weighing the negative impacts of this type of development against any possible positives, the answer to my initial question seems pretty obvious.

I hope you’ll also encourage our Otter Tail County Planning Commissioners, the stewards of our lakes area, to record a resounding “yes” for preserving the unique character of each of our area lakes by voting “no” on this type of invasive RV resort.

Lon LaGrave, Battle Lake, MN