Dear Dickinson County Residents:
I am writing this letter to share my opinion on a pending Planned Unit Development (PUD) next to East Okoboji. The Board of Adjustment has a scheduled hearing on this request scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 25.
I live at Chalstrom Beach Condos and retired last year. I have attended the recent Board of Supervisors meeting and listened to the proposal and the supervisors' questions. I feel the stated goals and rationale for the developers are illogical or contradictory. They stated that this development of an initial 65 small homes on 10 acres, and eventually up to 520 units on 65 acres, would bring new students to the nearby schools. However, they also stated that they expect 50 to 70 percent of the units will be owned by investors as rental properties and want a waiver to allow short-term rentals of 1-7 days. Short-term rentals don't bring in new students to the surrounding school districts. In addition, the developers touted this development as small homes for retirees, but I don't think retirees want to live with the noise and congestion from short-term rentals.
Another supposed benefit is to solve the perceived lack of affordable housing in the county, but the initial price on these small houses on small lots with narrow streets and no sidewalks is $225,000. I did a brief online search for similar size houses in the county and found dozens of houses with the same or larger footprints on bigger lots for less money. The benefits to the consumer is unclear while the benefit to the developers are obvious.
I think this project, as planned, will have a negative effect on East Okoboji from increased traffic and lake run-off and I urge our citizens to attend the meeting of the Board of Adjustment on Sept. 25 to voice their concerns.