On Sept. 25, the Dickinson County Board of Adjustment had the good sense to oppose a request for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) located on 65 acres of natural grasslands, mature trees and cropland, very close to East Lake Okoboji and Parks Marina. This high-density PUD would allow hundreds of small houses, like Bridges Bay vacation cabins.
Now, less than 90 days later, we have been notified that this same proposal, with few minor changes, will be considered at meetings by various County Boards on Dec. 18, Dec. 19, and Dec. 26. These meetings are meant to be PUBLIC HEARINGS. Bah humbug!
Are these closely scheduled meetings during Christmas week scheduled to limit input from the public? This schedule comes across as being biased against those who oppose this overdevelopment. Property owners who pay taxes in the county have legal standing in this matter and legal rights to be heard. Such closely scheduled meetings over the Christmas Holiday are not designed for thoughtful consideration of options and do not serve the greater good. Bah humbug!
The fact is, the concerns about this proposal remain the same as they were in September. No traffic study, no environmental impact study, possible engineering bias, infrastructure concerns, tax increment financing which could put the financial burden on the public, unsightly hopscotch development and maybe worst of all, the further overuse and erosion of an already stressed body of water, East Lake Okoboji. We ask, is this the tipping point?
If you care about the natural beauty of our Great Lakes, your voice needs to be heard. We are told our letters of concern will be forwarded to board members. Email Dave Kohlhasse (Dickinson County Zoning /Planning Administrator) at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, attend these meetings and voice your concerns to our elected and appointed representatives. Their mission is to listen and thoughtfully decide what serves the greater good, not what profits a few.
Connie and Wayne Finnern