Archive for Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baldwin city council approves permit for RV park

Baldwin City Hall

Baldwin City Hall

September 19, 2012

The Baldwin City Council approved Monday a conditional use permit for The Lodge to add a 10-pad recreational vehicle park to the motel at 502 Ames.

The council also approved companion requests from the motel’s owners Ted and Peach Madl to vacate the right of way for sections of Jasper and Kibbee streets that run through or along the property line of The Lodge. All measures were approved by 5-0 vote.

The conditional use permit and the request to vacate the portion of Jasper Street came to the council with the Baldwin City Planning Commission’s recommendation of approval. However, the council voted to override a planning commissioners’ recommendation to deny the request to vacate Kibbee Street.

The planning commission had a public hearing on the permit in August, at which neighbors voiced concern about increased noise, lighting and traffic. Neighbors also worried about campers trespassing on their properties and the danger of outdoor fires.

To address those concerns, the Madls agreed to 18 stipulations to the permit. Among the requirements are the planting of trees on its north and east border to screen the RV park, limiting stays to 28 days, banning open fires and no music, noise or lights after 11 p.m.

Although a number of neighbors attended Monday’s meeting, Peach Madl was the only person to address the council about the permit. The park’s market would be those attending Baker University events, the Maple Leaf festival or seniors with relatives in Baldwin City, she said.

Madl said the RV park at the site would be different from those in most communities, which are located on the outskirts of towns. The central location would allow campers to walk to Baker University, downtown and other stores in Baldwin City, she said.

That would provide an economic benefit to the city, a fact recognized by the Douglas County Commission and the Kansas Department of Commerce, both of which approved use of tax credits to help finance the project, Madl said.

“This is the least intrusive use we can think of for this commercial ground,” she said.

Madl said the right of way vacations were needed to make the project work.

With the right of way vacation of Jasper Street, ownership of the property will revert to the Madls. They will receive the southern 40 feet of the Kibbee Street right of way, and Baldwin USD 348 will received the right of way’s northern 40 feet.

The city will maintain utility easements in the vacated right of ways.

Planning Commissioner Mike Grosdidier explained to the council his opposition to the Kibbee Street right of way. He didn’t want to set a pattern for future planning commissions and wasn’t comfortable with giving away public property, he said. He was also concerned the vacation of the right of way could isolate one property, harming its future development potential.

Councilwoman Bonnie Plumberg balanced those concerns with the merit of the project.

“It’s a piece of vacant property,” she said. “It will be improved. It’s going to be better.”


Stacy Napier 5 years, 8 months ago

Going to be improved how? Are the concrete pads going to bring in more property tax? No. All you are going to bring in are transients. Visitors with family usually stay with them or on their proprerty. Baker people aren't going to come stay in an RV. And 28 days for a stay is way too long. Good job city did anyone ask the police dept what they thought about tempory residents?


Goldie 5 years, 8 months ago

Excellent idea ! What Baldwin needs is more homes on wheels. Best part of this latest city debacle is transients by the Junior HS. What could be smarter ?


greyghost 5 years, 8 months ago

Dear Councilpersons:

Think this through. Listen to the recommendation of the planning commission.
Ceding public lands to a for-profit business (no matter what the use) is setting the wrong precedent. It makes it even more wrong that it will be for mobile home campers/transients.


56old 5 years, 7 months ago

I knew some would complain but this is a good deal for everyone. I have had many friends and family come through town with a camper and wish we had a place with hook-ups so they could stay the night or two. Why is everyone affaid of transients? they are NOT going to pay to stay when they could go out to the lake for free. notwhatyouthink I think you are wrong about family and Baker parents, but we will have to see.


1776attorney 5 years, 7 months ago

The Madls have developed and managed one of the stellar properties on the highway. The Lodge is great place to recommend for visiting family, friends or business people. Finally Baldwin City has a worthly place for overnight guests to stay.

Compared to some of the highway commercial properties that look downright trashy or vacant, the Madls have contributed a real asset to the city.

There are many motor home travelers either passing through town or making Baldwin City their short-stay destination who would appreciate a nice, well-kept, modern park to stay overnight. And businesses in town will appreciate their tourist dollars.

Considering that Sonic is considering closing their location here, anything to boost business is good.

While I do have many complaints about how the city spends taxpayer monies and their selection of projects, the right-of-way vacations in this instance seem completely proper. A local business gets a just reward for a job well-done and the city no longer has the financial obligation for upkeep and repair of those little-used streets. Just because those streets exist, doesn't mean they were necessary or worth the expenditures.

I'm a 3rd generation Baldwinite and I've never met the Madls, but I do recognize what they have accomplished and they have benefited the city. Reward them.


greyghost 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm a 4th generation Baldwinite and I just don't think it's cool for a bunch of drunk Baker alumni to be pissing on the Bishop Quayle property.

I like your rationalizing about giving free land to rich people because they get rich doing business in Baldwin. Look, I think the Madls are good business people and I have nothing against them. They are active in the community and want to make Baldwin better. That does not mean they deserve any type of reward other than reaping the benefits of operating successful businesses.

If there were to be a camping pad for out-of-towners passing through or here for homecoming at Baker, then let them set it up out by the city lake or the county lake. RVs are an eyesore, whether they're out back by the mini-golf, or whether they are parked in your neighbors yard. Just my opinion, though.


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