Elk River, Wapiti Park reach impasse

by Joni Astrup
Associate editor
A simmering disagreement between the city of Elk River and Wapiti Park Campground appears to be coming to a head.
The Elk River City Council voted unanimously April 18 to begin the process to consider revoking Wapiti Park Campground’s conditional use permit.
The council also denied an interim use permit for the campground store building.
“They’ve been out of compliance from Day 1 and they just will not get into compliance,” Council Member Paul Motin said. “What more can we do?”
The city and the campground have been at odds for months over a number of issues including the city’s concerns about people living at the campground and the city’s desire to make sure the campground’s septic system is fully functional.
The two sides have been negotiating, and City Attorney Peter Beck told the council at the April 18 meeting that he had been hopeful that they had worked things out with Wapiti Park.
But in a letter to the city dated April 18, Adam Kaatz of Wayzata Law Group, attorney for Wapiti Park, wrote: “… It appears that the differences between the city and Wapiti are too great to resolve without the assistance of the judicial system.”
He indicated neither he nor representatives of Wapiti Park would be attending the April 18 meeting. No one spoke at the public hearing that night.
Wapiti Park was started in 1969. The conditional use permit dates to 1984.
Elk River’s city code sets out the process for revocation of a conditional use permit, according to Elk River Planning Manager Jeremy Barnhart. It includes a public hearing. The date for that hearing has not been established.

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