The Marshall Board of Adjustment has deferred its decision on the Marshall Mountains Campground project to January, as per the Citizen Times.
This move comes after a detailed discussion and considerable input from local residents. The project, if approved, stands as potentially the last campground initiative in Marshall’s high-density residential district, following a pivotal decision by the Marshall Town Board to exclude campgrounds from the Residential 1 (R1) district.
The proposed project, located at 830 Redmon Road, has sparked a debate among community members. The Marshall Board of Adjustment’s decision to delay the vote to next month was influenced by the concerns raised by neighbors of the proposed site. Chair Ben Smith emphasized the need for the board to thoroughly review the information before proceeding with a decision.
The project, spearheaded by developer Joseph Cippolina and property owner Brian Gaines of Black Walnut Forest, envisions a unique camping experience.
The plan includes six campsites spread over roughly 40 acres of a larger 100-acre property, with only 10 acres designated for the campground. Each camping unit is required to have 5,000 square feet of space, ensuring ample room for guests.
The location of the proposed campground is strategic, situated less than a mile from the North Main Street intersection. It lies within the municipal boundary of Marshall and extends into the Madison County Residential Agricultural zoning area.
Kaitland Finkle, a regional planner with Land of Sky Regional Council and the town of Marshall’s zoning administrator, confirmed that the entire proposed site falls within the town’s jurisdiction. The project includes a single-family home and a shed on the property, along with two bathhouses of varying sizes and 20 parking spots, catering to the needs of modern campers.
The development plan is divided into two phases. The initial phase focuses on establishing the six campsites. The subsequent phase involves a more innovative approach, with a transition of camp sites to cob structures. This phase, however, presents some ambiguity in terms of the town’s ordinance, particularly in differentiating between yurts and cabins.
Finkle’s interpretation suggests that the second phase aligns more closely with cabins than yurts. She highlighted a grey area in the ordinance, particularly regarding the definition of yurts, which are traditionally dwellings of Mongol and Turkish people of Central Asia. The ordinance allows for a certain percentage of campsites to be yurts, but also permits cabins, defined as small, temporary one-story homes.
For campground and outdoor hospitality operators, the Marshall Mountains Campground project represents a case study in balancing community interests, sustainable development, and innovative camping experiences. The project’s approach to land use, community integration, and phased development offers valuable insights for industry professionals.