RV Park at Torch River Update

At the time of our last newsletter, Milton Township had hired an engineering consultant (Beckett & Raeder, Inc) to assess several aspects of the RV Park design. B & R concluded that the site for the park was “topographically challenged,” meaning that the terrain’s steep slopes presented some challenges regarding soil erosion and stormwater runoff, as well as vehicular access. No traffic studies were addressed in their analysis. This issue became very contentious with area residents, as there are heavy traffic concentrations during the summer months.

The township’s Planning Commission (PC) was authorized to hire Progressive AE out of Grand Rapids to perform a Phase 1 traffic study. This study basically takes established traffic models and plugs in vehicle numbers related to an 80-site RV Park. The results showed no significant impact to traffic flow in the area and was not significant to the point that a Phase 2 study was warranted. A phase 2 study would involve video, traffic counts, and flow over several days.

Again, this met with significant reaction from the general public who insisted that a Phase 2 study be performed, having already been authorized and funded by Milton Township. At a PC meeting on June 15, it was agreed to proceed with the Phase 2 study, which is expected to be completed by the next PC meeting, on July 13.

The developers have submitted a new remediation plan to the County Soil Erosion Officer. This plan adds a second access off Miller Road, several stormwater retention basins along the road, and more tree removal. The plan will amount to more development of the park site and was approved by the Conservation District Board under threat from the developer’s legal counsel, who threatened that any further delays that result in more damage to the property would be the Board’s responsibility.

TLPA remains neither for nor against the RV Park, but has financially supported legal counsel with TESA (Torch Elk Skegemog Association) to assure the necessary engineering work is undertaken by the township. The potential impacts such a development would have on the area need to be studied. We will continue to keep you updated on our website and/or via email.

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