Alpine Valley OKs Camping Plan

From: Gazette Extra

LAFAYETTE TOWNSHIP — Alpine Valley Music Theatre cleared a political hurdle Wednesday in its plan to convert a parking area into a campground next summer for up to 450 concertgoers.

The Lafayette Town Board approved the proposal based on the town plan commission’s recommendation, which would place restrictions on Alpine Valley operating a large campsite.

The next step in finalizing the concert venue’s pursuit of a conditional use permit for the camp is to gain the approval of Walworth County.

There was little discussion about the campsite at Wednesday’s meeting. Previous public hearings and the commission meeting were well-attended affairs where the public expressed its concerns about the camp creating more noise, trash and mischief during concert weekends.

Commissioners and the board agreed the camp area must be fenced, water and sanitary services supplied to the camp must comply with state and county safety regulations, trail lights must be non-polluting, and the permit must be renewed annually.

The permit would be invalidated if Alpine Valley was sold.

David J. Shaw, the theater’s general manager, has worked closely with municipal officials and the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office on the planning and security of the campground, Walworth County Sheriff David Graves has said.

Town residents used the public hearings to say the venue already is too large and out of control without camping on the grounds.

Under the plan, the green lot east of the ticket gates would be designated for 75 campsites. Each site would be 4,096 square feet and limited to a maximum of six people each. Two vehicles could park at each campsite.

Shaw said the camps would be for fans who wanted to see multiple performances of an entertainer doing weekend shows. Since the lineup for 2011 is not yet set, Shaw was unsure how many times the campground would be used.

Plans call for a self-contained campground that would decrease traffic in and out of the theater, he said. The amenities include toilets, hand washing stations, lighting, drinking water, a security station and a general store.

Campground regulations include:

— No barefoot walking

— No bonfires or campfires

— A 2 a.m. lights out policy in which all music is turned off and crowds are dispersed

— No vending of any kind

— No charcoal grilling, though butane grilling would be allowed

— No water recreational structures, such as pools or Slip ‘N Slides

— No pets, although service animals will be allowed

— No glass bottles or kegs

Purchasing a one-day camping pass would allow guests to stay from noon on the day of the show to noon the day after the show. Campers would pay an extra fee to use the campground and be assigned a site, he said.

Teams would patrol the inside and perimeter fence of the camping area to provide security, according to the operational plan for 2011 camping put together by Alpine Valley.