Campground special use permit reinstated amid festival rumors
MANISTEE COUNTY, Mi. (WPBN/WGTU) — A campground in Manistee County will have its special use permit back after it was suspended two weeks ago.
Monday night, the Cleon Township Planning Commission held a special meeting where members voted to reinstate a Special Use Permit to the Twisted Trails campground.
Managers with Twisted Trails say their permit was suspended after township leaders required documentation showing the campground was following a township ordinance. They say this all began after the 2016 UpNorth Music and Art Festival, where Manistee County deputies say there were drug issues, dozens of arrests and noise complaints.
Last year Cleon Township put an outdoor mass crowd ordinance in place that would address issues like when bands can and cannot play as well as providing security and having an evacuation plan.
The ordinance also says any "outdoor mass gatherings" (1,000 or more people attending) need to be approved by the township and a permit must be issued.
This year the UpNorth Music Festival was originally set to be located the Twisted Trails campground again, however, due to disagreements between the venue and event planners, the festival will need to find a new venue.
Monday night the township planning board voted to reinstate Twisted Trails’ special use permit. Managers with Twisted Trails say they are in compliance and working with township leaders.
“There were a few things, it was due to the UpNorth Musical event that happened last year, and some things that the township didn’t have the full documentation," Donna Humphrey with the campground said. "Unfortunately with [the UpNorth Festival]'s non-compliance we didn’t feel comfortable pursuing that arrangement."
Twisted Trails will have their special use permit reinstated August 25. The campgrounds will get their permit back if the UpNorth Festival does not take place there.
Monday both Humphrey and the township attorney agreed that they could take legal action against festival organizers.
There is still no word on a location for the UpNorth Music and Arts Festival which is set for August 18, 19 and 20.
Upnorthlive reached out to festival organizers. We have not gotten any details but were told more information will come soon.