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Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread


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^^ ACE has been doing it for years; like the "Blue Streak Challenge" and "ACE Day at the Lake" where funds would go to Conneaut Lake Park. I remember three years ago at ACE Day at the Lake where if we wanted to we could donate $15 to get a picture opportunity on a cherry picker inside of the Blue Streak turn. It was really cool...

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Published February 27, 2007 10:35 pm - After reviewing a proposed master plan for future operations of Conneaut Lake Park, LeRoy Stearns said Tuesday he supports the plan — and will ask the court to be relieved of his duty as court-appointed overseer “within 20 to 25 days.”

 

Stearns says it’s time to step down

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

02/28/07 —

After reviewing a proposed master plan for future operations of Conneaut Lake Park, LeRoy Stearns said Tuesday he supports the plan — and will ask the court to be relieved of his duty as court-appointed overseer “within 20 to 25 days.”

 

 

The plan calls for a five- to seven-member board of directors to be appointed to assume control of the 115-year-old amusement park.

 

“I support it 100 percent,” said Stearns of the plan prepared by the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County and a final copy given to him Tuesday.

 

Stearns hopes the new board will be in place within the month and will be in charge of opening the park this summer.

 

Before he leaves his position, Stearns said he will petition the court for three actions that he has been working on: sale of 3.3 acres of land to Greg Sutterlin; approval of an easement for Jeff Davenport of Snow Waters Development; and an easement requested by Carl Burkett of Conneaut Lake for a piece of land adjacent to property he owns.

 

Stearns had planned to use part of the sale proceeds to open the park for 2007, noting without that money he has no funds to guarantee opening.

 

“Maybe the board of directors will find the funds to open the park. We have no money,” he added, except for deposits for events planned for 2007, which are in an escrow account and will be transferred to the new board.

 

“Now that I have seen a full and final copy of the plan, it convinces me they (those who developed the plan) have a way to deal with the back debt, which I am saying is $2.3 million,” he continued.

 

“I can’t open without the 3.3 (acres) sale,” Stearns said. “I will not borrow any more money,” referring to loans that have been used to open the park for the past several years.

 

The plan calls for:

 

–– Leasing all business operations — Hotel Conneaut, the Beach Club, Camperland and the gift shop — to private developers.

 

–– Appointing a board of trustees to operate core services such as the park and “otherwise support corporate obligations such as the satisfaction of debts.”

 

–– Hiring a chief executive officer and chief financial officer.

 

–– Positioning the park as a year-round community-based asset.

 

–– Rehabilitating Hotel Conneaut and Conference Center

 

–– Developing high-density residential property (condominiums).

 

 

–– Developing lakeside/lakeview multi-tenant residential property.

 

–– Expanding Camperland.

 

–– Maintaining and managing the boardwalk and public beach.

 

–– Expanding public access to the lake by developing and improving the quality of access to the beach and a public marina.

 

Revenue zones identified include Hotel Conneaut. The plan said to effectively position the hotel for investments, the hotel will be closed temporarily during a transition period.

 

Residential zones will be developed consistent with the master plan and shouldn’t interfere or conflict with other anticipated priority developments of the park. A map shows “future development” in the same boundary area of the proposed 3.3-acre sale.

 

The plan identifies several areas as revenue zones and what’s proposed for their use. They include:

 

–– Hotel and Conference Center — Now the Hotel Conneaut site.

 

–– Entertainment — The Beach Club and Dock Side as well as the area across from it and down to Comstock Street.

 

–– Recreation — Comstock Street to Route 618.

 

–– Recreational vehicle park — Now the site of Camperland.

 

–– Future development — The land now used for parking adjacent to Camperland.

 

–– Future residential — Route 618 to the former Jo-Winn Trailer Park, now the Snow Waters project.

 

–– Future retail commercial — From Route 618 to Inlet Drive, now the site of picnic groves and adjacent houses.

 

–– Future development — A private marina on the lakefront in the area of the former Flynn House all the way to and including the Convention Center along Comstock.

 

 

Mark Turner, executive director of the EPA, and George Deshner, court-appointed custodian, weren’t available for comment.

 

 

Resumes are being accepted for the new board of Conneaut Lake Park Trustees.

 

The master plan, developed by the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County, is seeking appointment of five to seven members.

 

Those interested may contact LeRoy Stearns, court-appointed overseer, at 382-5115, or Mark Turner, director of EPA, at 333-2299.

 

Once court approval is given for board appointments, resumes will be reviewed and recommendations made.

 

The board would be responsible for hiring personnel to manage the park, but not to get involved with day-to-day operations. It is to set policies for implementation.

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For those trying to follow this mess, I think it's pretty simple to say that they need to sell the 3.3 acres of land. If they do that then I think they'll open. If not, they won't open.

 

As for Stearns dropping out, I'm not sure what the impact will be. If the land can be sold then I don't think he will be missed. I can't quite figure out the guy but it's probably no coincidence that he wants out now that he can't cash his own paycheck.

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Park structurally sound, still needs improvements

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

03/01/07 —

All of the rides at Conneaut Lake Park were deemed structurally sound by an engineer who did a survey as part of a master plan for the park’s future prepared by the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County.

 

 

And all but a few of the buildings received similar positive reviews.

 

At the same time, the study notes that the reviews of the buildings “do not represent or include a detailed structural analysis or assessment, and building infrastructure was not reviewed.”

 

Porter Consulting Engineers of Meadville did the survey as part of a master plan funded from a $175,000 state grant to determine the future of Conneaut Lake Park.

 

The survey shows none of the following have any “structural problems”: Dreamland Ball-room, Dockside, Beach Club, Lakeview picnic shelter, park office, Hotel Conneaut, Conven-tion Hall, storage garage, Skeeball building, games building, Log Cabin gift shop, midway stand and others.

 

However, the former bowling alley was described as in very poor structural condition. It is being used currently for storage. The survey said costs associated with necessary repairs may exceed costs of razing the building and constructing another one.

 

Demolition was recommended for the “Dippin Dots” building, near the miniature train station.

 

A building housing games on the midway wasn’t rated as to whether it’s structurally sound, but the survey showed it’s in below-average condition. Portions of the roof structure and foundation have failed over time at the rear portions of the building.

 

A survey of the old firehouse notes it’s in “poor condition,” with water damage, but an interior study wasn’t completed.

 

All the rides were deemed to be structurally sound as well.

 

While Dreamland Ballroom had no structural problems, the engineer said various additions and renovation work has been done which detracts from the original construction. “Restor-ation of this building to its original architectural design is recommended for historical purposes,” the report said.

 

 

...and the hits just keep on coming.

 

Dip 'n Dots must go!

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Well my grandpa told me he is planning on applying to be on the board. He said things need changing and no one will do it. He hopes to get on the board and help turn the park around.

 

He is someone who is not afraid to get out and talk with people unlike Deshner. He would really be a good person for the board.

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Speaking of classic, ACE has announced that the Blue Streak was designated an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark. Expect a nice landmark plaque to be added this summer (seriously, they are extremely nice).

 

There is some good news on the CLP Junction forum:

 

"In todays Meadville Tribune was an article stating that Summit Township okayed the new development. Mr Sutterlein still needs to go before the county planning commission, but they usually just rubber stamp whatever the local board approves. The next step is for them to go before the court to authorize the sale of the land, which, according to the article, should happen next week."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sutterlin, officials reach sales agreement

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

03/16/07 —

CONNEAUT LAKE — An agreement has been reached to sell 3.3 acres of land at Conneaut Lake Park to Greg Sutterlin of Conneaut Lake for $1.7 million.

 

 

However, it’s is contingent upon several factors:

 

n Summit Township supervisors must amend a zoning ordinance to allow 10 units of condominiums be erected on the site, which includes the former Flynn House property and adjacent property.

 

n Court approval and that no appeals are filed.

 

n CLP officials must undertake all necessary steps to open the park for the 2007 season. If Sutterlin determines that isn’t happening, he can declare the agreement null and void.

 

n The gate-guard booth on Reed Avenue at the entrance to the park must be removed.

 

The agreement allows Sutterlin to construct three or more separate condominium buildings within the complex. Two will be located parallel to Conneaut Lake and the third will be positioned on the west side of Lake Street.

 

It prohibits the park from selling any other lakefront or lakeview land within the park for five years following completion of the sale.

 

It also prohibits the park from creating or constructing its own residential development on its lakefront or lakeview property.

 

However, that doesn’t apply to or affect any use or potential use, renovations, remodeling or occupancy of Hotel Conneaut to perpetuate its use as a hotel and restaurant, but not as a condominium or other residential development.

 

The agreement also includes the sale of the docks around the property as of Oct. 31, 2007. All dock fees and rental income for this year should be split between the park and Sutterlin with any adjustments after the closing.

 

The contract calls for a non-refundable downpayment of $5,000 and the remainder to be paid in cash upon completion of the sale.

 

The next step now is to petition Crawford County Court of Common Pleas for a hearing to approve the sale.

 

LeRoy Stearns, court-appointed overseer, has said he will use a portion of the sale proceeds to open the park this season.

 

He plans to use a majority of the money to pay off the estimated $2.3 million or more debt, including all real estate taxes on all properties owned by the park as well as bank loans.

 

The 115-year old amusement came under court jurisdiction after a lawsuit was filed by former Trustee member Dana Watson in 1998 against the remaining board members over a dispute about a contract with former owner-operator Gary Harris.

 

 

As a result of that suit, the park was declared a public trust. Stearns was appointed overseer when the former overseer, Herb Brill, resigned. Following that, the rest of the board resigned in September of 2005 after hiring George Deshner as general manger. Stearns remains as court-appointed overseer, whose job is to stabilize the park and protect the trust.

 

 

It'll make a dent at least.

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The Future of the park now looks a lot brighter with this article:

 

 

 

 

Sutterlin, officials reach sales agreement

 

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

03/16/07 —

"CONNEAUT LAKE — An agreement has been reached to sell 3.3 acres of land at Conneaut Lake Park to Greg Sutterlin of Conneaut Lake for $1.7 million.

 

 

However, it’s is contingent upon several factors:

 

n Summit Township supervisors must amend a zoning ordinance to allow 10 units of condominiums be erected on the site, which includes the former Flynn House property and adjacent property.

 

n Court approval and that no appeals are filed.

 

n CLP officials must undertake all necessary steps to open the park for the 2007 season. If Sutterlin determines that isn’t happening, he can declare the agreement null and void.

 

n The gate-guard booth on Reed Avenue at the entrance to the park must be removed.

 

The agreement allows Sutterlin to construct three or more separate condominium buildings within the complex. Two will be located parallel to Conneaut Lake and the third will be positioned on the west side of Lake Street.

 

It prohibits the park from selling any other lakefront or lakeview land within the park for five years following completion of the sale.

 

It also prohibits the park from creating or constructing its own residential development on its lakefront or lakeview property.

 

However, that doesn’t apply to or affect any use or potential use, renovations, remodeling or occupancy of Hotel Conneaut to perpetuate its use as a hotel and restaurant, but not as a condominium or other residential development.

 

The agreement also includes the sale of the docks around the property as of Oct. 31, 2007. All dock fees and rental income for this year should be split between the park and Sutterlin with any adjustments after the closing.

 

The contract calls for a non-refundable downpayment of $5,000 and the remainder to be paid in cash upon completion of the sale.

 

The next step now is to petition Crawford County Court of Common Pleas for a hearing to approve the sale.

 

LeRoy Stearns, court-appointed overseer, has said he will use a portion of the sale proceeds to open the park this season.

 

He plans to use a majority of the money to pay off the estimated $2.3 million or more debt, including all real estate taxes on all properties owned by the park as well as bank loans."

 

 

 

Now It's just seeing if the park grts the rides up on time, and FINALLY, updating their website.

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That is great news to hear such an old park being saved in today's world.

 

It's shocking to see no multi-millionair's no buying into USA history and saving these parks. If I had the cash I would, invest buying new rides and making all the coasters are in "new" condition.

 

The Park can now give the "Blue Streak" a good service and re-track the whole ride to make it smoother. Get those "sparks" flying

 

I'll be able to visit the Park in a few years and check out "streakie"

 

How much debit does it still owe..?

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You should it's always alot of fun free food, free rooms at the hotel, and doing that will get you into places of the park that few get to see and you learn somthing new about the park every day you help. You should check into it.

 

Other news a public forum was held yesturday very interesting things happaned It began with Wanda owner of Stable Pit and Pub speaking. Than it was a guy that was trying to get on the new board speaking. He did say what needed to be done such as smmothing out the midway puting neon on the midway. He also owns a bunch of nightclubs and has expeieriance in the entertainment buisness. Than was a local commisionar than was the pulblic.

 

It was going good but Don (Forgot his last name) was getting all the hits from this meeting because he was saying things that I am not sure is true. So everyone was bashing him. Neither Deshner or Streans showed up for this meeting.

 

Meeting

 

Park Taxes

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The park has once again been Derailed.

 

Its comments said the fact it meets requirements is a moot point because the commission recommends the subdivision — required for the sale — not be granted. Instead, the commission recommends the sale of the property be negotiated or at least stalled until a decision regarding the management and ownership of the park is determined by the courts.

 

Hope thing get better before opening day.

 

 

 

More here

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.

 

Planning commission rejects proposed zoning changes for Sutterlin's lakefront condos

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

03/29/07 —

Believing no changes should be made in a township ordinance until the future of Conneaut Lake Park is determined, Crawford County Planning Commission on Wednesday rejected a proposal submitted by Summit supervisors to change its zoning ordinance to allow 10 condominiums be built on an acre of land in the township instead of the current maximum of six units.

 

 

The proposal now goes to supervisors for consideration. The commission’s recommendation isn’t binding and supervisors can accept or reject it.

 

The proposed ordinance change revolves around sale of property at Conneaut Lake Park.

 

The commission said Wednesday no changes should be made until a plan for long-term development of the park is complete.

 

If supervisors don’t approve the ordinance change, plans for the sale of the former Flynn House property will not proceed, as the sale was contingent upon the change.

 

Without the sale or somebody, be it a government entity or private person, coming forward to give the park the money to open, the park’s 2007 season remains in limbo.

 

The proposal to change the ordinance was made by supervisors to allow 3.3 acres in the park (or 3.6, according to the survey) be sold to Greg Sutterlin for $1.7 million. Proceeds will be used to help pay down the park’s debt and give it the money needed to open this year. Sutterlin development plans include lakefront condominiums.

 

Staff prepared comments in advance of the suggested recommendations for the commission to consider. Commission members unanimously adopted those comments, suggesting instead of changing the ordinance that CLP management and Sutterlin come up with a different development program that meets the current ordinance.

 

In addition, it said the agreement should be with “explicit understanding that the long-term development or redevelopment (as the case may be) of Conneaut Lake Park is no way compromised whatsoever.”

 

Among the comments was that the property shouldn’t be sold, since that would have a profound impact on Conneaut Lake in terms of future investment of the park. That’s in reference to proposals for private financial investment in the park to develop portions of it for condos and other uses.

 

At a minimum, the commission said the sale would have a larger impact on the park’s development and to property adjacent to it. That property measures one to one and one-half acres.

 

Noting a master plan that has been completed by the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County, the commission suggested that any zoning changes be made in a “wider, forward-looking context in tandem with the current park management and officials from Summit Township to determine what guidelines will best fit the future development of the park proper.”

 

In addition, the commission said Summit officials should immediately instruct their planning commission to meet with Sadsbury Township Planning Commission to identify a strategy to set the parameters of a “zoning overlay district” across the two townships that would accommodate the sound development of the park with common standards and features that will accommodate future interests in the park.

 

Reasons listed to support the recommendations included these concerns:

 

n The capacity of the local wastewater treatment facility; the capacity and condition of the local road network to accommodate increased trip generators; and the ability of the land to support the development Planning commission rejects proposed zoning changes for Sutterlin's lakefront condos

 

By Jane Smith

 

n Changing the Business-1 district, which is approximately 212 acres, could mean in a worst-case scenario that with a proposed 10-dwelling units (condominiums) per every acre, leaving a potential development of 2,120 dwelling units and 6,360 persons, assuming three persons lived in each unit (condo).

 

 

n Any changes to the current densities would have potential impact on the Harmonsburg area as well as the area along Route 18.

 

Also rejected by the commission was a subdivision for the sale of the land.

 

Despite the fact the subdivision appears to meet all the minimum requirements of the township subdivision and land development ordinance, the commission recommended it not be granted.

 

Its comments said the fact it meets requirements is a moot point because the commission recommends the subdivision — required for the sale — not be granted. Instead, the commission recommends the sale of the property be negotiated or at least stalled until a decision regarding the management and ownership of the park is determined by the courts.

 

 

YOU CAN GO

 

Summit Township supervisors will meet at the township hall April 11 at 7 p.m. to take comments on the proposed ordinance amendment.

 

This gets better all the time.

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The Dates have been announced for the Clean Up weekends. The are always fun and you get free food and a room at the hotel.

 

The volunteer weekends for spring cleanup have been set. April 21 and 22 and April 28 and 29. Rooms are available at the Hotel for both Fridays and Saturdays and lunch will be provided. The rooms are not heated so keep that in mind as April can still be pretty cool at night. Please call the park at 814-383-5115 for room info and email clpvolunteers@zoominternet.net so we know how many to expect. Any and all volunteers are welcome. If you have a truck and/or leaf rakes, yard tools great, bring them but if not, come as you are, we'll find something for you to do.
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