BY KEVIN BONESKE
A site along Highway 51 in the Town of Cassian known for having a bus sticking out of the ground will be able to operate as a recreational park in the future to host outdoor events.
Oneida County’s Planning and Development Committee approved a conditional use permit Wednesday for the Bonnie and Clyde Gangster Park owned by Rick Kersten to be able to have outdoor events on the premises, such as those related to the annual fall motorcycle ride, motorcycle/car shows, weddings and other similar small events, which would be organized by local non-profit organizations with all the employees being volunteers.
“This spring I had three individuals that wanted to have weddings there,” Kersten said. “I’m not planning on that, but if somebody would like to do that, I’d be able to do something like that.”
Kersten told the committee he initially used the property to put up a storage building for keeping old cars and bikes as well as other collectables on a site that currently hosts only one event per year. He said there wouldn’t be overnight camping for the public on the property with it being used as a recreational park.
The permit report notes the private storage building wouldn’t be open to the public, while the property also includes a shelter/pavilion building with a bathroom, a bandstand for music and a “bar” building to be used for beverage sales.
For individual events as needed, Kersten indicated he has contracted to have portable toilets on site and also have a handicap accessible toilet and a wash station.
The permit’s conditions, which require county health department review/approval prior to opening the recreational park, also include limiting live music on the site to no later than 11 p.m. Any exterior lighting installed would have to be pointed down and shielded from above.
County planning and zoning director Karl Jennrich said the conditional use permit won’t limit the number of events that may be held on the property.
“He’s got permits for all of it, and it was his personal collection, but now he just likes to open it up to the public,” Jennrich said.