A tent platform sits empty at Pointy Head Campground in Bass Harbor while the planning board continues to review an application for the 15-site campground business. ISLANDER PHOTO BY SARAH HINCKLEY

Board finds application complete with conditions

TREMONTEven though the application for Pointy Head Campground was found to be complete during a Tuesday night Planning Board meeting, there are still some details missing. 

Members of the Planning Board asked engineer and project manager Jeff Crafts to provide more information regarding drawings for proposed camping platforms, delineation of wetland boundaries and buffering around the site. They also decided to waive the town’s requirement for proof of adequate water supply and wait for a state test to be conducted at the site.  

Once the application was found complete by a vote of 3-1, the board voted to schedule a site visit to the 158 Harbor Drive location on Sept. 15 and have an engineer visit the site to weigh in on stormwater management and the proposed buffering plan.  

It was the second time the board reviewed the application but the third time it went before the board. Member Geoff Young, who did not attend the two previous meetings, was the single opposing vote in finding the application complete. He told the other members he didn’t want to be locked into the vote. 

“It being complete does not mean the project is approved,” Chairman Mark Good pointed out prior to the vote. 

“This is the second meeting,” added member Brett Witham, once the vote was cast. “The issues we’re left with, in the grand scheme of things, are relatively minor.” 

At their July 21 meeting, members of the Planning Board deemed the application incomplete with a list of a dozen items that needed to be addressed before a second review. It was scheduled to go before the board at their Aug. 4 meeting. Four members of the board attended that meeting but one member is an abutting property owner, which meant the board lacked a quorum to review the application. 

Young, who has not attended the meetings at the town office due to health concerns, was able to attend on Tuesday evening via Zoom.  

Board member Margery Buck is an abutting property owner and has recused herself from the board for previous discussions regarding the project. With Young in attendance, the board theoretically had a quorum without Buck at the table.  

Before the application review began, Crafts asked Good if he should poll the board to see if there were any other conflicts of interest among the members.  

Good expressed that he didn’t think the poll was necessary, but asked the remaining board members if any had a conflict. Each said they didn’t.  

“I think Lawson Wulsin has a huge conflict of interest because he’s in business with Kevin Buck,” said Crafts following the poll. 

Wulsin is the executive director of A Climate to Thrive, and Buck, Margery’s husband, is the vice chairman of the organization’s board of directors.  

“He reports to Mr. Buck,” Planning Board member Brett Witham said during the discussion. “Most people don’t want to tick off their boss.” 

Young pointed out it was up to the board to decide whether there was a conflict or not.  

Kevin Buck was allowed to speak from the audience, “We haven’t even discussed this, Lawson and I. I don’t feel it’s an issue.” 

Wulsin explained that, on paper, Kevin has the ability to hire and fire him.  

“I think there’s some questions there. I would defer to the three of you,” said Wulsin. “Part of me cares how the applicant feels. If it would make Mr. Crafts happy, I can step down.” 

Good explained to Crafts that a lack of quorum would delay the project further. Witham asked Wulsin if he had ever talked to the Bucks about the project.  

“Not other than what’s on the agenda,” said Wulsin in response.  

Young made a motion that Wulsin was qualified to serve on the board to review the application. Witham seconded the motion, stating that he was satisfied with Wulsin’s answer to his question. The motion passed by a vote of 3-0-1, with Wulsin abstaining.  

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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