Campground going bigger on Tremont Road

TREMONT — Owners of Acadia Wilderness Lodge are applying to build what looks to be the largest campground on the quietside of Mount Desert Island on a 42-acre parcel off Tremont Road.  

James and Kenya Hopkins’s application for a 154-site campground, presented by G.F. Johnston and Associates, went before the Planning Board via Zoom on Tuesday evening. Members of the board deemed the application incomplete noting eight items that need to be submitted before the second completeness review that is scheduled for March 23, according to Code Enforcement Officer Jesse Dunbar. 

One item that was partially complete was the stormwater management plan. Because of the scope of the property, the stormwater management plan is being presented in two parts. One was not complete in time to submit to the Planning Board for review, according to Dunbar.  

Plans for the proposed campground include 71 recreational vehicle (RV) sites, 41 tent sites and 42 cabins with a check-in building, recreational building that will include an indoor pool and store on the property, as well as service buildings.  

In January 2019, James Hopkins went before the Planning Board with an application for an 11-cabin campground called the Acadia Wilderness Lodge on 1.6 acres of property on the south end of Kelleytown Road. Cabins at this site are in the process of being constructed after the town recently granted building permits. 

A resident of Miami, Hopkins inherited the Kelleytown Road property from his grandfather. It abuts the 42-acre parcel where the larger campground is being proposed that is accessible from 661 Tremont Road. Both properties are located in the Residential-Business zoning district.  

In the summer of 2019, a neighbor appealed the Planning Board’s decision to approve the 11-site project, citing the Land Use Ordinance only allows one accessory dwelling of less than 600 square feet in all zoning districts. Several neighbors filed letters to the Board of Appeals noting concerns about the project and how it would impact the area. Members of that board voted to deny the appeal based on the fact that the campground cabins lacked kitchen accommodations. 

Johnston and the Hopkinses went before the Planning Board during a Jan. 12 meeting to gather information about the application process for the 154-site project. According to Dunbar, it is one of the largest developments to go before the town’s Planning Board. 

There are several campgrounds on the quietside of Mount Desert Island, but none as large as the proposed Acadia Wilderness Lodge. Quietside Campground is just down the road at 397 Tremont Road and has 35 camping sites that include several cabins. Smuggler’s Den Campground in Southwest Harbor is a 100-site campground that includes RV pads, tent sites and cabins as well as an outdoor pool and large recreational area. Bass Harbor Campground is a 120-site establishment with tent, RV and pop-up sites in wooded, shady areas as well as eight cabins and three yurts. 

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

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

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