When neighbors participated in the town’s Planning Board site visit on Sept. 14, they asked to see inside this cabin and were denied. One neighbor at the public hearing this week asked, “Is there a toilet in the cabin? Is there a kitchen in the cabin?” An engineer for the project has stated the three cabins in the plan will not have cooking or plumbing facilities.   ISLANDER PHOTO BY SARAH HINCKLEY 

Neighbors voice concerns about proposed campground 

TREMONT Fires, water use, noise and proper buffering were the main concerns that neighbors of a campground proposed at 158 Harbor Drive brought up at a public hearing on Tuesday night.  

Members of the Planning Board decided to postpone their review of the site plan application for one more week, until 6 p.m. on Sept. 29, after member Geoffrey Young stated he would not participate in the meeting past 8:30 p.m. According to the town’s ordinance, the Planning Board has 30 days to decide on an application after the review process has begun, which it did on Aug. 18, according to code enforcement officer Jesse Dunbar. 

Comments from the public were heard until about 8:20 p.m., at which time the board closed the public hearing. Without Young, the board did not have the quorum necessary to decide whether or not to approve or deny the application and asked the applicants if they were willing to delay the review for another week. 

“I would like to pick it up exactly where we are,” said Jeff Crafts, who has been hired to engineer and manage the project. “We’ve finished the public hearing.” 

About 25 people attended the public hearing that was held in the town’s community room to accommodate the crowd and to allow for proper distancing. At least 20 people also attended the site visit on Sept. 14 and referenced it in their comments. 

“What we saw on the ground is not consistent with the plan,” said attorney Daniel Pileggi who is representing five abutting landowners to the proposed site. “If we don’t know where the boundaries are because they haven’t been surveyed, we don’t know what the buffers are.” 

The property owned by Madelon Brogdon at 158 Harbor Drive is located on three different land use zones: resource protection, commercial fisheries maritime activity and residential business zones.  

A driveway to the proposed campground site goes through the CFMA zone, which is a nonpermitted use. While the subject was presented to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, officials of that organization opted to leave the final decision of whether the road can be used up to the local Planning Board.  

“You can’t do anything that the Land Use Ordinance doesn’t allow you to do,” said Pileggi. “If they have access a different way, they can use that lot… As a legal matter your ordinance prohibits use of this campground because of access through this zone.” 

Planning Board member Brett Witham also asked about the house that once served as an inn on the property being located in the CFMA zone. 

“Let’s say they stop using the house for five years, does that mean they can’t use it?” Witham asked Pileggi in an attempt to have him clarify the restrictions. 

“She can do anything with that house as long as it’s marine dependent,” Pileggi responded. “She can put a boatyard in if she wants. When I was at the site visit, I heard Mr. Crafts say the line was right behind the structure.” 

Several neighbors stood at a microphone, provided for public comment, with pages of points they wanted to have heard by the Planning Board in considering whether or not to approve the application.  

“It appears as if it was purchased as an investment,” said Ted Kleinman who lives next door to the property and vocalized concerns about water, both supply and stormwater management. “The flow of water from the Pointy Head property is onto my land. If the applicant’s plan is wrong, it’s going to affect my land. 

“She never approached us,” he added. “She never told us what she was planning. That is not how a good neighbor behaves.” 

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.