TREMONT — The Tremont Planning Board on Monday approved an application for James and Kenya Hopkins to construct a 55-site glampground on Tremont Road.
In September, members of the Planning Board decided the updated plan for a 55-site glampground was a modification of an original application and would be allowed to proceed.
The original proposed plan for the 42-acre parcel at 661 Tremont Road was for a 154-site campground that would include 72 RV sites, 42 cabins and 40 tenting sites. After meeting with neighbors over the summer, representatives of the project reduced the number of sites to 55 permanent structures in an effort to reduce the traffic impact.
Planning Board members began the campground’s final application and site plan review at their regular Oct. 26 meeting. That meeting was continued on Oct. 27, which then carried over to Nov. 1. The final meeting drew a virtual crowd of 37 people.
“This has been a really thorough, intense process that has required an amazing amount of resources from the applicant, from the community, from the abutters and from our town staff including Jesse [Dunbar] wearing multiple hats. I’d just like to thank everybody involved. It’s made me proud to be a Tremont resident,” said Planning Board Vice Chair Lawson Wulsin.
After meetings totaling 15 hours, the board completed its findings of fact and made the final determination of approval, with conditions. Those conditions include that approximately 20 acres of land to the north of AWL will be maintained as undeveloped open space for a minimum of five years, the AWL onsite campground amenities will be open only during business hours and not to the public, no RVs and no generators are to be used at the campground, only smokeless fire units are to be used at the campground and the applicant will schedule with the code enforcement officer monthly inspections during construction.
The final Planning Board vote was 3-0-1, with one member absent. Planning Board Member Beth Gott did not vote as she was recused due to conflict of interest and member Geof Young was not able to attend the meeting as he was away on vacation.
On behalf of the Hopkinses, attorney Andy Hamilton of Eaton Peabody thanked the board members and all the individuals who participated in the proceedings. “I really appreciate your efforts for hanging with us through this process. It’s been pretty extraordinary on the part of the town staff, residents of the town and the applicants. I’m sure it’s not over, but this has been a meaningful step,” he said.
An attorney representing a group called Concerned Tremont Residents (CTR), Amy Tchao of Drummond Woodsum, also wanted to thank the board on behalf of the CTR. “Clearly this was a long proceeding. You all hung in and gave it a lot of effort,” she said.
Tremont Planning Board Chair Mark Good said that it was a long process and a difficult decision to make.
“I wish I had this real inspirational speech to give, but at 11:13 on a Monday night, I have a 7 a.m. call, I don’t have it in me right now,” said Planning Board member Brett Witham.
Members of the CTR are planning to meet this week to discuss if they want to appeal the approval.