Why a group is fighting plans for new glamping campground

Why a group is fighting plans for new glamping campground

SANFORD, Maine — A newly formed organization is dedicating its efforts to attempting to stop a second campground from opening on Sand Pond in Sanford.

Sand Pond resident Brian Dumont confirmed the state approved the new Sand Pond Association as an LLC. According to Dumont, the group’s first effort is to prevent local landowner Michael Patterson from building a new “glamping” campground with cabins and 30 RV lots on about 10 of 113 acres he owns on the east side of the pond.

“We’re up and running,” Dumont said. “We’re meeting frequently right now.”

Local landowner Michael Patterson is pursuing his vision for a new campground near Sand Pond in Sanford, Maine.

The association has approximately 50 members so far, according to Dumont. In the weeks to come, the group will recruit new members, drawing from a petition that Dumont started against the Patterson project and reaching out to the community.

“We’re expecting a lot more, once we have our website up, and it becomes easy to sign up,” he said.

Brian Dumont, seen here at his home at Sand Pond in Sanford, Maine, is the president of the newly formed Sanford Pond Association, LLC, which is engaged in efforts to prevent a local landowner from building a new campground at the pond.

Brian Dumont, seen here at his home at Sand Pond in Sanford, Maine, is the president of the newly formed Sanford Pond Association, LLC, which is engaged in efforts to prevent a local landowner from building a new campground at the pond.

The website is sandpondassociation.org. To date, the online petition has more than 1,050 signatures, according to Dumont.

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Landowner calls proposed campground his dream

Patterson, who also lives at Sand Pond, appeared before the city’s Site Plan Review Committee with his proposal earlier this month. In an email on March 13, he said he’s changing his plans regarding the cabins he hopes to install near the shore. He also said he is modifying the proposed layout to make it easier for fire engines to reach the site via Siddal Road.

Landowner Michael Patterson is proposing to build a campground on acreage he owns near Sand Pond in south Sanford.

Landowner Michael Patterson is proposing to build a campground on acreage he owns near Sand Pond in south Sanford.

Given opposition to the project and the changes he needs to make, the city is holding off on putting his project on the agenda for an upcoming Planning Board meeting, Patterson said.

“There’s a bit of back-and-forth right now,” he added.

Patterson, who is retired after a career spent in the software industry, said he has long dreamed of opening a campground. He has a blog and a YouTube page, where he posts details about his project and updates.

Landowner Michael Patterson is proposing to build a campground on acreage he owns near Sand Pond in south Sanford.

Landowner Michael Patterson is proposing to build a campground on acreage he owns near Sand Pond in south Sanford.

Patterson said he is not seeking any variances at his site, which means his project will only work its way through the city’s planning process and will not go before voters during an upcoming election.

Patterson said the campground he hopes to build would resemble two other ones in the city, Purposely Lost, with its tree houses and Hobbit homes on Littlefield Pond in Springvale, and Huttopia Southern Maine, with its “glamping” sites on the western side of Sand Pond.

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Neighbors explain why they plan to fight project

For Dumont and others, the Huttopia site is enough.

“We already have a large campground on Sand Pond,” Dumont said. “We are not anti-business. We just want the Maine way of life continued.”

The mission of the Sand Pond Association is to “restore, protect and responsibly enjoy Sand Pond within the Great Works Watershed,” according to Dumont.

Dumont said that he and others have long considered forming an association for the pond, as other residents around other bodies of water have done. He added that now seemed to be the right time to establish one.

“For sure, the Patterson project has been a catalyst,” Dumont said.

Dumont expressed concern about how Patterson would manage a campground and ensure safety and security there.

“Mike Patterson comes from a tech background, and not a hospitality background,” Dumont said. “That concerns us.”

Dumont said the association is mainly opposing Patterson’s plan for a campground because of the concerns it raises regarding potential noise, pollution, overcrowding, and overall impact on the environment at the pond.

“There are just a lot of questions that are not answered in this plan,” Dumont said. “We’re serious about making sure we hand off to the next generation a Sand Pond that is as beautiful as it has always been.”

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Group fights new campground to preserve ‘Maine way of life’

from www.yahoo.com Source link

[2024-03-18 01:36:00

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