Plans for a proposed recreational vehicle (RV) park in Waldoboro, Maine, have been withdrawn after facing significant local opposition. Cheryl Moir, the owner of Country Critters Campground in Tennessee, had initially intended to purchase a plot of land near Route 1 and Main Street for the RV park. However, she has since decided to pull the plans due to community backlash.
According to a report by Bangor Daily News, Moir chose Waldoboro, a town of just over 5,000 residents, for the campground because she had previously stayed there as a traveling nurse and loved the community.
After consulting with the visitor center in Portland, which confirmed the need for an RV park in the area, Moir proceeded to look into the property on 220 Main Street.
Despite the apparent need for an RV park, the proposed location was met with resistance from local residents. The property is situated in the middle of a residential neighborhood, which led to objections from community members.
Among the vocal opponents was Jesse Groth-Kennard, a property owner adjacent to the proposed campground site.
Groth-Kennard emphasized that the neighborhood is quiet and mostly inhabited by older individuals. “This would be a perfect location because it’s so close to Route 1,” said Groth-Kennard.
“Every other campground they’ve ever gone to, they’ve had to drive a few miles off Route 1. Well, that’s for a reason. That’s because we don’t put campgrounds in people’s backyards.”
A Change of Heart
Moir, acknowledging the community’s concerns, stated that she does not want to open a campground where the neighbors are opposed to it.
Although the planning board had already approved the project, Moir informed the Waldoboro city planner that she would be withdrawing her plans.
Moir’s decision highlights the critical role that community input plays in the planning and execution of such projects. “They don’t appreciate it in that particular spot,” Moir said. “I’m not going to have neighbors unhappy; there are plenty of places that are happy to have a campground next door.”
Not Giving Up on Waldoboro
Interestingly, Moir has not entirely ruled out Waldoboro as a potential location for a future campground. She expressed her gratitude to the community for allowing open dialogue about the project.
“I’d like to thank the community for allowing us this opportunity to talk with them, because it’s a good community,” she added.
Lessons for Prospective Campground Owners
For those looking to venture into the campground business, this case serves as a cautionary tale. It underscores the importance of not only assessing the logistical and financial aspects of a project but also taking into account the social and community factors that can make or break a venture.
While the planning board had initially approved Moir’s project, the subsequent withdrawal might bring to light the need for more comprehensive community consultations before approving similar projects.
As the demand for RV parks and campgrounds continues to grow, especially in scenic areas like Waldoboro, it remains to be seen how communities and prospective owners can find a middle ground that serves both parties’ interests.
As prospective campground owners, it’s crucial to engage with the local community early in the planning stages to gauge sentiment and adjust plans accordingly.