A campground featuring treehouses and glamping facilities could soon be coming to Ellsworth (Maine).
According to a report, three men–two from Montana and one from Otter Creek and Stony Brook, New York–have presented to the city Planning Board a sketch plan proposal for Dawnland Campground, a $1.2 million development on Bucksport Road.
The park would include twelve treehouses, six tents, and up to four sites to connect to a camper trailer or a tiny home.
“We may end up doing less [sites] than that,” said Tim Stone, a high school history and religion teacher and summer resident of Otter Creek who plans to move there full time whether the project moves forward or not. “One of our obstacles right now is whether we’d have to pave the road or not. If we have to pave the road, we won’t be doing it there.”
Another issue is the construction of a mile-plus road around the 62-acre site.
“This is a complicated factor we haven’t exactly figured out,” Stone said. “We’re in conversation with MDOT. There was a road [the property owners] used for access, but I don’t believe they had a permit for that.”
Permission rests on when the parcel was subdivided, Stone noted, before or after 2002. “If it was after, then we can’t do it,” he said.
Stone stated that he, along with his partners, believes that the sketch plan meeting with Planning Board should provide them with enough confidence to move forward–or not.
“We’re just trying to get a general level of confidence that something we’re doing is something the township will accept,” Stone noted. “Right now, everything is tentative. We’ve run into a lot of different hurdles, so we’ll see what happens.”
The property is situated in the rural zone close to the Orland town border and is owned by Orland residents Kevin and Jane Hopkins.
A signed purchase agreement lists April 12 for payment and closing on the property for a $125,000 sale price.
If approved, construction will start this year, with six glamping sites and up to four tiny/trailer home hook-up sites.
The first campsite would be located 900 feet from Bucksport Road. Stone explained that the site was constructed to allow neighbors as much buffer space as possible from the campsite.
“Our vision is to develop as low-impact and as low-density as possible in order to preserve the natural character of the land and provide guests a peaceful, solitary experience,” the plan summary notes.
The glamping tents will sit on a 0.75-acre site and include wooden floors, a deck, a kitchenette, and a bathroom.
The tiny houses/trailer sites will be situated on approximately 2 acres. The 12 treehouses are expected to be built along 33 acres during the second phase. Each site will be equipped with its own septic system. Well(s) and two cisterns will supply water, and a new septic leach field will be constructed.
The meeting on April 6 begins at 5:45 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall and can be seen on the city of Ellsworth’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Remote participation is also permitted, with information posted at www.ellsworthmaine.gov or the City of Ellsworth Facebook page posted by noon on the day of the meeting.
This story originally appeared on The Ellsworth American.