Northgate Resort Ventures wants to purchase Camp Emerson in Hinsdale (Massachusetts) and transform it into a seasonal RV park, but before they can proceed, they will need to obtain a special permit from the town’s zoning board for the project to move.
According to a report, Northgate representatives shared their plans for the property at Tuesday night’s zoning board meeting. Plans include expanding the existing camp to allow for over 300 RV spaces.
“This proposal would bring good jobs to the town, geographically contained responsible development, and significant financial benefits for members of the town and the community,” said Jeff Scrimo, attorney for Northgate.
Many of the residents protested against the plan. One of the main issues was safety, as more RVs would be traveling through the town’s rural roads.
“They’re not going to know how to drive the narrow, curvy, hilly roads,” said Dick Roussin, a Hinsdale resident. “They’re not going to know how to dodge the potholes on Michaels Rd.”
It is also whether the RV park is allowed according to the town’s zoning laws which authorize special permissions for summer camps but not campgrounds.
Some residents have argued that what Northgate is proposing does not fit what is considered a summer camp, which, they claimed, should only be camps for kids during summer vacation.
“They can’t really claim that they are a summer camp because the only similarity between them is the word ‘camp‘ in ‘summer camp,’ and the word ‘camp‘ in ‘campground,'” said Eric Goidel, who lives down the street from Camp Emerson.
“The attorney might say they’re synonymous; they’re interchangeable,” said Hinsdale resident Duane Bruce. “I would like to submit that these terms are not synonymous, that it would be an abuse of language to use them interchangeably.”
The board didn’t vote on the plan Tuesday night but instead opted to hold a public hearing on December 14.