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Mayfield Residents Raise Traffic Concerns on Proposed RV park

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Following two canceled Mayfield Town Planning Board (New York) meetings, residents were given a chance to make comments to the Board on Wednesday evening concerning a proposed RV Park.

According to a report, residents flocked to the Mayfield Municipal Building, including homeowners of Woods Hollow Road, and the majority of them opposed an RV park proposed by Lane and Kalei Winney, who own the 84-acre property where the park will be constructed.

A common complaint was that the project would create too much traffic on Woods Hollow Road, an about two miles long dead-end road with many year-round residents.

One of the speakers, Karen Bruce, a nurse practitioner from Gloversville with a clinic in Broadalbin, said that she had been looking forward to moving to Mayfield. However, she is concerned that she may have to alter the plans she had in mind, especially if the RV park ruins the tranquility that she imagined seeing in Woods Hollow Road.

Bruce added that she believes that the increase in traffic could prove to be fatal, making the decision of the Planning Board one of death and life. She also said she had witnessed the tragic results of traffic accidents on the street firsthand and would rather not see one anymore.

“I’m usually the first responder, it usually takes EMS eight to ten minutes to get there, the sheriff usually gets there a little before that, but I’m there first,” she said, “and it’s horrible; it’s carnage, and it’s going to increase, there is no doubt in my mind, and this makes me very upset.”

The Planning Board became the lead agency for the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) procedure for the proposed RV park on October 20, 2021.

Wednesday night served as a public hearing for the SEQR procedure before the board decided on the issue of whether to announce that the project has an environmental impact, requiring the applicant to present plans to minimize the negative impact.

Fulton County Planning Director Sean Geraghty, a consultant who advises the board, informed the audience in advance that no decision was expected regarding the SEQR process on Wednesday night.

He also said that it wouldn’t be prudent for the board to listen to numerous feedback and then quickly decide in response to the input.

“What I want to get across to you is that this is the public hearing of the Planning Board, it’s not an opportunity to take shots at the Planning Board, and it’s not an opportunity to take shots at the applicant either,” Geraghty said. “It’s simply an opportunity for the Planning Board to ask you as the public to provide them some information about this project that they may or may not know.”

Travis Mitchell of the engineering firm Environmental Design Partnership, which is working on behalf of the Winneys, presented an approximately 20-minute presentation at the start of the meeting. He discussed various elements of the plan and tried to address some of the questions people have asked about the project.

The development aims to create an RV park and a campground experience in The Great Sacandaga Lake.

The campground would comprise RV lots, glamping, tents, restroom and shower facilities, playgrounds and picnic pavilions, an amphitheater, swimming pool, boat rentals, dock systems, boat launch, boat slips, and beach access.

Mitchell said the Town of Mayfield permits RV parks with a site plan review by the Planning Board and the board’s approval of a special permit. He said the park conforms with Mayfield’s 2013 Comprehensive Plan.

“There was a focus in there, just what we’re proposing—an RV park for tourism,” Mitchell said.

“One of the top priorities in the town’s Comprehensive Plan was to look for and seek out a site for an RV park close to The Great Sacandaga Lake. If you look at the Town of Mayfield and its access to The Great Sacandaga, this is one of the only sites that meet that objective. Of course, I understand, nobody wants it in their backyard, but it is, for the size of the project, very well screened, and there are no neighbors on three of the four sides.”

Mitchell also added that the suggested RV park would include 277 spaces for large RVs, which he says is roughly one-third of what the zoning allows.

Mitchell said the application process for the RV park started in February 2021.

Should the Town Planning Board allow the project to proceed following the SEQR process and gives it a permit, the applicant will require approvals from the Adirondack Park Agency, state Department of Health, state Department of Environmental Conservation, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, a Hudson River Black River Regulating District Beach Permit, as well as a work permit from the state Department of Transportation and a National Grid Utility Corridor Crossing.

Many residents, including Don Henderson and Christine Goosens, criticized the traffic study conducted for the project and called it insufficient.

Henderson claimed that this study took place during spring in 2018 and should be conducted in the peak traffic season during the summer to understand better how risky attracting numerous RVs into the area could be.

Henderson acknowledged that there are always trade-offs in economic development and said he isn’t sure there are any full-time jobs generated from the proposed RV park.

“If this isn’t going to benefit the people of Fulton County, what is it going to bring? Dangerous intersections,” he said.

However, a few speakers favored the plan, such as town resident Willam Defoe. He argued that the project would increase the town’s tax base and generate sales tax, ultimately reducing property taxes for residents like him.

Town resident David Bayes said he thinks an RV park that has 277 slots is better than constructing a bigger campground for a lot of smaller vehicles and is a fan of the idea because of this reason.

Geraghty said that the Planning Board has already received 30 letters about the proposed RV park, including letters of support from Fulton County Center of Regional Growth and the Fulton Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. He said the board will receive letters from the public regarding the matter until January 28.

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