Big Bay State Campground Proposed
If Jon Delli Priscoli gets his wish, more than 1,000 acres of his land in South Carver, Mass., will become an enhanced natural and environmentally attractive destination spot for campers.
Delli Priscoli is seeking to build a large upscale campground adjacent to Edaville USA, which he owns, according to The Carver Reporter.
He made a presentation of the concept phase of the project to the Industrial Development Committee (IDC) recently.
Despite the proposed expenditure of between $3 million and $6 million in constructions jobs to build the campground and the creation of dozens of seasonal jobs, many South Carver residents attended the IDC meeting and raised concerns over the placement of campsites, traffic from campers in close proximity to residences, trash, trail placement, benefits to the town, and operating seasons and hours.
Currently the land is zoned for tourism and recreation, but there is no bylaw governing campgrounds per se.
For a campground to be built, an applicant would need approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).
Delli Priscoli said the campground is designed to help enhance the Edaville attraction, which is located south of Boston.
He said he has always produced quality development, and he plans to do so in regard to the campground. This would just be an added use of the property.
He reiterated the project is still in a conceptual phase and would need special permitting from the town.
The core Edaville area would include expanded railroad tracks and a camping area for larger recreational vehicles.
The entire proposal consists of five camping areas, totaling between 550 and 650 sites, including an equestrian campground with an indoor arena that would be available year-round to equestrians, and plenty of riding and carriage driving trails.
There would be an area for tent sites, back-in and pull-through sites for popup campers and trailers, and permanent cottages for rent by the pond.
Delli Priscoli said he wants to rebuild the original loop of the railroad and also use a trolley system to connect all areas of the campground. The Edaville shops would be relocated.
He said bass fishing would be a main attraction at the park and plans to partner with large retailers of outdoor goods to provide the all-electric boats used for bass fishing.
The business, other than the equestrian portion, would be seasonal, running from April 15 to Oct. 31 with the bulk of the business to be in July and August. Access roads would be made of pervious surface and remain plowed in winter to allow ease of entry for emergencies.
IDC member Jim Grimes, who himself owns a campground, said he has heard concerns from abutters such as security issues and quiet times.
“They are thinking people will be walking around the campground late at night,” he said. But Delli Priscoli said all safety and security issues could be addressed by implementing a proper management system.
He said future community events on the property could include fishing derbies and other events since the proper insurance would already be in place for the campground.
He said all types of jobs for local residents would be created, including management, security, maintenance and food service jobs.
Delli Priscoli said the tourism industry is a good revenue avenue for the town. The economic impact, as well as the amount of land that would remain as open space, would be good for the town. He said he is interested in keeping the rural nature of the area and also helping to protect the surrounding environment.
He said he plans to be a good neighbor, as always, and would be willing to address concerns of the local residents. He also stated, “snowmobiles and quads will never be allowed,” alleviating some of the noise concerns of abutters.
It is projected that the first campers would be able to utilize the park by some time in 2010.
The Planning Board will hold a hearing on all the bylaws, including the proposed recreational campground bylaw, today (May 6).