Maine Park Neighbors Oppose RV Dump Plan

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July 10, 2008 by   - () Leave a Comment

Property owners abutting Lamoine State Park north of Bar Harbor, Maine, are upset about a plan to create an RV dumping station near the park entrance.
The disposal site across the driveway from the main entry building would be used by recreational vehicles to empty holding tanks that store wastewater from toilets, showers and sinks, according to the Ellsworth (Maine) American.
The plan by the state Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands, also includes a 30 by 40, open-sided pavilion and an adjacent paved parking area for 18 cars.
The 55-acre oceanfront park has a 61-site campground, picnic area, boat launching ramp, saltwater fishing pier, children’s playground, hot showers and flush toilets.
Abutting property owners were notified two weeks in advance about a planning board meeting on the issue July 1. That meeting was so heated that the planning board has scheduled a special meeting on the topic July 14.
Gordon Donaldson, vice chairman of the planning board, said the rules are that all abutting landowners for a project must be notified within two weeks of the public hearing, which they were.
The dump station will include a collection area leading to a 1,500-gallon septic tank. The tank would be adjacent to the main road for easy collection of septic waste disposal. The new parking area and pavilion would be located on a hillside below the playground.
Eric Hartman, who lives across the road from the park, said none of the projects is appropriate to the park’s size.
“It’s a beautiful, pastoral park,” he said. “This is the last piece of undeveloped shorefront in the park and they want to put in a paved parking lot when there is already an endless amount of parking.”
Will Harris, director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands, said the department did its due diligence by first meeting with the planning board last February. He said there have been other meetings with the board since that time to insure that the plan complies with local permitting requirements.
Funding for the project, estimated at $167,000, was made possible by a $7.5-million bond issue approved by voters last year to improve the state parks.
Among other planned projects at state parks, Harris said, are six new playgrounds, four group shelters, including the pavilion in Lamoine, and restroom, water and septic upgrades at a variety of parks.
There are 12 state parks in Maine, and Harris said Lamoine is one of only four without a dumping station. Two of the four — Aroostock State Park in Presque Isle and Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal — are slated to have dumping stations installed. A third, Warren Island State Park, is only accessible by private boat and is restricted to tenting only.
Harris said the bureau has found that the RV community expects the convenience of a dumping station and that there has been talk of doing this for sometime.
And, at least for the moment, the plan will go forth with construction beginning in October, he said.
“We complied with all of the ordinances,” Harris said. “We’re not trying to be bad neighbors, but we do have a park system to run.
“We can still listen to concerns and try to allay fears and reason with folks, but at this point I think we’re pretty much in a moving ahead mode,” he said.

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