Board Vote: No RV Park in Genesee County, N.Y.

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January 15, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

The Genesee County (N.Y.) Planning Board made a recommendation Thursday (Jan. 14) that the town of Oakfield reject a request to build a campground on Fox Road.

About 20 residents of Fox Road attended the meeting and spoke out against the plan. They cited an environmental assessment form that did not adequately address concerns over drainage, noise, traffic and the potential negative impact on their wells and property values, according to The Daily News, Batavia, N.Y.

Mike Dilcher has applied for a special use permit for a facility with an estimated 268 recreational vehicle campsites on a 30-acre parcel. The property was formerly Lions Club Park.

Local resident Mike Pedro said trying to put 268 RV camping spots on 30 acres was "ridiculous."

No other local camping facility has that type of density, he said. Skyline Campground in Darien has 170 sites on approximately 100 acres, Pedro said.

Pedro's wife, Pam, said her chief concerns were the safety of her children and privacy. The increased traffic would pose a risk for children who play in the area and adults who like to walk on the shoulder of the road, she said.

The town of Oakfield requires a 100-foot setback of campers from the edge of the property line.

"The campers will be able to look right into our back yard," she said.

County Planning Director Jim Duval said his department was not involved in the environmental review. That falls under the purview of the town, which has an engineering firm and its own attorney working on the environmental survey, he said.

The town board is the lead agency for the State Environmental Quality Review of the proposal, Duval said.

The application in front of county planners was for the initial part of a three-phase plan.

SEQR "has to take into account all three," Duval said.

The Genesee County Health Department and the state Department of Environmental Conservation would also have to review the plans to develop the Fox Road site, Duval said.

The campground is an allowed use on Fox Road — the property is zoned agricultural/residential — but approval is not automatic. That's why a special use permit is required, Duval said.

"I think our main concern is water," Fox Road resident Fred Oaksford said, because everyone in the area relies on wells.

The potential for wells running dry because of an increased draw of groundwater for the campground "scares the heck out of us," Oaksford said.

Resident Bob Chamberlain said he was concerned about an increased use of pesticides and an increase in traffic volume.

He said an estimated 30 or 40 cars per day may travel on the mile-long road. If there were two vehicles present at each camping spot that would mean an additional 560 vehicles per day, Chamberlain said.

"This residential road can't support that," he said.

The Genesee County Planning Board voted 8-0 to recommend the town reject proposed phase one of the campground. Board Chairman Mel Wentland said there were "too many inconsistencies" in the environmental assessment form that was part of Dilcher's application.

Planning Board member Mike Cianfrini abstained from the vote because he is an Oakfield town councilman. The Oakfield Town Board has final say on the matter and can override the county planners' decision with a majority-plus-one vote.

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