RV Park Owners Agree to Amend Expansion Plan
The owners of Coos Canyon Campground near Byron, Maine, and their project engineer agreed Thursday night (Aug. 18) to revamp their plan for expanding the operation in hopes of getting it approved.
Three court-appointed planning officials from Hanover, Stratton and Albion sat in the stifling-hot schoolhouse reviewing the project's plans and the town's 2007 campground ordinance. Their goal was to approve Roger and Judy Boucher's application for the expansion, with or without conditions, or to deny it, the Sun Journal, Lewiston, reported.
William Brogan, of Falmouth, was present to help walk the planning officials through the project. Brogan is representing the Bouchers as their project engineer.
The previous mediation meetings had tense moments and this one was no different. A group of citizens from Byron is against the expansion project. The discussion at times went off topic with citizens expressing concerns over the existing campground. At times harsh words were exchanged between the opposing sides. The planning officials worked to keep the questions focused on the project.
The panel used the town's 2007 campground ordinance to make sure the project's plans met all requirements, including drainage, protecting wetlands, roads and signage. A 2008 ordinance was not used due to a lawsuit the Bouchers filed against the town. Previously Judy Boucher had said she believed the 2008 ordinance was thrown out because the judge thought it was biased.
The planning officials, John Gauthier, Peter Farnsworth and Bill Najpauer, agreed that the 2007 ordinance was flawed. They struggled throughout the night to work around the issues caused by the ordinance.
The officials discussed at length about conditions for the plan and if the ordinance allowed such waivers. After 3 1/2 hours, the planners asked the project manager and the Bouchers to amend the plan with certain features, including changing the map to show general picnic tables, reconfiguring two campsites on the grounds and changing the nighttime noise rule from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Judy Boucher said she felt with the court-appointed planning officials there was fairness to the application process. "It's been difficult dealing with the town but I am still hopeful," she said.
The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 31, at the schoolhouse in Byron.