Lake George Park Wants to Add 88 Sites

March 18, 2013 by · Comments Off on Lake George Park Wants to Add 88 Sites 

One of the seasonal sites at Ledge View RV Park.

The town board in Queensbury, N.Y., is pursuing two changes to zoning that would enable Ledge View RV Park to add about 88 seasonal campsites to the park off Route 149, which now has 150 sites.

Patty Green, the park’s co-owner, said the additional sites would enable the park to expand its clientele of primarily long-term campers who come from Florida to spend May through Columbus Day in the region, the Glens Falls Post Star reported.

“It’s not for tent camping anymore. It’s luxury homes on wheels,” she said March 11 at a town board workshop.

Green said the expansion is not intended to compete with Lake George RV Park or the proposed Chocolate Moose Campground.

Those parks, she said, focus mostly on families, who stay for short periods of time.

The proposed expansion, like the campsites, would be open seasonally, with some RVs being stored during the winter but not used.

The RV park is separate from a next-door mobile home park the family also operates.

For the owner to move forward with the expansion, the board must approve a change in zoning on 43 acres of land to the east of the RV park to match the park’s zoning classification.

A portion of the 43 acres would be left as open space.

The board also must change language in its zoning code that limits campground use to no more than 120 consecutive days and no more than 200 days in a calendar year.

The RV park is exempt from the town restriction because it existed before the regulation was put in place.

The Adirondack Park Agency will have to approve the time restriction change, even though the campground is outside the Adirondack Park, because other campgrounds in town, which will be affected by the change, are in the park, said Craig Brown, the town’s zoning administrator.

The language might have to stipulate the change applies only to campgrounds outside the Adirondack Park, he said.

Board members said they are agreeable to the proposed changes.

The board will schedule a public hearing on the proposed changes at a future meeting.



Goodbye, Chocolate Moose; Hello, Moose Hillock

December 19, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

A large new campground along Route 149 near Fort Ann, N.Y., may be a reality after all, after plans to build the Chocolate Moose Campground fell through.

The Fort Ann site where the Chocolate Moose Campground was proposed has changed hands, and its new owners are planning to open the Moose Hillock Campground at that site in 2014, the Glens Falls Post-Star reported.

Joe Paradis, of Moose Hillock Campground in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, said his parents’ campground business has “grown tremendously,” and they decided to open a second campground in the Adirondacks.

“We had been looking at property for a long time, and my parents decided to open a new place in the Adirondacks. It’s a beautiful place over that way,” Paradis said. “Camping is our life. It’s what we do best.”

Work is already under way at the site to clear the recreation, playground areas and the campsites. The Fort Ann site will be called Moose Hillock Campground – NY, and Paradis’ brother, Ed Jr., will help develop and manage that site, Joe Paradis said.

Ed and Robin Paradis opened the New Hampshire campground in 1986, and had been looking for property for a second location for a while, Ed Paradis said.

It will likely be similar to the existing campground in New Hampshire, though the New York property is larger than that one, Paradis said.

“We developed the idea originally in New Hampshire, and we want to use the idea we have there and give it a little bit of a different theme, a different twist,” Ed Paradis said. “We’ve had success in New Hampshire doing something out of the ordinary.”

According to the company’s website, the New Hampshire campground has tent and recreational vehicle sites, as well as “rustic” cabins and cabin suites. Cabins are planned for the new campground in the future, but those won’t be available right away, Ed Paradis said.

According to Washington County property transactions, Vincent Pagliaro sold the Fort Ann property to Moose Hillock Campground NY LLC for $825,000 in November.

Vincent and Donna Pagliaro had proposed the Chocolate Moose Campground for the 180-acre property near the intersection of Route 149 and Tripoli Road. After four years of planning and work, financing issues and delays, the Pagliaros decided to nix the project and sell the property, they wrote in an email to The Post-Star in February.

The couple had a difficult time convincing a lender to help finance the project. Acquiring all of the necessary permits and approvals for the project, including the Fort Ann Planning Board, the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Transportation, was also a lengthy process. Those approvals and permits remain in place at the property, Ed Paradis said.

The Pagliaros were approved for around 500 RV and tent sites, though this campground won’t likely have that many sites, to keep individual sites larger and more private. The owners plan to target a season that would run from mid-May to mid-October, and estimate the park will employ somewhere between 25 and 40 people.

The main complex will include a store and cafe, which will overlook a swimming pool with water slides and waterfalls. A recreation hall will be available for indoor activities, Ed Paradis said.

“Our goal is that families spend time together when they’re on vacation,” Ed Paradis said. “They’re busy 51 weeks of the year.”


Chocolate Moose Campground Construction Delayed

June 9, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Weather delays construction

Construction has not resumed this spring at the Chocolate Moose Campground near Fort Ann, N.Y.

The campground is the largest RV park ever proposed in the Adirondack Park, the Glens Falls Post-Star reported.

Owner Donna Pagliaro said “excessive weather and personal issues” have shifted the time line, though a 2012 opening is still planned for the business, which is located along state Route 149.

“Winter never left, and spring was nothing but wet,” she said, adding that she doesn’t want to compromise the plans by taking shortcuts. Pagliaro would not comment further on the delay.

Chocolate Moose would be the largest campground in the Adirondack Park, with more than 500 RV and tent sites on 180 acres. The camp, as proposed, was expected create about 100 jobs.

Dawnn Johnston, owner of Hillbilly Fun Park on the other side of Route 149 from the proposed campsite, said her customers are curious about the project, and her employees are fielding a lot of questions about it.

“There’s not one day that goes by that one of my customers doesn’t ask what’s going on,” Johnston said.

She has not been able to reach Pagliaro to get clarification on the status of the campground but said she hopes it moves forward after all the interest shown by the community.

The high-profile project encountered resistance during the permitting process with local, state and Adirondack Park agencies, which raised concerns about traffic. Following two years of back-and-forth with officials and an outpouring of public support, the campground was approved last fall.

Excavation work began shortly thereafter and continued until winter.

Last year, before complications altered the timing, the owners said they hoped half the sites would be ready by this summer, with a full opening by 2012.

A message left for Fort Ann Supervisor Gayle Hall was not immediately returned Wednesday.

510-Site New York Campground Gets OK

October 25, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

New York Congressman Scott Murphy announced that the Chocolate Moose Campground in Fort Ann has received final Adirondack Park Agency (APA) approval to move forward with construction.

The Fort Ann planning board and New York State Department of Transportation had already approved the project, but the campground needed APA approval in order to move forward. Due to the positive economic development impact the project would have on the region, Murphy intervened on behalf of the Chocolate Moose Campground, urging the APA to grant approval for the project. The camp will create more than 100 seasonal jobs in Washington County and anticipates opening in 2011, according to a news release.

“Tourism plays an important role in the Upstate New York economy, and the Chocolate Moose Campground will have a positive impact on the overall industry,” said Murphy. “In addition to creating a large number of jobs, the campground will attract many visitors to our region, increasing revenues for our local businesses, including restaurants and tourist attractions. This is a great project, and with the APA’s approval, the Pagliaros’ vision will continue to move forward.”

“We are very thankful to Scott Murphy for stepping in to help us out with the approval process when we needed it,” said Donna Pagliario. “With this final approval now granted, we can begin work on the construction phase of the project, which when completed, will be the most state of the art campground in the region. We’ve already received job applications from residents in the Fort Ann area, and are excited to contribute to the economic development of the region.”

The Chocolate Moose Campground will be located along Route 149 near Tripoli Road. The full-service park would feature 510 RV and tent sites on 180 acres. Murphy worked with Vinny and Donna Pagliaro, sending a letter to the APA earlier this month urging them to move forward with the project:

Support Grows for New York Campground

April 30, 2010 by · Comments Off on Support Grows for New York Campground 

The Fort Ann, N.Y., planning board showed its support on recently for a campground project that has been held up in the permitting process because of traffic concerns.

For more than a year, Vinny and Donna Pagliaro have been mired in discussions with the Adirondack Park Agency, state Department of Transportation and Fort Ann Planning Board about whether the proposed Chocolate Moose Campground would exacerbate traffic along the heavily traveled Route 149 near Tripoli Road, according to the Glen Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star.

The full-service campground would feature 500 sites, most of them RV sites, on 180 acres.

Concerns from the permitting agencies have focused on an increase in pedestrians and vehicles at the intersection, which has been the site of many accidents.

Over the years, Fort Ann has unsuccessfully petitioned the New York Transportation Department for a speed limit reduction or a stoplight. There is currently a flashing yellow light and a 55 mph speed limit, followed by a blind curve to the west with a reduced speed.

On the issue of pedestrian safety, the agencies at one point suggested the Pagliaros build a pedestrian bridge or a tunnel between the campground and the Hillbilly Fun Park across the road to prevent crossings by foot.

The couple rejected that idea, saying it was not their responsibility.

At a recent meeting, Pagliaro said the camp would put in place rules prohibiting campers from crossing N.Y. 149 or Tripoli. Security would enforce the policy, he said.

The board agreed that a bridge was not reasonable, and that the policy should satisfy their concerns about foot traffic.

Planning board member Ron Jeckel asked for confirmation that an insurance company would insure the camp’s rules.

“I’m all for this project, but we have to do our due diligence just like you do,” he said.

The board was split over the issue of vehicle traffic into and out of the park.

Planning Board Chairman Howard Dennison acknowledged that the intersection has been problematic for years, but said the planning board still has to consider whether the campground would make the situation worse.

“There is a need for a traffic study, in my opinion, to show the ingress and egress will be safe,” Dennison said. “With a positive traffic study, I would have no qualms saying the project was great and there will be no issues.”

Engineers for the town and the campground estimated that such a study would take one to two months to complete.

An exasperated Pagliaro said he could not continue to spend money on the project with no clear indication whether it would ever be built.

“Every time we present something, it’s something else,” he said after the traffic study was proposed. “If it is not going to happen, I want to get out. I’ve sunk $1 million into this already and the well is going dry.”

Pagliaro’s attorney and engineer noted that the transportation department is already asking that the project meet the most stringent sight distance requirements for the entrance, which can be accomplished with the removal of six trees in the state’s right-of-way.

Mark Rehm, the attorney for Chocolate Moose, said the campground needed the board’s support to move forward with permitting at the Adirondack Park Agency and state levels. The state agencies are awaiting feedback before moving forward with their permitting processes.

When verbally polled, the other board members unanimously expressed their support of the project and said the applicant should not be asked to provide a traffic study.

“They’ve done everything they could,” board member William Holman said. “Maybe it will be so busy (at the campground) that traffic will be stopped on Route 149.”

Many of the 40 or so people in attendance clapped and cheered after comments in favor of the project, which is expected to bring more than 100 jobs to the area.

While the planning board did not approve any of the project plans, it volunteered to take the lead among the various agencies involved.

The board also agreed to send a letter to the transportation department, asking for a speed reduction or other change at the intersection.

At the next meeting on May 17, the board is expected to open the project to public comment, after which point board members will have 60 days to make a decision.