RANGELEY – Youth camps were overlooked when Rangeley’s zoning plan was created because none existed at the time, planning board Chairman Bob Silvia said.
This could be a problem for Rangeley landowners Mary and Hermie Glick, mother and son, who hope to build a summer camp on Round Pond.
“I’d like you to come up with a good argument (before the next planning board meeting) why we should keep looking at this instead of denying it because it’s not a use that is allowable,” Silvia told Tom Dubois of Main Land Development Consultants of Livermore Falls. Dubois represented the Glicks, who are based in New York, on Wednesday at the Rangeley Planning Board Meeting.
Dubois gave the board and community members an update on plans for Camp Rangeley, which, if approved, would be built on 41 acres of the 372 acres owned by the Glicks off the Dodge Road. The boys-and-girls camp would include numerous cabins, a two-story building to house a gymnasium with a stage, arts and crafts area and library, and a separate dining hall. Sports facilities include fields for soccer, football, baseball and softball, an archery range, volleyball court, basketball and tennis courts and a pool among other facilities. Because the camp will climb nearly 300 feet in elevation in its entirety, a great deal of earth-moving would have to be done to make flat surfaces.
The camp would house up to 400 campers and 200 staff and counselors for a seven-week session.
Board member Joe George suggested that the Glicks set aside money in an escrow account that the board could use to hire experts to do water quality and environmental impact studies. Dubois pointed out that the project and plans still need to be reviewed by the Department of Environmental Protection, but Silvia said he would like to see an environmental impact study in addition.
“I’d like to see what impact there will be on the fishery there,” he said, adding that the area planned for the camp is near one of the largest deer-wintering yards in Rangeley. Nesting loons are another concern.
Dubois said he and the Glicks discussed wildlife issues with Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the plan for the camp was altered to make sure that development would take place in areas that had already been disturbed by logging.
Town Manager Perry Ellsworth advised Dubois that impact studies would eventually also have to be done to ensure that roads are adequate for additional traffic and to alert the transfer station, fire and rescue, police and ambulance on how they will be affected.