Dave Keshler is facing opposition from the public as he attempts to secure village approval for an RV park in Sylvan Beach, N.Y., according to the Oneida Daily Dispatch. The village is located on the east end of Oneida Lake, northeast of Syracuse.
His proposal, submitted on March 22, resulted in a special meeting by the village planning board Monday (April 5). Keshler presented his proposed project with the aid of a preliminary blueprint to the board and a full room of residents while fielding questions from both.
The 60-site RV park would sit on 5 1/2 acres and be situated behind the Blue Lagoon Miniature Golf Course, a three-year old business Keshler owns.
Among features of the park:
- Only RVs would be allowed in the park while tents and temporary and permanent structural add-ons to RVs will be prohibited. Boats and motorcycles will not be allowed in the park, and a maximum of five guests will be allowed on each site.
- Lots would vary in size from 1,500 to more than 2,000 square feet. Only 16 of the 60 sites will be seasonal; the remaining sites will be reserved on a daily basis. The park will be open from May 1 to Columbus Day, Keshler said.
- Water, sewer, electric and Internet access will be available at each site, he said.
- The camp would be accessible via 16th Avenue with a 20-foot-wide, blacktop road in and out.
- Trees and shrubs will be planted to create a buffer around the park, and possibly fencing, Keshler said. Besides short lighting to illuminate site markers, Keshler said no additional street lights or intrusive lighting will be added to the park.
- No additional building structures will be required either. Keshler said the park will need to be manned around the clock by at least one person and that attendant will be posted most likely in the mini golf’s office.
Other restrictions like a 7 mph speed limit and a quiet time of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. have already been outlined.
“We heard some growling about some of the people who would be coming to the park,” Keshler said.
According to research done by Keshler, the majority of RV owners are older — 55-75 years old — and have an income between $50,000-100,000, which allows them to not only purchase an RV, but travel as well.
While some children may frequent the park, Keshler said he was confident that the majority of users would be older.
Campfires will be required to be contained within set fire pits and will follow New York state fire codes. Several residents expressed concern over the amount of smoke 60 campsites would produce. Fire code denotes that fires must be extinguished if there is a complaint, and Keshler agreed that the rule would be followed.
“Everyone in the village has campfires,” Keshler said. “It’s part of camping out.”
Besides lighting and campfires, residents brought up concerns about RV and foot traffic and the effect the park will have on the look of Main Street.
“From what I’ve heard, you do things right,” Trustee Greg Horan told Keshler at the board of trustee meeting before the planning board meeting. “That’s big. I think it’d be a good shot in the arm for businesses,” Horan said.
Keshler’s original plan for the property was to develop condos, but given the economic climate, he said it would not have been feasible.
Within walking distance to many businesses and restaurants, Keshler said he foresees the park having a positive impact on business.
“They all need the extra business,” Keshler said. “They’re all hurting.”
The planning board has 62 days to schedule a public hearing on the proposal. Within an additional 62 days following the hearing, board members are required to make a decision. Their recommendation will be passed on to the zoning board of appeals, which will follow a similar process and pass its recommendation on to the village board of trustees.
The board of trustees will have the final decision on the project. Currently, the planning board has not scheduled a public hearing.