At its Nov. 12 meeting, even as it took several steps toward making long-awaited changes to the town’s zoning code to clarify definitions of such terms as “campground,” “lodging facility” and “resort,” the Gardiner (N.Y.) Town Board also bought itself a little more time to polish the proposed new law, according to Hudson Valley One.
The board voted unanimously to extend the current moratorium on accepting applications for “certain tourism-related land uses,” which was set to expire on Dec. 31, for an additional three months, until March 31. Town supervisor Marybeth Majestic described the extension as “a fail-safe, in case we have to make revisions to the draft.”
The meeting served as the first of two sessions of a public hearing on the proposed Local Law to Amend Chapters 220 and 200 of the town code “Regulating Certain Tourism-Related Accommodation Uses.”
Questions about how the proposed changes in the law would impact the existing Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, located in the Tuthilltown hamlet, were much on the minds of Gardiner residents who turned up for the public hearing, some of whom have come before the board multiple times in the past to complain about noise and other issues related to campground and water park activities.
While part of the campground is grandfathered under the old law, since it was first built in 1969 and received a special use permit from the ZBA in 2005, several residential buildings — at 30, 36 and 46 Bevier Road — were added to the resort more recently. Gardiner’s building inspector/code enforcement officer, Andy Lewis, issued a notice of violation in July citing their unauthorized use.
Under the proposed new law, a campground “shall not include sleeping accommodations for transient guests in permanent structures that are intended for year-round use.” Charles Gottlieb of Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, LLP, attorney for Lazy River Resorts, attended the public hearing to argue in favor of the entire property, both older and newer acreage, being included under a campground floating district as defined under the proposed new zoning.
This was one of several demands included in a letter that Gottlieb had submitted to the town board the day before the meeting, which Tuthilltown resident Ralph Erenzo characterized as “quite a laundry list of expansions.” With regard to the restrictions on year-round use of the recently acquired buildings, the letter argued in favor of a waiver for Lazy River, saying, “It would make little sense for the town to require the existing residences to be demolished to make way for camp units.”
Erenzo argued that the permanent structures should instead “be treated as accommodations, like an inn or lodge.”
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