Officials from Blue Water Development Corp. presented details of its proposed RV park resort and several residents expressed their strong opposition Wednesday (Feb. 23) during a 3-and-a-half-hour public hearing before the Preston (Conn.)Planning and Zoning Commission, according to Yahoo News.
The Maryland-based company has proposed the RV park and campground resort under the name Blue Camp CT LLC, on three parcels totaling 65 acres owned by the Mashantucket-Pequot Tribal Nation at the junction of routes 2 and 164 and abutting Avery Pond. The project would have a welcome center, three bathhouses, a swimming pool, volleyball, tennis, squash and bocce areas, a floating dock in Avery Pond and a 12-foot-wide boardwalk near the pond.
The PZC started its public hearing Wednesday, while the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission is in the process of its review of environmental issues pertaining to the project. The wetlands commission hearing will continue on March 1 at 7 p.m. at Preston Plains Middle School, and the PZC hearing will continue on March 22.
Residents along several side streets near Avery Pond have objected to the size and scope of the project and said they fear it would be detrimental to the shallow pond as a favored recreational fishing area. Flyers distributed with the title “No Blue Camp for Preston” listed several objection points and said the project “does not fit in with the character of Preston.”
Blue Water project attorney Harry Heller reviewed the town’s zoning regulations in detail and cited language in state statutes on criteria to be used to evaluate the project. He noted that the site is diagonally across from one of the world’s largest casinos and close to a hotel and other commercial development.
Heller said the town created the resort commercial zone along Route 2 years ago to take advantage of the development of Foxwoods Resort Casino, “and that is exactly what this project does.”
Heller told the PZC that the developer altered the original plan based on recommendations of the town’s consulting engineer to reduce encroachment on wetlands. The changes reduced the number of campsites from the original 304 to 302 — which elicited groans from some in the audience and prompted Heller to ask for courtesy during the group’s presentation.