Hinsdale Camp

A view of the 155-acre Camp Emerson property in Hinsdale, the proposed site of an RV park. On Tuesday, the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals rejected a special permit application from Northgate Resort Ventures LLC to transform the camp into one of its portfolio of RV destinations. Credit: GOOGLE EARTH

In the end, a “massive” plan to transform a family-owned summer camp into a national RV destination was deemed to be too much for a small town, according to The Berkshire Eagle.

The Hinsdale (Mass.) Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously Tuesday (Jan. 11) night to reject a special permit application filed by Northgate Resort Ventures LLC. The decision ends, for now, more than six months of public debate about the proposal’s impact on the Longview Avenue neighborhood surrounding Camp Emerson, and on the town as a whole.

Northgate has a right to appeal the decision. In early December, ZBA members sought, and secured, proof that the town of Hinsdale will defend them legally if they are named in litigation resulting from a denied application.

“To me, it’s a massive, massive development. It would be the biggest development in Hinsdale,” said Jeffrey Viner, the ZBA chairman.

The decision is a setback for the Lein family, which reached an agreement to sell the camp it had run for half a century, contingent on Northgate winning approval for its special permit to develop 317 RV campsites on the 155-acre property. The company runs nearly two dozen RV camping facilities around the country, many branded as Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.

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