Under Canvas, the company proposing to open a “glamping” facility in Surry, offers a luxurious camping experience under its canvas tents. PHOTO COURTESY OF UNDER CANVAS

“Glampground” approved in Surry

SURRY — The Planning Board June 10 approved a “glampground” proposed for a parcel off the Surry Road on Patten Bay.

The development, being built by Montana-based company Under Canvas, which creates luxurious campground resorts near national parks across the United States, was initially slated to open July 4. However, that timeline changed due to COVID-19.

“Once open, the new luxury camp near Acadia National Park will offer approximately 75 lodging tents set on 100 waterfront acres, with more than 1,200 feet of coastline, located just a short 35-minute drive to the acclaimed Cadillac Mountain Trail,” according to a spokesman. Each canvas tent will be furnished with plush king beds, luxe linens, USB charging packs and a wood burning stove, and includes daily housekeeping, running hot water and flushing toilets.

The Planning Board vote was 5-2. Chairman Bill Barker, Vice Chairman Daniel McGraw and board members Reggie Winslow Jr., Wayne Moon and Phil Frederick all voted in favor of the proposal. Board members Margaret Smith and Jacqueline Gray voted against it. Gray declined to comment on her vote against the project.

“One of my concerns remains narrow cart paths that will be constructed which won’t support fire trucks in the event of a fire,” Smith said.  “And with over 100-plus canvas structures on wood platforms, with woodstoves in each one, as well as electricity, my concern is valid. Another concern is the wood smoke to abutters. I would have liked to have been able to discuss with the tax-paying abutters their concerns over the air quality. Hearing from the fire chief and asking him what the plan would be to reach the areas that I had concerns about would have been helpful, instead of the code enforcement officer saying he spoke with him and he ‘didn’t have an issue with it.’”

Smith also wanted to hear from Surry’s assessors addressing how the project would affect the value of abutting properties in the area.

“However, the Planning Board chair limited board members from speaking to abutters at the last meeting, and put a limit on time,” Smith said.

Finally, Smith said the developer hasn’t yet obtained all the necessary permits from the state, including a Site Location of Development Permit. “We had no business voting prior to seeing those permits in place.”

Last week’s meeting was held via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic so that members of the public could listen. However, Planning Board members met in person at the Surry town office.

The project has been under review since November 2019. Surry residents have previously expressed concern about water usage, traffic and sewage runoff on the site.

There is no word yet on when construction will start.

A spokesman for Under Canvas last week said the company was “in a holding pattern due to the impacts of COVID-19.”

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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