By Jann Wiswall
A new camping option may be coming to the area if Justin Dineen’s project gets Ellicottville Planning Board approval. Dineen presented his concept to the board at its meeting on Monday, April 26.
Dineen explained that he had recently purchased about 13 acres of land off Rt. 219 near the old Riley’s restaurant site with the intention of opening a new commercial campground featuring yurts.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a yurt is “a circular domed tent of skins or felt stretched over a collapsible lattice framework” originally used by nomads and other “pastoral peoples of inner Asia.” They have become quite popular throughout the U.S. as a design for camping structures (imagine a cross between a tent and a cabin), not to mention some rather impressive permanent residences.
Dineen said that he expects to develop his campground, called Ellicottville Yurts and Recreation, in two phases. Phase one will include up to four pre-fabricated yurts constructed on individual decks surrounded by landscaping for privacy. He hopes to have two of the four sites completed this year. The rustic campground will not have water or sewer; portable toilets will be provided. Guests would be invited to “carry in, carry out,” their own gear and supplies.
Plans for phase two would include several additional yurts with sewer, water, electricity and a full range of amenities at a camp site in another area of the property.
The planning board was positive about Dineen’s plan, especially his scale model of a yurt and deck (see photo). The board provided advice on how to complete his special use permit application and site plan. It will consider the project once those materials are in order.
Philip Vogt, the developer of Trail Heights Development off Poverty Hill Road, received the Planning Board’s approval of a preliminary plat plan at last month’s meeting following a public hearing. He and his engineer were back at the April meeting hoping for approval of the final plat plan.
The development with 14 lots for single-family homes is on 70-acres across Poverty Hill Rd. from the planned 42 Degrees North (42DN) resort community. The private road, community trail, easements and drainage ponds will be maintained through a Homeowners Association (HOA).
The final plat plan as presented, however, required some minor changes per Town Planner Gary Palumbo and Town Engineer Mark Alianello and still must be reviewed and stamped by a licensed land surveyor. Plus, Palumbo pointed out, he and the full board must review the 90+-page draft homeowners’ association (HOA) document, which they only received on the day of the meeting.
For these reasons, the board tabled a vote on the final plat plan until the next meeting but voted to waive another public hearing on the final plat since there was no public comment at the hearing last month.
The next meeting of the planning board will be held on Monday, May 23 at 6 p.m. in the town/village hall.