Not in my backyard: some in Brantingham oppose campground plans

WWNY Not in my backyard: some in Brantingham oppose campground plans

TOWN OF GREIG, N.Y. (WWNY) - What would you do if a campsite was proposed to be in your backyard? That’s what’s happening to some residents in Brantingham in southern Lewis County.

They are not happy campers. Some Brantingham residents say they moved to the area for the peace and quiet.

But now, one local developer is planning to build an 18-acre campground between the residential areas of Linda Place and Brantingham Road, complete with cabins, RV sites, a bathhouse, laundry room, pavilion, and more.

The location is a stone’s throw away from some houses.

“The residents are going to literally have campers right against their property,” said Melissa Bailey, resident.

And that raises a number of concerns.

“The noise, the pollution, the traffic, the potential for criminal activities, we’ve got property values to be concerned about,” said Walter Paprock, resident.

“My first concern was water supply. My well over there is 435 feet down. If they start drawing off enough water to feed this campground, I’m very concerned,” said Muriel Purcell, resident.

The property owner, Mike Dolhof, says the campground would bring in revenue and operate on state rules to remain safe and environmentally friendly. He says he wants to share the beauty of the area.

“I was raised in Lewis County. I’d like to give back to the county and invest here, show people all we have to offer here, for people outside of the community as well as inside the community,” said Dolhof.

Residents say they welcome a campground in the area. Just not in this location.

“Any campground is great, but not if you’re going to put it smack in the middle of these residential homes,” said Purcell.

The concerned citizens of Brantingham wanted to show town officials that the proposal is not widely supported. After knocking on about 120 doors, they got about 100 other residents to sign a petition opposing the campsite plan as it stands.

“We voiced those concerns and were told, okay, we hear them, but we’re not going to address them. We’ll address them at the next meeting. The next meeting comes along and none of our concerns are addressed,” said Bailey.

In audio from a planning board meeting, members appear to make light of residents concerns.

At approximately 45 minutes into the meeting, members can be heard saying the following:

“The letter goes on to point out numerous things that they feel are not correct about the SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) and then about the campground in general and our zoning law. (Laughter) It’s okay. I dont care.”

7 News has tried repeatedly over the last two days to get into contact with town officials. Our calls have not been returned.

Dolhof says he hopes to get board approval and start construction by spring.

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