Deerfield tubing company requests special permit
DEERFIELD — Deerfield River Portage, a tubing transit company, has filed a request for a special permit with the town Zoning Board of Appeals to continue its small business along the Stillwater area.
The permit request is a resolution between the small business owners, Daniel Canedy and Kate Clayton-Jones and the town.
Since 2008, the portage company has provided summer tubers with inner-tube rentals and transportation along the river from Bardwells Ferry Bridge to Stillwater Bridge on the Deerfield River.
The company sells people tubes for $55 at the beginning of the ride and at the end of the trip, the company buys them back for $20, in essence charging $35 a tube for their services.
But since it is operating within the Stillwater area, a residential/agriculture district zone, the town told the business owners they need a special permit to run a business there.
Deerfield River Portage has been in business for five years, and Zoning Enforcement Officer Richard Calisewski said the business has grown from 200 people a year to 1,000. He said the town wasn’t aware of the portage company conducting its business there during its earlier years.
Issues between the town and the tubing company cropped up this summer when Deerfield Police issued 93 parking tickets and received 92 calls and complaints for service to the Stillwater area to address parking and littering problems.
Police credited the popular portage company for drawing tourists to the Deerfield River and increasing traffic. The chief has posted special details to police the area on weekends and high-temperature days, incurring unbudgeted expenses.
Clayton-Jones met with town officials recently to discuss town concerns.
“We want to work with the town closely,” Clayton-Jones said.
Since that time, she and her partner have moved the parking-rendezvous location from Stillwater Road to their home at 617 Hoosac Road in Conway, where their front yard can hold up to 30 vehicles.
Previously, the company used a large van topped with black inner-tubes to meet customers by the public parking area near Stillwater Bridge. The customers park their vehicles in the public parking spaces.
Clayton-Jones said the Conway Selectboard and their neighbors have given their blessing to the home business.
She said their customers prefer the new location, as well.
Clayton-Jones believes the company is in compliance with zoning regulations now, but she said she is trying to have a good relationship with the town and going through the application process.
Deerfield River Portage submitted an application to the town for a Zoning Board hearing. The hearing date is not determined yet.
You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.