Date set for public hearing on proposed Northfield campground

  • Jeff Rinehart presents an initial plan for a campground on Pierson Road to the Northfield Planning Board during its meeting on July 18. STAFF FILE PHOTO/ZACK DeLUCA

Staff Writer
Published: 9/12/2019 6:47:56 PM

NORTHFIELD — The proposed Pierson Road campground will be back up for Planning Board consideration on Thursday, Sept. 26, when the board will continue its public hearing on the matter.

The board gathered during a regularly scheduled meeting last week to discuss the information presented thus far.

“The decision won’t be made on anything emotional,” newly elected Planning Board Chair Stephen Seredynski said. “It will be made following all the zoning bylaws and Town Hall Master Plan.”

The board also developed questions to ask Christian Arnold, the developer with the campground’s parent company Clockwork Architecture, which will finance and oversee construction.

The proposed campground would be located along Pierson Road, on the northern end of property owned by The Moody Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the ideals of 19th-century evangelist Dwight L. Moody. The campground, to be named Idyllwood, would not be operated directly by The Moody Center though the organization would work closely with the campground.

Jeff Rinehart presented the campground’s initial plans to the Planning Board on July 18. He said the camp would have a main building where guests check in and out, more than 20 platform canvas tents to be used seasonally, and multiple A-frame cabins that could potentially be used as year-round accommodations.

The potential cost for one night’s stay in an A-frame cabin would be about $125. Each cabin unit would have flushing toilets and shower facilities, according to the proposed plan. Guests using the tents would have access to community shower facilities attached to the main building. RVs and trailers would not be allowed, Rinehart said during the July meeting.

At the time, residents expressed concerns that traffic, noise and light pollution would impact their neighborhood’s environment.

Seredysnki said the public hearing on Sept. 26, which will be called to order at 6 p.m. in Town Hall, will be run formally, with allotted time for a presentation from the applicants. Following the presentation will be time for questions from the board itself, then the public.

“The Planning Board needs (its) questions answered regarding zoning bylaws and the master plan,” he said.

According to Seredynski, the Planning Board will likely close the public hearing that night and then deliberate, or determine the need to meet at a later date to issue a finding. The board has 90 days from when it closes the public hearing to make a decision.

“I don’t believe it will take 90 days based on the work we have done prior to the upcoming meeting,” Seredynski said.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-772-0262, ext. 264.

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