Becket glamping venture drops bid, after lead developer questions ability of local council | South Berkshires
BECKET – The dream of a luxury campground next to the legendary Dream Away Lodge in Becket is dead, before the town’s planning board has even had a chance to pursue an open public hearing.
A local attorney made it official Thursday: “Dear Planning Board members,” Lenox attorney Jeffrey R. Lynch wrote in a letter. “Thank you for your time and attention to our application. Given the circumstances of this transaction. [Hit the Road] RV LLC withdraws its zoning application.
Hit the Road wanted a special permit to create a 100-site ‘glamping’ facility, a mix of tents and cabins, on 48 acres off County Road, next to the now shuttered Dream Away Lodge, owned by Daniel Osman .
Osman had a purchase and sale agreement with the developer, which would be contingent on approval of the special permit.
The Planning Board had planned to resume public comment on the project next month, after which it would move into deliberations. The public hearing opened on April 13.
But council members already had reason to believe that the project’s promoters would abandon their quest.
On the evening of the last public hearing on June 8, Daniel I. Weinstein, managing partner of a group called HTR Investors, sent an email to Robert Ronzio, chairman of the board, questioning the handling of the requested by the panel.
“It was clearly evident tonight that the city planning board is unable to make a decisive decision on what is best for the city with respect to our bid,” Weinstein wrote. “Having said that, we respectfully withdraw it and wish Beckett well,” he wrote, misspelling the city’s name.
The council had suspended work at Hit the Road’s request just before 9 p.m. that evening. Weinstein sent his email at 9:03 p.m.
Lynch, Weinstein’s attorney, had just urged the board to move the request forward quickly. The type of camping offered, he said, was permitted by Becket’s zoning.
“We offer nothing more or less than what the people of Becket have authorized by the enactment of the zoning ordinance, in which they state that camping for commercial purposes is permitted by special permit in this area” , did he declare.
A call to Ronzio on Thursday for comment on Weinstein’s claim about the board’s inability to act was not immediately returned.
The withdrawal of the application was cheered by members of Concerned Residents of Becket Inc. The group, which claims to represent 50 Becket families, had hired a Pittsfield lawyer to argue that the project would cause traffic and noise and pose a risk to the public. security.
“An overwhelming number of Becket residents have established, over the past three Planning Board meetings, the multiple reasons why this project should not be approved,” the group said in a statement. “Their commitment, activism, and most importantly, their effective oral and written presentations to the board were compelling and should be applauded.”
Class attorney Elisabeth C. Goodman said the project did not fit “a quiet, rural, residential area.”
The project has been backed by other townspeople, including several who have spoken out in favor of a development that would help revive the shuttered Dream Away Lodge, as well as compensate its owner, Osman, for his years. investment in community development.