Proposed campground in Tremont raises concerns

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:08 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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TREMONT, Maine (WABI) - Folks in Tremont will have to wait until August to share their thoughts, again, on a proposed campground that would offer visitors dozens of places to stay.

A public hearing scheduled for Tuesday was pushed off at the request of the couple behind the project.

But the idea of the campground is already raising some concerns.

The Acadia Wilderness Lodge proposal from Kenya Hopkins and her husband, James, is a 154-site campground, complete with a lodge and a café.

And it’s on land that once belonged to James’ great-grandfather.

“We presented it to the neighborhood and we got feedback. We’re taking that feedback, and we’re working with the town and the neighbors to try to put something together that the entire community can enjoy,” Kenya said.

The campground is billed as an environmentally-friendly glamping destination on Mount Desert Island.

The Hopkinses say it’s completely run on solar-power and offers luxury yurts.

But there’s push back from residents who are concerned about the increased noise and traffic visitors would bring.

“We did get some feedback from some people that said, ‘No. No. No.’ No matter what we did, they did not want us to have a business here. But we have so many people that are saying ‘Yes. Yes. Yes,’ and we’re so grateful to them. We’re trying to focus on the positive,” Kenya said.

A public hearing on the proposal was held in April, and continued in May. The expectation is that it will be at least August before the Tremont Planning Board votes on the project.

“It’s a big issue for the town, dealing with an application this size. It’s the largest application for the planning board as far as anybody can recall. So they’re taking it very seriously in making sure that it meets the standards of our ordinances,” Jesse Dyunbar, Tremont town manager.

Kenya says she hopes to continue working with the community so that her and her family can eventually be a part of it.

“There’s ways that we can bring this business here, address concerns and be a positive contribution to the community. So that’s our goal,” Kenya said.

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