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Boad of Selectmen minutes 7/24/17

Board of Selectmen
Town of Tolland


Selectmen Present:        Eric R. Munson, Jr. and Steven DellaGiustina

Also Present:     Jeremia Pollard, Legal Counsel
                         Pat Storey
                         Ed Deming
                         Joanne Duval
                         Jonah Spear, Camp Wonderful
                         Kelsey Burns, Camp Wonderful
                         Davio Danielson, Friends of Dance New England
                         Jason Cohen, Forestdance

The Board of Selectmen asked for clarification of “Friends of Dance New England”. Davio Danielson stated that currently, “Friends of Dance New England” consists of 2 members in which they have started an LLC and are in the process of elected 3 more managers. “Friends of Dance New England” are the new owners of Camp Timber Trails. Davio stated their intention is to vibrantly bring the camp back so that it can be utilized.
Friends of Dance New England will not only be holding a children’s camp like the Connecticut Valley Girl Scouts but family camping and events. They are not projecting an event to be larger than the prior Unifier event. Davio voiced that they would like the camp to be used for larger groups of people to come and be in the woods and go for a swim, have workshops and events”. The property will not be used for just one event. Davio gave examples of events that are already scheduled to be held at the property ie. VHP of America has been holding their Annual Family Camp at Timber Trials for over 30 years and Malamute Rescue. Davio feels the level of controls state and local health departments put on Children’s camps is greater than most of the events Friends of Dance New England will be doing. Example would be Dance New England has scheduled an event for August 1-21, 2018 to hold a family camp 400-500 people with tents and children with their parents. The goal is to use all the buildings. Beaver Ridge currently being used for storage would like to be restored and likely be used for dancing so that music can be played without disturbing anyone. Noise concerns were voiced. Steve stated that you may not think anyone’s around or see anyone but there are residences through the woods. Water located on Friends of Dance New England property abuts water owned by Tunxis Club. The Board of Selectmen stated that they did receive noise complaints after the Unifier event. Davio reviewed zoning for a noise ordinance and did not locate one. Eric voiced that Tolland does have a noise ordinance within “Commercial Recreation Use”. Steve stated that the board is trying to come up with a solution for the noise that fits everyone’s needs. Jeremia stated “that the Planning Board’s function is to take all information and determine what’s reasonable and if conditions are appropriate to deal with”. The uses that carryover from the Connecticut Valley Girl Scouts are pre-existing nonconforming uses. If FDNE were using the camp for the same purposes they would be fine but is sounds like the camp will be changing over to something different. Davio stated that it is not youth camps but family camps.

Jeremia said it falls under Tollands zoning “Commerical Recreation”. Friends of Dance New England will be charging for the use of the property and the event holds will be selling admission tickets to their events. Jeremia explained the process for applying for a Special Permit. He explained that Friends of Dance New England needs to describe all the uses for the property on the application, in doing so FDNE is covered for all events. An abutter can “shut down” an event if an event is not included within the Special Permit.

Jonah Spear and Kelsey Burns explained the Camp Wonderful event as a “just like a summer camp for children but for adults 18 years and older”. Friday, August 25th to Sunday, August 27th and be completely gone from the property on Monday, August 28th.  Goal is to sell 150 tickets 50 staff and volunteers. Pricing from $295-$650 based on attendants. Activities range from waterfront activities, field games, arts n crafts and flying trapeze. Camp Wonderful is independently insured. Johan explained his relationship with FDNE. Main hall and kitchen will be used, waterfront and cabins. Expect 30 to 40 cars. Amplified music will be stopped at midnight. There will be no drugs and alcohol. Davio asked if a Special Permit is required. It was stated “Yes”. Joanne Duval asked if a Special Permit is required for every event or can the owner of the camp pull a permit? Jeremia stated that its “either/or” the board can issue a Special Permit to the owner of the camp to cover all potential uses or the owner of the camp can require each individual event to apply for an event permit. The Board of Selectmen agreed to issue individual event permits until the owners apply for a Special Permit through the Planning Board.   

Meeting adjourned at 8:30PM
Respectfully submitted,
Margaret McClellan

 Eric R. Munson, Jr.  
Steven DellaGiustina                    
Board of Selectmen

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