CHINA — Jeffrey LaVerdiere hopes to transform his 605 acres off Parmenter Hill Road into an off-road truck park where large trucks and Jeep-type vehicles can drive on old tote roads.

He said a place where people can go four-wheeling is becoming a need because many people have closed their land.

LaVerdiere’s proposal for the Wicked Hills Off-Road Truck Park at 271 Parmenter Hill Road, known locally as Moe’s Mountain, comes up for public hearing before the Planning Board at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Town Office, 571 Lakeview Drive.

Before that, at 6 p.m., planning board members are scheduled to walk the site to get a feel for what LaVerdiere is proposing, said Code Enforcement Officer Scott Pierz.

More than two dozen properties abut the land, and members of the public are expected to attend the hearing to ask questions, he said. Earlier this week, Ronald Gilbert, an abutting landowner who lives on Hanson Road, submitted written testimony to the town objecting to the park.

“This part of China is beautiful rural land,” he wrote. “An off road truck park in the area will be a scar on the land, with portable potties and trash bins. The noise from these trucks will be heard for miles, not to mention the land and air pollution and the affect it will have on the wildlife.”

LaVerdiere said neighbors should not be worried about noise because the trucks are expected to produce less noise than the farm equipment that currently runs on the land.

“It’s a family operation,” he said. “It will be very well controlled. There shouldn’t be problems with traffic or noise.”

According to the business website,, riding trails are planned on both sides of Parmenter Road, which is just north of Route 3 near Branch Pond.

LaVerdiere said he’s been working on the proposal for more than a year. He said when the economic recession hit, his home restoration business slowed and he wanted to find a new project. If he gets town approval, he’ll charge a fee for those who want to use the park, and require them to sit through a safety meeting before using the trails.

Documents filed with the town show LaVerdiere has outlined hazardous waste procedures if gasoline, oil, antifreeze or other chemicals leak from a vehicle. He will require all vehicles to have an exhaust system and a factory roof or roll cage, as well as off-road tires and a tow point. The speed limit will be 15 mph, and he will not allow alcohol or firearms.

The trails will be marked easy, intermediate or difficult. LaVerdiere wants to create a place for families to enjoy the trails.

“It’s not a competition,” he said. “It’s just strictly recreational trail riding. I won’t be having a bunch of 16-year-olds showing up with loud trucks.”

At this point, he’s asking for approval for phase one, which will allow him to open the trails this fall. Later, he wants to add primitive campsites, cabins and recreational vehicle hook-ups.

Other off-road truck parks in Maine include one in Lewiston that is not regulated and one in Carthage called Rocky Mountain Terrain Park. According to the park’s website, it is open mostly on weekends, and it advertises many of the same rules, such as no alcohol, no glass and that children must be accompanied by adults.

Following Tuesday’s public hearing on the Wicked Hills proposal, the planning board will take public comment on a proposal to add a Dunkin’ Donuts to the Fieldstone Quikstop on Route 3. Thadius Barber is seeking permission to expand the building with a 20-foot by 100-foot addition. The public hearing is set for 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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