CHINA — William Krause told the Planning Board Tuesday that he and others who live near a proposed off-road truck park are concerned about noise that they believe will be generated at the park.

“I think everybody’s main concern is noise,” he said in a packed town office meeting room. “An independent noise study should be done with off-road vehicles that will be on this course to verify if it’s a true concern.”

More than 30 people who live near a proposed off-road truck park attended a public hearing before the board, with many of them expressing concerns about traffic, noise, and property values.

Jeffrey LaVerdiere owns 605 acres on Parmenter Hill Road, where he hopes to open an off-road truck park this fall. The Wicked Hills Off-Road Truck Park would be on land known locally as Moe’s Mountain. The area is designated a scenic vista in the town’s comprehensive plan.

Before the public hearing, three planning board members and more than a dozen neighbors showed up at the property for a site walk led by LaVerdiere. They peppered him with questions about parking, noise and hours of operation. He then led a walk through a field to the start of one of the trails, which are old tote roads that have been cleared to make them passable.

LaVerdiere said noise will not be a problem at the site and that those who use the trails don’t want to hear loud mufflers either.

“I’m trying to promote a family type deal,” he said. “It’s strictly trail riding.”

Rich Roughgarden of Palermo said he would hope there’s some sort of review process put in place if a permit is granted.

“My primary concern is the process in the permit that is dealing with accountability,” he said.

LaVerdiere wants to charge a fee to allow those with large trucks and Jeep-type vehicles to trail ride on the property. He submitted a list of rules to the planning board, including a 15 mph speed limit, no alcohol and requirements for vehicles to have an exhaust system and safety features.

LaVerdiere said he’s done a good job cleaning up the property and that he, too, is concerned about property values.

“You don’t think I can regulate the drinking?” he asked some of the critics in the audience. “Then you’re wrong. We have our plans in place.”

One supporter spoke up during the meeting.

Joe Thompson of Washington state said his daughter lives in the area and that a regulated park would bring tourists and additional business to local restaurants and gas stations.

“Every one of these people are going to buy gas, pay taxes on food, go to restaurants and grocery stores,” he said.

Eventually, LaVerdiere would like to add campsites, cabins and recreational vehicle hook-ups. If he wants to do any of those things, he’ll need to come back to the town for approvals, said Planning Board Chairman Ronald Breton.

LaVerdiere said the truck park would likely employ 8 to 11 people.

Additional written testimony can be submitted to the town for the next seven days. Planners are expected to discuss the proposal at a regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 11.

Also Tuesday, planners took public testimony on a proposal to expand the Fieldstone Quikstop on Route 3 to include a Dunkin’ Donuts. No one testified in opposition to the proposal.

 


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