MELVILLE, NY – Hundreds of Melville residents have signed a petition against a plan that would bring so-called glamping – or upscale camping – to the grounds of the Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts.
“This has been in the works for a year and a half, but we only found out about it three weeks ago,” Michael Rosedale said.
Letters have been sent to neighbors Usdan informing them of a plan to build up to 70 luxury tents with platforms in the woods of his 140-acre property.
People we spoke to say that while they support the day camp, which has been around for decades, they are concerned that overnight accommodation, if approved, could transform the organization’s grounds. nonprofit into a transitional outdoor destination for eight months of the year.
“Noise, traffic, pollution – the list goes on and on,” said Shari Delouya.
Receive news alerts in the free app FOX5NY News | Sign up for FOX 5 email newsletters
Other issues cited include alcohol consumption, smoking and illegal campfires.
Usdan’s team members said they shared the same concerns and wanted to address them together.
“It’s like a family camp or an adult camp,” Usdan executive director Lauren Brandt Schloss said.
No living trees would be cut during construction, according to Usdan’s proposal. In addition, 24-hour security and fencing would be installed.
Officials said the money raised will go towards scholarship funds for summer arts students. And the majority of participating families would be affiliated with Usdan in search of nightly artistic experiences.
“It’s unlikely that someone would spend $500 to $600 and then break into the neighborhood,” Usdan COO Joe Levy said.
A public hearing is scheduled for April 7 at Huntington City Hall. Both parties will have the opportunity to express themselves. The city will decide if a special use permit will be issued.