Rafting company proposes new base complex; neighbor objects

Beaver Brook Outfitters, Wevertown

— Sometimes one man’s vision is another man’s blight. Such is the case in North River where Peter Burns seeks to move the base of operations for Wevertown-based Beaver Brook Outfitters to a parcel of land along Route 28.

Burns’ potential neighbor, Bart Monda, believes the proposed business will ruin his view of the Adirondacks and therefore his quality of life, something he says prompted him to move to the area 20 years ago.

The Johnsburg Planning Board attempted to sort through the conflicting agendas Monday, Jan. 7.

Burns seeks to operate a legal business that is permitted within the zoning along that stretch of Route 28. The complex will include a new rafting base, some office space, a small retail store, some storage space and a parking lot. Monda believes his right to an unobstructed view takes precedence. Monda repeatedly told the Planning Board that the project would turn his view of the Adirondacks into a view of a parking lot and he urged the board to force Burns to flip his project so that the parking lot was on the side nearer someone else’s property and not his.

Various Planning Board members repeatedly told Monda that Burns’ proposed business is allowed under the zoning law in place and that the board must consider the project application that is before them, not the project as Monda believes it ought to be.

Burns said that he developed the project with his neighbor in mind. That’s why he opted to leave a swath of trees and brush between the two parcels intact to form a buffer.

“I try to be a good neighbor,” Burns said.

Monda said he was sure Burns was a good person but if he was really a good neighbor, he would have the parking lot at the other end of the property, next to the neighbor on the other side and not next to Monda’s property.

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