After nearly two years of discussion, plan alterations, two public hearings and a series of comments from Ulster County government. the Saugerties town planning board has granted conditional approval for the Agawam Hospitality Group’s proposed restaurant and resort in Glasco. The facility will be called the Wyldwyck River Camp. The site is located off Liberty St. behind the Glasco Firehouse, abutting the Hudson River. Developers plan to start construction as soon as possible.
At its meeting January 15, the board approved a six-page resolution, overruling some county planning-board recommendations by the required supermajority, modifying other of the recommendations and including some requirements it imposed.
The resort includes a 120-seat restaurant, 72 rooms in multiple cabins, agricultural fields, staff housing, artists’ studios and stables for horse-riding on the property, as well as utilities and service areas.
Engineer Bruce Utter pointed out changes in the plans. The main entry road and the handicapped parking areas will be chip-and-seal paving, while other roadways will be gravel, the surface the developers prefer. The gravel roads convey the rural atmosphere the developers are seeking, Utter said.
Fire hydrants have been moved to address concerns from local firefighters.
The plan now specifies that no more than two events per week at the facility. The plans have been updated with a gate on a woods road on the property, as well, Utter said.
The plan includes limits on noise levels at events.
The county recommended that the property be open to anyone wanting river access or outdoor paths. However, citing the fact that nearby property belonging to Solite Corporation, which also adjoins the river and wooded areas, does not offer public river access, Adam Friedman, a partner in the enterprise, said the complex should not be required to be open to the general public. However, the restaurant would be open to the public unless it is fully booked – an unusual occurrence. And many of the facilities could also be used by members of the public by arrangement.
“Like with a campground, if we have a registered guest setting up a tent or with a camper, that’s totally different from letting someone drive in off the road and have a picnic at a picnic table,” Friedman said. The objection was to the county provision that the entire waterfront facility be open to anyone, without any arrangement with the owners. That involves potential liability, requiring different insurance from the usual private property rights, he said.
The planners agreed unanimously to overrule the county and remove the provision, leaving the general rule that a private hotel or resort could set its own rules on access to its amenities.
The Saugerties approval contains a number of conditions that must be met before a building permit may be issued. Agawam must respond to comments by engineer Joe Mihm of Brinnier and Larios. Agawam must also respond to recommendations of traffic engineer Philip Grealy, and comply with his decision. A detailed landscaping plan must be approved. A lot-line revision map must be submitted to the county clerk. All required fees must be paid.
Following the meeting, Friedman said the partners would like to begin construction as soon as possible, as “we have been working on this for three years.” While the board has approved the overall plan, Friedman said, it was conditional. “We have to work through this before we can begin building.” Meeting the conditions of the approval could take some time, he said.