At its April 12 meeting, the Gardiner Town Board approved the request by Lazy River, LLC for a license to operate the campground known as Yogi Bear Jellystone Park & Lazy River for its 2022 season, which runs from mid-April to mid-November. It was an unusual move to confer the Town’s blessing on the controversial business’ operation this early in the season; the 2021 license was mostly retroactive, not coming up for a vote until September.
Board members took pains to specify that their approval was contingent upon the licensing applying only to previously approved uses on the facilities located at 40 and 50 Bevier Road. Several expansions of the campground, by acquisition of neighboring properties and construction of new guest amenities, remain unlicensed, awaiting the Town Board’s judgment of Lazy River’s application to create a special zoning entity called a Campground Floating District. The company has submitted a list of requests for waivers of existing zoning laws in order to keep operating the as-yet-unlicensed sites.
Town supervisor Marybeth Majestic noted that a stretch of unapproved campsites on the banks of the Wallkill River were “all flooded” during a recent heavy rain event, and suggested that the applicant remove them from its site plan altogether. She instructed the Board to review the waiver request list and “see what you can live with and what you can’t” in preparation for a special meeting dedicated to consideration of the Floating District on May 17.