Scouts propose moving obstacle course to other side of camp

08/19/2013 10:00 AM |
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA COURTESY PHOTO | Scouts on a rope obstacle course.

BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA COURTESY PHOTO | Scouts on a rope obstacle course.

Plans for what turned out to be a controversial obstacle course for the Baiting Hollow Boy Scout Camp are heading west.

The Suffolk County Boy Scouts plan to resubmit a new site plan for their 90-acre Baiting Hollow camp that would move a proposed COPE Course to the western part of the property, according to camp director Jim Grimaldi.

A COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) course is a series of rope- and wire-climbing obstacles that exist at Boy Scouts camps throughout the country. The Scouts had proposed locating it on the eastern side of their property earlier this year, but it ran into opposition from residents of nearby Silver Beech Lane, some of whom said the proposed course would be only about 100 feet from their backyards.

At the time, the Scouts argued that because their property was so hilly, that locations was the only place on their property were the COPE course could be located.

But because that proposed site had state Department of Environmental Conservation restrictions as to what could be built there, a DEC official who met with neighbors near the site  in May withdrew that agency’s prior support for the COPE Course, essentially killing the application. The neighbors had expressed concern about the prospect of noise from the course being so close to their homes.

The proposed new location is not restricted by the such restrictions.

“The new COPE course is proposed on a piece of property that owned by the Scouts and is free and clear of covenants,” Mr. Grimaldi said. “It probably will cost us $15,000 more to do so.”

In addition to the COPE course, the Scouts also had proposed, in the same application, a new archery range pavilion on the western part of the property that was not near any homes and had not met with opposition. The new proposed location for the COPE Course is nearer to the archery building, he said.

“It’s probably about 300 feet from the archery building,” he said,

Mr. Grimaldi met with the Riverhead Town Planning Board last Thursday and discussed the plans to resubmit the application with the new location for the COPE Course, and it was agreed that the new submission would also include the COPE Course and the archery pavilion in the same plan. Mr. Grimaldi told the Planning Board he could have a new set of plans submitted to the town by the end of the week.

tgannon@timesreview.com

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