by Susan Farkas January 4, 2023
The December meeting of the Saugerties Planning Board drew a large crowd.The Woodstock Jewish Congregation (WJC) and the Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC) have joined Citizens Against Terramor in opposing the proposed construction of a glamping site in their neighborhood. Kampgrounds of America, which calls itself “the world’s largest system of privately owned campgrounds,” owns a pristine 77-acre property in Saugerties on Route 212 and Glasco Turnpike that borders Woodstock. KOA plans to build a 75-tent high end resort, Terramor Catskills, on the wooded land.
The three groups in opposition share concerns about noise, congestion and air and water pollution emanating from the resort, as well as harm to the endangered Indiana bat. Each tent will be on a platform and will have its own shower, toilet and fire pit. In addition, a lodge and reception area, swimming pool, wellness tent, communal fire pit, maintenance building and employee housing will be constructed if the company is granted permission by the Saugerties planning and town boards.
The Woodstock Jewish Congregation, located in Saugerties on Glasco Turnpike, recently learned that Terramor will discharge treated wastewater into a pond the shul considers sacred. They use it as a mikveh, a place for ritual immersions, and for Tashlich, a Rosh Hashanah ritual during which bread morsels or pebbles are thrown into water as a symbolic casting off of sins. The congregation has warned its members that they’re facing an emergency.
“There’s a lot of anxiety, outrage and confusion about why we weren’t tuned in earlier,” Desirêe O’Clair, vice president of the synagogue’s Board of Directors, told Hudson Valley One. “Guarding the land is a core Jewish value. We want to protect our water and our land and our neighbors’ land.” O’Clair says the Congregation trusts the Saugerties Planning Board to slow down the “snowballing” environmental review process.