SmART - who are we?
Smallwood Aware Residents Team (SmART) is a citizens groups whose goal is to ensure that our lake and quality of life are both sustainable.
An important announcement for SmART supporters!
SmART and the Smallwood Civic Association have issued a joint press release regarding BESIDE’s withdrawal of their development plans. Click HERE to view the press release in its entirely and HERE to read the most recent newspaper article on SmART’s advocacy and the Hemp Meadow Estates Property. This is a powerful win for our little hamlet, but it’s important to remember that there is a new buyer for the land and so far as we know, it is not a land preservation organization. So SmART’s work will continue as long as a threat is posed to our community.
Please stay engaged and support our advocacy by attending the SmART Fundraiser on May 29th at the Smallwood Civic Association Lodge.
See Bethel Town Supervisor Dan Sturm's remarks HERE.
SmART is closely monitoring a proposed development called BESIDE Cabins
BESIDE is proposing a massive development on 800 acres directly bordering Smallwood that will include 102 houses inclusive of a campground and RV park, which will also host a general store and other facilities making it akin to a small village. The project proposal calls for a complex that will be large enough to host corporate events and other large scale gatherings.
BESIDE's Impact on Smallwood
57 septic systems will generate 25,000 gallons of liquid waste per day and threaten the sustainability of our lake, in addition to the septic systems for the campground and RV park which requires a special permit.
Access points are planned for Pine Grove Road and Hartwood Drive close to Mountain Lake. This will result in more traffic, congestion, noise and jeopardizing the safety of pedestrians and bikers, in ways that will diminish the quality of life around the lake.
The developer's proposal states: 3 years of construction, 6 days a week with the development of more than 100 acres of roads, homes and buildings and will product a massive amount of impervious surfaces
A campground and RV park will be permitted in our already densely populated community which consists of narrow substandard roads. The campground hosts 45 year-round houses. You don't pitch a tent here!
102 year-round short term rentals (inclusive of the campground) as well as large capacity upscale lodging that enables corporate retreats, large scale gatherings and events.
This development will decimate environmentally sensitive land and its watershed in an area well known for bald eagles (a protected species) and other habitat of concern.
This is the wrong project for the wrong part of town.
SmART believes the environmentally sensitive land proposed for the BESIDE Cabins development cannot withstand this intensity of disturbance required to build it. If built, the use of the land will have a significant adverse impact on an important ecosystem, our lake and aquifer. This development will permanently change the quality of life and community character of Smallwood.
With contributions from our community...
Through your contributions we have retained an attorney who practices in the areas of environmental and municipal law, an environmental engineer, a GIS mapper and a traffic engineer. Our expert consultants are analyzing the BESIDE proposal and the Town of Bethel's review of it and will ensure that any approval granted will not jeopardize our lake and the quality of life we all enjoy.