Saturday July 27, 2013

WILMINGTON -- Visitors to the Green Mountain Beach on Lake Raponda may see a few more bodies on the beach next summer.

On July 17, Mount Snow Director of Planning and Permitting Laurie Newton requested that the private beach be open to visitors, as part of a summertime program that Mount Snow is establishing for 2014.

"This is one of the things that (the families) would have available to them," said Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy. "In addition to swimming, in theory, they can use kayaks and go off the boat landing and kayak around the lake."

As a result of a Wilmington Selectboard decision, Mount Snow guests will be allowed to use Green Mountain Beach for the summer program. Several citizens were against the authorization, while others were for it.

The point was made that it is essentially the same thing that occurs when residents rent their homes out. Under the ordinances, those who rent homes in Wilmington are allowed to use the beach during their stay.

"The Selectboard said, ‘Let’s try and see what happens,’" Murphy told the Reformer.

Sometime in the 1970s, the original ordinance was amended to allow residents, taxpayers and their guests to use the beach. It has remained that way to date.

Mount Snow is a taxpayer and property owner. It owns the 140-acre Howe Farms located on Route 100 and Coldbrook Road.

Newton spoke of two other properties that Mount Snow is hoping to close on in the near future -- the West Lake property and the Hawkins property. There is an Act 250 permit application for construction of a snowmaking pond at these locations.

When those two properties are closed on, there will be a total of 425 acres owned by Mount Snow in Wilmington.

Newton said the 2014 summer program would allow guests to travel in vans provided by Mount Snow to the Green Mountain Beach on two days each week. There could be a total of 30 people or less on the beach during visits through this program.

"The board decided that Mount Snow could use the property with the condition that if problems come up, the board will re-look at it," Murphy said.

Currently, there are no lifeguards or staff on the beach. Mount Snow will, however, bring its own certified life guards to increase safety.

At the meeting, it was reported that the entire lot is a 20-acre parcel. Murphy said the portion that is considered the private beach is "a lot smaller than that."

A board member mentioned that during the weekend of July 4, there were 130 people at the beach. Murphy said that on a day-to-day basis, there may be six to a dozen people at Green Mountain Beach on average.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.