New Resort Proposal Causing Controversy in the Poconos

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Tannersville, Monroe County– Some people are angry about a new spa and water park that may go up in the Poconos. Monday night, dozens of neighbors, who live close to the proposed site, came out to Northampton Community College to meet face-to-face with developers are hear their newest proposal. It was part of Pocono Township’s regular meeting agenda.

The old Birchwood Resort in Tannersville is abandoned and falling apart. The C. Castle Group, based in New York City, wants to build “The Spa Castle Resort” on Birchwood Road, which is between Hallett and Cherry Lane Road. It would include a water park, spa, glamping (glamorous camping), etc.

“It’s a wellness resort is what it is”, said Deanna Schmoyer, Project Manager of C. Castle Group.

Daisy Ellerbee of Tannersville and over 60 other neighbors were at Monday’s meeting. Tension and emotions ran high.

“I would like to not have this happen. We have enough industry!” said Ellerbee.

Pocono Township currently owns Birchwood Road. Developers now want ownership of the road itself.

“We would like to basically be able to regulate the speed limit and put in speed bumps. But you can’t officially do that when it’s a township owned road”, added Schmoyer.

Whether or not Pocono Township would be compensated is yet to be addressed.

“It would still be an open road to the public. Anyone can still use the road. But the best thing is more safety because we’ll have pedestrians going back and forth”, said Schmoyer.

Neighbors have other concerns, too. Developers estimate 4,100 vehicles on back roads per day.

“The streets are horrible. But they’re going to let someone build and make them worse? It dosen’t feel country anymore. It feels city-ish. For that, I might as well pack my bags and go back to the city”, added Ellerbee.

The C. Castle Group says the company is listening to, and acting on, the public’s concerns.

“When we started the project we brought in a sketch pad to get feedback from people. We’ve actually changed some thing after we got response from the public”, said Schmoyer.

Monday, developers were getting feedback from the Pocono Township Board of Commissioners. They stress the proposal to vacate Birchwood Road is a legal process, and a decision won’t be reached overnight. If the project is approved, the earliest construction would begin is Summer 2016.

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