Please help the Breezewood Proving Grounds!



2 replies to this topic
  • Darryl721

Posted December 11, 2002 - 08:38 AM

#1

Recently, the Breezewood Proving Grounds (www.Breezewoodprovinggrounds.com) off-road park was closed. Dan the owner is in the process of getting the park reopened soon. If you have ever ridden there, or would like a great place to ride in Southern PA, or would just like to help, please read the entire message below and send a letter in support of a great off-road park.

Thank you,
Darryl
'02 YZ250f

************************
Breezewood Proving Grounds Inc.

Motorcycle and ATV Park & Campground
4626 Robinsonville Road - Clearville, Pennsylvania 15535 - (814) 784-9993

December 8, 2002

RE: Court Order Stopping the Breezewood Proving Grounds from operating

Many riders have seen the latest court ruling on television or in the newspaper concerning the Breezewood Proving Grounds.

I think now would be a good time for me to write everyone who has ridden at the Proving Grounds and let you know where I’m at with my Permits, Lawsuits and Court Orders, how I’ve come to this point, what I have planned, and how you can help.

WHAT IS THIS LATEST COURT ORDER? The order is to stop Breezewood Proving Grounds from operating as a business until all permits and land development plans are approved. YES, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 3, 2002 WE ARE SHUT DOWN UNTIL THE DEP APPROVES OUR E & S PERMIT AND OUR NPDES PERMIT, AND UNTIL OUR TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS APPROVE MY LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN.

WHY AND HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? : Well as most of you know my wife and I purchased this property in December of 2001, After forming Breezewood Proving Grounds as a Corporation and obtaining liability insurance I began building the trails and tracks and opened for business on the First of March.


Shortly after that I was reported to the Department of Conservation by neighbors and informed by them that I was required to have an Erosion and Sediment permit before I excavated. Although I was in violation for having done so much earthwork without a permit I was assured that if I work with the department and follow their recommendations to protect East Sidling Hill Creek I would be able to continue to operate. Around this same time it was discovered that our 8-mile harescramble trail had extended past my property boundaries and onto three separate neighboring properties. I had started this project with two major mistakes; not surveying my property boundaries being one and the other was not hiring an engineering firm to inform me of permit requirements. I then hired Keller Engineers to come in and survey the property and design an Erosion and Sediment plan for the Conservation District. I followed all the recommendations of the DEP and DOC to correct any violations that we had and to construct temporary sediment control measures while our engineers developed our plan. All trails that were not on our property were immediately abandoned and reclaimed to their original condition.

Before the E & S plan could be completed we were then notified by the PA DEP of Harrisburg that we would need a Federal Permit for disturbing more then 5 acres of ground at our site. This permit is called an NPDES Permit. Around this same time the township supervisors decided that we would need a Land Development Plan for the Proving Grounds, even though we argued that we were not changing the use of this property. It was a sports camp before I bought it and it continues to be a “sports camp”. I was told all I would need is a simple plan showing the location of our buildings, septic, driveway, and our tracks.


I then paid my engineers to do the simple land development plan, which showed the location of all trails, our septic, driveway and all buildings. Along with showing how we were going to handle the erosion and sediment that would be leaving our site. I submitted the plan to the township supervisors who reviewed the plan then sent it to the township planning commission for their review and comments. At the Township Planning meeting the planning commission decided that our plan should be sent to the County Planning Commission for their review and comments before they would approve the plan. The plan was sent to the county for their review and they had roughly 8 comments for my engineers to address on the plan. After my engineers made the changes, it went back to the Township Planning commission who then decided that the Township Engineers should also review it. Once the plan was sent to them they reviewed the plan and also had comments for my engineers to address. I was informed at the next Township meeting that even once my engineers complete the changes that the Township engineers recommend my plan will not be approved until the Dep is satisfied with the NPDES plan. We then had a meeting at the Proving Grounds with all the departments that would have any say in what should be on our plans. This included the DEP, DOC, Township planning Commission, County Planning Commission and Township Engineers along with myself and several representatives from my engineering firm. Everyone reviewed the plan and we came up with 12 comments for my engineers to address. Some of the comments were major changes that require additional surveying, and some were very minor changes. This meeting was on October 8 2002. The Planning commisions 90-day review period for my plan was over the following week and they had to approve or reject my plan at that time. Well my engineers obviously would not have enough time to make the 12 changes in time. It was agreed that my plan would be approved with the condition that the 12 comments be addressed. But at the special meeting that was held to vote on my plan there was public opposition to the township approving my plan before the 12 comments were addressed. So the Supervisors voted to reject the plan.

Currently Keller Engineers are working on the NPDES Permit and Land Development Plan addressing the 12 comments. I am told they will have a final plan completed sometime in January. Township Supervisors will then have another 90 days to approve or reject the plan.

WELL YOU ASK, IF EVERYTHING IS IN PROGRESS WHY ARE YOU NOW BEING SHUT DOWN?

We have 2 very closed minded neighbors who have taken it upon themselves to go over the township supervisors and the Planning Commission Supervisors heads and file a Lawsuit with a Judge asking him to stop us from operating until we have an approved plan and NPDES Permit. I was served with these papers and contacted an attorney to represent Breezewood Proving Grounds in this lawsuit. The attorney assured me that we would not be shut down that this would not go to court for several months and by then I would have my permits.

Well, my attorney failed to file an appearance and the neighbor’s attorney asked the court to file a Default Judgement against us for not responding to the lawsuit. AND THAT QUICK A JUDGE RULED THAT WE DEFAULTED AND WERE ORDERED TO SHUT DOWN UNTIL WE HAVE ALL PERMITS.

I have since filed a motion to reopen the default order and a Court date has been scheduled for January 8th 2003 at 11:00 am at the Bedford County Court house Courtroom No. 1.

WE / I NEED AS MUCH COMMUNITY SUPPORT AT THIS HEARING AS POSSIBLE,


IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT THERE A LETTER TO THE JUDGE WOULD ALSO BE HELPFUL, THE JUDGE IS: Daniel L. Howsare, President Judge

Bedford County Court of Common Pleas

Bedford County Courthouse

200 S. Juliana Street

Bedford, PA 15522


Please let the judge know what you think of the Breezewood Proving Grounds, and that you support us and use our facility with your family and that you want to see us be able to operate. Let him know of the improvements that you have seen in the short time we have been open. Tell him how you can’t hear the bikes as you approach the facility, and that we are working to control the dust. YOUR LETTER WILL HAVE MORE IMPACT THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE, and it is a great way of showing your support for our park.

If you strongly support our park please take the time to forward your letter to the following Government officials that can hopefully be persuaded to help us stay open.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Bud Shuster (202)225-2431

2188 Rayburn House Office Bldg, Washington, DC 21505

U.S. SENATE

Rick Santorum (202)224-6324

120 Russell Senate Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20510



U.S. SENATE

Arlen Specter (202) 224-4254

530 Hart Senate Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20510



PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR

Thomas J. Ridge (717)787-2500

225 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120



PENNSYLVANIA SENATE

Robert C. Jubelirer

140 South Juliana St., Bedford, PA 15522



STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Jerry Stern

324 Allegheny St., Holidaysburg, PA 16648



STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Dick Hess

133 South Frichard St. Bedford, PA 15522


We also have TOWNSHIP MEETINGS on the FIRST MONDAY of every month and PLANNING COMMISSION MEETINGS on the LAST MONDAY of every month. Any support at these meetings would be greatly appreciated they are located at the MUNICIPAL BUILDING IN CLEARVILLE at 274 ROCK HILL CHURCH ROAD CLEARVILLE, PA 15535

Letters of support can also be sent to the Township Supervisor: ` Bryon L Mearkle, Chairman

P.O. Box 38

Clearville, PA 15535

DONATIONS TOWARDS OUR LEGAL SERVICES AND ENGINEERING FEES CAN BE SENT TO:

BREEZEWOOD PROVING GROUNDS LEGAL FUND
4626 ROBINSONVILLE ROAD

CLEARVILLE, PA 15535

I sincerely thank everyone for taking the time to read this, and hope that you will take the time to send out a letter of support on our behalf. I do believe that with your support we will be open and operating again before the Spring weather arrives. Please keep an eye on our website (www.Breezewoodprovinggrounds.com) for any updates.

Sincerely,

Dan Harris, Owner/President Breezewood Proving Grounds Inc.

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  • R_Little

Posted December 11, 2002 - 09:39 AM

#2

I'll try to get a letter out this week.
In fact I'm gonna join the BRC right away.

This totalitarianism has to stop. It's the guys own land for Pete's sake! If the neighbors don't like him, let them buy his land. Then they can turn it into a mall that they can drive their SUV's to, like every other place in this silly county of ours. Our nation of wilderness loving, but do nothing, sit on yr a** couch potatoes have nothing better to do then wreck someone elses fun.

The off-road community really must organize like the NRA and take these greenies to task. Off-roading is a productive and wholesome activity for young and old alike.
Especially, for teenagers who might otherwise be getting into mischief (at the Mall).

Good luck and Godspeed

  • Chaindrive

Posted December 11, 2002 - 10:27 PM

#3

...and the beat goes on...

Sure am glad there is an American Motorcycle Association that works as hard as the NRA... :)




 
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