Action Team | KOA Terramor

KOA Terramor, has purchased land across Glasco Turnpike behind The Red Onion in order to build a 75-unit glamping (glamorous camping) facility with restaurants and a wedding venue. The Woodstock Jewish Congregation has serious concerns about the noise, traffic, and campfire smoke, and most of all, about their current plans to discharge their wastewater into the sacred pond we use for tashlich and as a mikveh.

Each of the 75 KOA Terramor tent sites includes a toilet, shower, and fire pit. There will also be a swimming pool, cabanas, restaurants, lodge, welcome center, employee housing and dining, and a maintenance building. Most concerning is the proposed sewage/wastewater plan.

The WJC has many serious concerns:

    • Pollution to our stream and pond: KOA Terramor is expecting up to 250 guests a day; that’s a lot of toilet flushing. The waste water from the proposed water treatment system will go into a stream on Cottontail Lane, crossing Glasco and into the stream that feeds our pond, which we use for Tashlich and Mikvehs. Both these streams go dry in severe drought, as they did last summer. At such times, the only water that will enter our pond will be 100% effluent. In addition, wastewater treatment plants of the kind KOA/Terramor plans to use regularly fail, discharging raw sewage. We will be unable to use the pond for purification rituals, and the surface water will be dangerous for young children, including those who live along Cottontail Lane, who might find ways to play in it or in the streambed.
    • Destruction to our Wetland: The pond is bordered by federally recognized wetland which must be protected. The WJC provided wetland mitigation onsite when we built our synagogue, so that water from our driveway and building would not be polluting. We do not even spray our landscaping or fields with insecticides/herbicides as an additional piece of our protection, for we hold the land itself to be sacred. The current plan for discharge of wastewater by KOA/Terramor will wreak havoc on both our water and our wetland in periods of drought, or even during the regularly low water levels of summer.
    • Air Pollution: There will be fire pits at each of the 75 sights. This will be a particular concern for those congregants with asthma and other respiratory difficulties.
    • Well water integrity and water table: Last summer some of our neighbor’s wells went dry. We are concerned that our well may also be affected. Also, many of our congregants and neighbors on John Joy Road and in the surrounding area must have their water delivered because their groundwater has been poisoned by illegal dumping and is no longer potable.
    • Noise: We regularly hold a portion of our Friday night and Saturday morning services outside (the Amidah). We hold Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in a tent, and the fall holiday of Sukkot is all outside; all these holidays take place during fall camping season, when we will hear noise from 75 campgrounds. In addition, KOA Terramor intends to rent out their Lodge for weddings and other large events.
    • Traffic: As many as 25,000 cars from May to October will flood our local roads and exacerbate an already dangerous traffic concern at our intersection of Glasco Turnpike and Route 212. The KOA Terramor project will have the peak of its traffic on Friday night and Saturday morning when we have people driving to services (and walking along the road), and Sunday morning, when nearby churches are holding their services. In addition, KOA Terramor’s high season will come during our High Holy Days, in which several hundred cars come to the WJC, as the Saugerties police can attest. This intersection already experiences five times the number of accidents as the NYS average. This project puts our congregants, our neighbors, the Woodstock Day School’s children, the students at the Rock Academy, and our very own Family School students at great risk.
 

     

    
Gail Albert, chair of the WJC Sustainability Committee, has been working tirelessly gathering information and working with the experts from Citizens Against Terramor. Desirée O’Clair has been the point person from the board and she has brilliantly led our Action Team.

    If you know of any attorneys specializing in land use, or experts in ecology, engineering, social media, or journalism, please email: president@WJCshul.org