Downtown North Creek
If two local entrepreneurs succeed in launching their business from a garage behind Izzy’s Market on Main Street in North Creek, the area will add another rafting company to its offering of outdoor adventure experiences.
“Square Eddy Expeditions” owners Lori Benton and Link Marset described their planned rafting company as “a small start-up that’s just trying to bring people to the community.”
The pair envisions small groups of a few passengers at a time, no more than two dozen passengers in a day, to gather at a departure point behind Izzy’s Market and load into a van that will carry them upstream near Indian Lake. After they raft downstream, they’ll leave the river and return by van to the location behind Main Street for a picnic of some sort, with food likely provided by Izzy’s Market.
Benton and Marset came before the Johnsburg Planning Board on Monday, Feb. 25, seeking site-plan approval for their venture. They explained that they’ll spend about three hours, maybe less, at the site behind Izzy’s. They won’t store rafts there, they said. The rafts will either be in the river or on top of the van that transports passengers to the launch site.
“We’re just checking people in there and then picnicking after,” Benton said.
In their original plan, Benton and Marset envisioned parking passengers’ vehicles down the hill behind the buildings along a road that runs back there. Finding parking for guests was important because county planning officials expressed concerns about the proposed business causing more people to park their vehicles on Main Street, thereby adding to congestion. Thus the plan called for use of the roadside down the hill and behind Izzy’s. But uncertainty over whether the road is owned by the county or the railroad caused Planning Board members to have reservations about approving a plan that included parking along that road.
After some extensive discussion about options, Benton and Marset amended their plan and instead of specifying the lower roadside as a designated parking option, agreed simply to encourage their customers to park their vehicles off of Main Street.
The Planning Board asked for two other concessions: First, that passengers get in and out of the van in the driveway adjacent to the building and not on Main Street proper; and second, that a proposed portable toilet be enclosed in some sort of fence or lattice work to make it less obvious.
The pair agreed to all three conditions and the Planning Board unanimously approved the Square Eddy Expeditions site plan.
The Johnsburg Planning Board meets next on Monday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at Tannery Pond Community Center.