Developer hopes to offer campsites, cabins on Flagstaff Mountain site
Expansive views from the site of the future Canyon Rim Estates on top of Flagstaff Mountain in Jim Thorpe show the beauty of the region as lush greens blanket the mountains with Lehighton and Weissport nestled below. The site is proposed to become a camping, cabin and RV park, as well as an outdoor winery. AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS
A proposed residential development in Jim Thorpe is changing direction in the hopes of bringing more visitors into the area.
On Tuesday, Jake Arner, owner of Canyon Rim Estates LLC and Jake Arner Farms LLC, went before the Carbon County Planning Commission with his plans for changing the use of Canyon Rim Estates, a residential development located on top of Flagstaff Mountain. The site is currently mostly undeveloped, is the site of the 100-mile view, which overlooks the Lehighton area and will soon be the location for an outdoor winery.
According to the plans submitted to the planning commission, Arner’s new proposed land development changes from 84 residential lots to 275 lots for RVs, cabins and campsites with centralized water and sanitary sewer systems for agritourism.
Arner said that the new plan is to reduce the size of the lots so they are more affordable. The 84 residential lots were “large, luxury lots,” which he said got expensive because of road costs, especially after the downturn of the real estate market.
“We are replying to what the customers are asking for,” he said.
The new vision will provide both lots for sale as well as for rent for camping, cabins and RV purposes.
“This would allow tourists to stay on the site and visit Jim Thorpe,” Arner said. “We feel it could bring up to 500 tourists a day to Jim Thorpe. The good thing about RV parks is that they bring people in the middle of the week so it just wouldn’t be overnight guests on weekends.”
In addition to the new development, Arner will be opening an outdoor winery for visitors to sit and enjoy wine and the view of the area in June.
Initially, the winery will be operated out of a farm stand tent with picnic tables because, Arner said, the focus is on the wine and the view rather than the building.
Plans still have to go through Jim Thorpe borough.
No recommendation on the plans for the 359.69-acre development was made by the county planning commission, which said that there were some areas of noncompliance with Jim Thorpe’s land development ordinances that precludes any recommendation for approval at this time.
The comments of the plan, which were prepared by Ivan O. Meixell Jr., county planner, will be sent to the borough to be included in the discussion before approval is granted.