ADIRONDACK PARK AGENCY REPORTER
Susan Allen, Publisher and Editor
P. O. Box 718  
Keene Valley, New York 12943
Telephone: (518) 576-9861     E-Mail: APAReport@aol.com


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REPORT OF ADIRONDACK PARK AGENCY MEETING
November 9-10, 2000
 
(Reformatted for the Internet)

ATTENDANCE: Chairman Richard Lefebvre; Commissioners James Frenette, William Kissel, Frank Mezzano, James Townsend; Dept. of Economic Development: Gregory Caito [11/9 only]; Dept. of Environmental Conservation: Stuart Buchanan; Dept. of State: Richard Hoffman. VACANCY: One Park resident Commissioner. ABSENT: Commissioners Katherine Roberts and Cecil Wray both days; DED on 11/10. NOT VOTING: Executive Director Daniel Fitts; Counsel Charles Fox; Local Government Review Board Executive Director Joseph Rota.

REGULATORY PROGRAMS COMMITTEE
        Director of Regulatory Programs Report lists 16 permits issued: one new single family dwelling; six 2-lot subdivisions with no new buildings or else replacement of existing buildings; two 2-lot subdivisions with one new SFD on one lot. Three projects are commercial: 5200 sq. ft. building for existing septic system business, North Elba; 1,600. sq. ft. building for custom embroidery business in Northampton; and 4-lot subdivision for Ticonderoga Commerce Park, plus 25,000 sq. ft. business incubator building. Three are local and /or NYS government: replacement of culverts in Moose River Plains Wild Forest by DEC; Hamilton County Highway reconstruction of bridge over Big Brook; and Town of Dannemora / DEC reconstruction of existing boat launch on Chazy Lake.

        The last project is a "roadside pull off" boat washing station for Upper St. Regis Lake Property Owners Assn., which elicited a question from Buchanan as to whether it is on a public road which crosses Forest Preserve lands. Fox responded that the land is in Resource Management. Buchanan: "It's been a longstanding issue with our public boat launch site and I need to know what's going on." Townsend: "Is there filtration?"  Sengenberger: "It goes to a catch basin adjacent to the cleaning area, doesn't allow vegetation or mussels to go back into the lake. It's periodically to be cleaned."

         Regulatory Programs Status Report lists five new projects under review: Schneider, amendment to a 1981 SFD permit as Dept. of Health rules no longer allow holding tanks for wastewater, on Raquette River, Altamont, LI; Mastandrea, 40x80' storage barn for use with future SFD, 105 acres on the Boquet River, Westport, RM; salt storage shed, Town of Hope, LI; Ulmer /Dinnan / Gardner, 2-lot subdivision and mineral extraction, Essex, RM/MI; and Valcour Properties, 32-unit multiple family dwelling, Peru, MI.

        In addition, the report resurrects two projects that had been delisted for some time: Koster / Pfau's third phase of 1989's Sandy Lane Estates, 100 acres Bolton, RU/MI, 14 lots with Lake George access; and Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. 1996 proposal for 21 lots/19 new SFDs on 148 acres LI/MI, with 64 acres to be transferred to the Town of Stony Creek for "open space recreation."

         Disappearances from Status Report include 13 projects or pre-applications that have been off the list since April 2000, and whose outcome is unknown. Three are residential: Shopmeier, septic system variance, Sacandaga Lake, Broadalbin, MI; Beaverite, 8-lot residential subdivision, Greig, RU; and Frobel, 7-8 lot subdivision, Saranac, LI. Four are commercial: Cohen, group camp for 150 music/art campers, Bleecker, RM/RU; Fort William Henry Corp., 120-unit addition to existing motel, Lake George, Hamlet; Quieor Paving, commercial use, St. Armand, RU, also subject of enforcement; and Stanley, conversion of pre-existing Wellscroft Lodge into bed and breakfast, Jay, RM/LI.

         Four involved bridges: DOT's rehabilitation of Batchellerville Bridge, Edinburg; Town of Lyonsdale, reconstruction of Fowlersville bridge over Moose River, RM; YMCA of Rochester / Monroe County, temporary bridge over Moose River for timber harvesting, RM/RU; and Wagner Forest Management, replace existing road / bridge over scenic river, Clare, RM. Of the two remaining projects, the APAR believes that the new firehouse for Poland Volunteer Fire Co., Ohio, RU, has been constructed; and that DEC's permit for rotenone in Palmer Pond, High Peaks Wilderness, Harrietstown, was issued this fall.

        Committee of Three did not meet. The full Regulatory Programs Committee, comprised of Lefebvre, Frenette, Kissel and Hoffman, with all other members present, reviewed a draft "Minor Project Application" and "Applicant's Handbook" presented by staff Mark Sengenberger in absence of Director of Regulatory Programs William Curran. The application form had been introduced in May 2000 and had been submitted to a "focus group" for review. The current form is substantially the same, although shortened by removing some explanatory information and a sheet for applicant to submit to the local government.

        The 11-page form contains detailed requests for information: whether applicant has had "any previous discussions with staff regarding this project or project site;" whether the site has been "the subject of a past APA action (application, variance, jurisdictional inquiry, enforcement or wetland flagging);" whether it was part of a larger parcel as of May 22, 1973 (the date of the Act); "current acreage of all connected lands owned by the current landowner;" data on navigable shoreline and / or wetlands; number of bedrooms in each proposed SFD; and if test pits have been dug in contemplation of a septic system.  The application states that unless a lot is to be conveyed as a non-building lot, "a suitable future single family dwelling building construction area must be identified" for any vacant lot, including gift lots.

         The application also requires numerous attachments: "full scale copy of survey map, tax map or topographic quadrangle map" of the property; photographs of all sides of any structures on the property at least 50 years old; copies of all deeds to the property dating back to 1973, as well as current deed; copy of any proposed deed restrictions or easement language; wetlands mitigation plan; "detailed plans for conventional wastewater treatment system" prepared by a contractor, or by a licensed engineer if it is an alternative septic system; and copies of other local, state or federal approvals.

        Finally, a "site plan map or subdivision plat" is required, showing: lot boundaries; waterbodies; wetlands; proposed structures and their setbacks; roads, driveways and parking areas; existing public utilities, sewage systems and water supplies; vegetative cover types; areas of steep slopes or bedrock; erosion / storm water controls; limits of vegetative cutting; landscaping proposed, "including plant name and size;" and location of proposed on site water supply and/or septic system including 100% replacement area.

        Sengenberger said a "consumer survey" would be given out with the new form. Frenette: "I'm encouraged by this.  The big thing is your reliance on the consumer and getting that feedback."  Caito said he had initially objected to the idea of the "focus group," but now agrees "it was worthwhile." Mezzano: "Two thumbs up."  Hoffman noted the historic preservation section would require numerous photos of such buildings as 1950's ranch houses. He suggested having staff be trained by NYS Historic Preservation Officer, enabling them to make appropriate recommendations. Lefebvre said the form would be used on a six-month trial basis, after which staff would report back.

        Permits, general conditions, also initially discussed in spring [APAR 5/00], revising some of the "notice" type of conditions in every permit, such as recording requirements and compliance provisions. Townsend wrote a memo: "If we did not have this format, would we design it this way from scratch? I suggest not." Fox: "I sometimes question whether a 20-30 page narrative document is the best way to insure environmental compliance.  We could probably continue living with the general conditions we have now, particularly having the contents of the application be purportedly controlling.  The real issue isn't tinkering with the conditions; we'd be better off focusing in the long term on how we write permits."

         Mezzano said he was "very happy" that a condition was revised to state that the permit is binding on contractors: "I hope local enforcers hand out a JIF [APA jurisdictional inquiry form] along with the [local] permit.  Maybe every year or so send out a JIF saying`In order to be fair to your constituents, there may be an APA permit required.' People think if they get a local permit, that's all they need.  It could minimize enforcement." Lefebvre: "I agree." Frenette: "It has to be very clearly stated it authorizes the subdivision and not the construction or whatever."  Fox: "The conditions need to be tailored to the project."

         Sengenberger: "We understand the confusion about referencing the application, but as we move to shorter permits we have the inability of getting good mapping. We don't require survey maps."  Townsend: "I would endorse the approach as long as we recognize strategic action is necessary." After some discussion on ensuring that all property owners' names are on the permit, Lefebvre announced "consensus" on the changes.

         Clearcutting, staff presentation.  Sengenberger: "There are a few buzzwords that cause the antennae to go up, 'clearcut' is one of them." Jarvis: "Forestry is very important to the ecology as well as the economy. Most forestry acts are exempt from APA jurisdiction.  Only those 25 acres in size, clearcutting trees over 6" over a 10-year cutting cycle. The Freshwater Wetlands Act also exempts clearcuts to some degree [of less than three acres]. The APA also administers the Rivers Act, which limits cutting within 1/4 mile and has standards for new landings, woods roads and bridges. One development consideration is to 'conserve productive forest lands.' We try to cluster subdivisions on forest lands and retain commercial tracts in forest management, using sound timber management and harvesting techniques."

         He and staff Brian Grisi explained the "clearcutting" regulations [Sec. 573.7] and the methodology to measure the 30 sq.ft. basal area left after harvest, which is the threshold for determining whether a clearcut has occurred. They cited the November 1981 "Clearcutting in the Adirondack Park" brochure, written after a two-year study by the forest industry and a "government-industry" conference. Jarvis:  "There were meetings, public hearings, on how to come up with a better definition of clearcutting. A lot of room for interpretation of 'substantially all' trees over 6" cut."

        Grisi: "The definition requires you to understand what 30 sq. ft. of basal area is. It's very rare to have anything approaching 25 acres. We have jurisdiction under the 'aggregation rule, 'counting individual clearcuts of 8+ acres by computing the 25-acre threshold with intervening areas that are less than 300'. Remaining basal area is measured by special sampling techniques, an 'Engel gauge' or a prism with diffraction methods." The Committee then discussed its only project, which involved clearcutting:

         Long Pond, LLC / New River-Franklin, Ltd., Colton / Clare, St. Lawrence County, RM/RU clearcutting of approximately 300 acres in 27 sites of 3-27 acres each. The entire parcel of 18,000 acres is subject to a 1998 conservation easement acquired by NYS "which provides for continued forest management and limited public recreational access and protection to selected surface waters," primarily the Grasse River. Project Review Officer Richard Jarvis : "The easement put in numerous conditions, no timber harvesting within 200' of the mean high water mark, which exceeds the river regulation standards of 100'. No new roads, no new landings."

         Townsend asked why the woods roads shown on the map dead-end in the land's interior. Jarvis: "The owner has hunting and fishing recreational leases and ongoing forest management activities not subject to our jurisdiction.  And it will be available for public use during selected periods of the year."  Rota asked if there had been timber harvesting within the last ten years. Jarvis: "Other lands were cut, hardwood stands, so not the same type of cover."

         Grisi showed slides of the type of equipment used: "feller-bunchers" such as the "Timco harvester" which snap whole trees off at their base. Frenette: "Contrast that with the 50 guys using the crosscut saws!"  Grisi: "You can't put those 50 guys in the woods now because of the workers compensation." Jarvis: "This operation would be done with the ground frozen and likely snow-covered." Grisi: "The cut would leave 6-10' high cover after harvesting a 150 sq.ft. basal area."

         Buchanan asked why the slides showed a forest that "looks even-aged." Grisi: "Because of over mature trees breaking up.  This area wasn't hit by either the blowdown or ice storm.  Spruce-fir are very shallow-rooted, they protect each other in the wind." Buchanan: "Is that why you're suggesting clearcuts, because any trees you left would just fall over?" Grisi: "Thank you [laughter]! I couldn't have said it better."  Jarvis said that the permit conditions set out how equipment was to be operated "to protect the site for regeneration in these wet soil conditions, definitely a shallow water table and hydric soils."

         Jarvis added there are four deer concentration yards of 600-3,000 acres in size: "DEC Region 6 wildlife staff report advised us of those and that there may be spruce grouse in the area, a threatened species.  However, the regeneration and regrowth would enhance that habitat. The Town of Colton does have an APA plan, the irony was they checked `No regulations apply' and discovered they do have jurisdiction over one area of 25 acres. We have a condition that requires applicant to go to the Town for site plan review, it appears it would be approvable."

         Townsend: "No cutting within 25' of the wetlands?"  Sengenberger: "25' of the streams, 50' buffer on all waterbodies." Jarvis: "A special condition only allows the machine to operate up to the 50' buffer and we know the practical limitation of how far that machine could reach." Townsend: "There's no specific statement about 25', only use of the equipment."  Jarvis: "We could add that language."  Buchanan: "This does allow harvesting in wetlands without any buffer as long as it's done in winter."

         Lefebvre: "We did have one communique."  [Letter from Adirondack Council (AC); the APAR does not have a copy, but the gist of its comments are clear from the ensuring discussion.] Lefebvre asked Fox if the AC's issues have been addressed. Fox: "Yes, we sat with staff, every element has been addressed, I don't want to be accused of giving it short shrift. One is recommendation for a post-harvesting survey and applicant agreed to that."

        Hoffman cited one AC comment advocating a forest management plan [FMP] for the entire parcel.  Jarvis: "There's no comprehensive forest management plan that we're aware of, we have widely scattered cuts and relatively small jurisdiction."  Fox: "There's a harvesting plan for those aspects within our jurisdiction, one is 25+ acres, the others are wetland clearcuts over three acres.  The AC asks you to condition or seek review of less than three acres and there's a specific regulation that says we don't have jurisdiction. The suggestion that you seek a FMP over 18,000 acres, that's a bit of a stretch and a reach from a jurisdictional  perspective."

         "We did consider impacts on wetlands less than three acres. The ground must be frozen and use of tracked harvesters, they're generally quite protective of wetlands. I just can't agree they haven't considered the environmental impacts. It's staff's opinion and mine that there are no undue adverse impacts." As to AC's comment about logging interfering with recreation, Fox said: "It [easement] grants authority to the landowner to close those areas where active timber harvesting is being done, so it isn't fair to say there will be recreational impacts that weren't dealt with in the easement itself."

         Kissel: "The strong statement about deer yards, you're not in agreement?" Jarvis: "We are not.  The size of the yards are much larger than the cut areas, harvest sites are not in those areas and there are other softwoods retained on the site.  All of the sites do have mature fir and spruce; without a regular harvest cycle they are subject to natural catastrophic events as well. The overall result is it will help maintain that particular forest cover." Kissel: "Is it true the deer population is strong?" Jarvis: "Yes." Staff Ray Curran: "I talked to Ted Smith, wildlife biologist in [DEC] Region 6.  Deer herds verge on overpopulation and clearcutting may actually benefit them in the winter, it provides some immediate browse."

         Kissel: "The comment about comprehensive review and FMPs, in non-forestry projects it's true that the APA takes jurisdiction over all elements as a general principle. Is this jurisdictional aspect different because it's a forest project?" Fox: "It's not 18,000 acres, it's those jurisdictional areas. We have reviewed every element and that's what we ought to be limited to."

         Kissel: "Has the practice in the past been not to address the FMP of the larger acreage?" Jarvis: "Sometimes it's been supplied and sometimes not, sometimes in relation to the size of the cut and proximity to other cuts. Significant areas separate these cuts. Rest of the 18,000 acres is northern hardwoods or mixed. Not a lot of softwoods and we asked about having an inventory of those. This harvest plan represents one-third of the softwoods, so we still have some context in relation to the whole property." Fox: "And it's not fair to say there are no other conditions."  Kissel: "The rationale for not taking jurisdiction over the whole 18,000 acres makes sense to me. That's consistent with what you've done in the past?" Jarvis: "Yes."

         The Committee approved the project unanimously, with a few minor changes to specify winter harvest only, and clarification of 50' buffers from streams and wetlands.  At the Friday plenary session of the full Agency, the project was unanimously approved with no further discussion.

        Forest management plans, past permits.  Over the past ten years, there have been only a few clearcutting applications, and they bear out staff's assertion that FMPs for entire acreages have not been required. However, language in other permit conditions differs among those and the Long Pond project, particularly regarding criteria to evaluate regeneration of the harvested stands. In Long Pond, 600 stems per acre in five years, among other factors, would constitute successful regrowth.

         In 1991, Champion International received a permit to clearcut spruce-fir on 50 acres upland and 40 acres wetland in Hopkinton. The permit merely requires that the cuts "must be supervised by a professional forester." In 1995, International Paper proposed to clearcut 100 out of 18,500 acres in Brighton.  The draft permit stated the cutting "shall be directly supervised by a professional forester," and in compliance with the "Timber Harvesting Guidelines" of the Society of American Foresters [SAF]. A detailed condition specified that adequate regeneration would be 4000 stems per acre, otherwise replanting would be required.  The project was later withdrawn.

         The last permit issued was in 1997, for Champion foresters to clearcut 39 and 120 acre sections of 4229 acres in Long Lake, owned by Wilbur Cowett [APAR 10/97].  The harvesting of "understory spruce-fir and poor quality hardwoods" would "be supervised by a professional forester" who would comply with SAF guidelines and prepare weekly inspection reports.  The AC had asserted it was spruce grouse habitat, and a condition required regeneration of 2000 stems over 6" high per acre in three years.

        The APAR searched other forestland permits not involving clearcuts for FMP conditions. In general, permits are silent as to FMPs in projects such as woods roads/bridges, hunting camps and sand/gravel pits. Many permits note that timber harvesting is taking place, and/or whether the property is being managed under the forest tax abatement programs of 480 (Fisher Act) or 480a of the Real Property Tax Law, but do not extend it into a condition.  It is difficult to compare conditions in different permits because of the variation in language and terminology used. A further complication is that multiple use of most large ownerships is common, such as for hunting leases, agriculture, mining or occasional subdivision; thus forest management is often entangled with other aspects of the project.

        In mid-1991, Adirondack Tree Farm in Oppenheim was permitted to subdivide 450 acres; the only pertinent condition stated that "any new land use and development, other than the existing forestry management of the property, shall require a permit." In mid-1992, Finch Pruyn & Co. split off 38 acres for a hunting club, while retaining "the right to continue logging and lumbering operations on the remaining 2797 acres," unconditioned. Similarly, a month later Trails End in Franklin divided 1000 acres into two lots, 718 acres to remain "in forestry and agricultural use." 

        The issue of requiring "master plans" for properties, as well as what constitutes such a plan, is as yet unresolved [APAR 2/94], so it is unclear whether forestry activities are a part of those.  Again, there are differences in terms, and in what part of a property constitutes the "project site." In summer 1992, Mettowee Lumber of Corinth was issued a permit to convey 34 acres and retain 555 acres for "continued forest management," but further subdivision will require a "resource analysis and master plan."

        About the same time, Whitney Industries subdivided seven camp lots on its then-46,000 acre "project site," and the APA reserved the right to require a "comprehensive master plan." Timber harvesting was not specifically exempted from such plan, although a month later a staff memo suggested that it was in fact exempt [APAR 6/92;5,6&9/93]. In mid-1993 Finch Pruyn received a permit for a group camp in North Hudson [APAR 5,6&9/93;2/94]; its master plan requirement does not specifically exempt timber harvesting, although the "project site" is considered to be a few acres, rather than the entire 30,000.

        Also in mid-1993, Koskinen / Van Buskirk were permitted two lots on 415 acres in Thurman, which required a FMP prepared by a forester selected from a list of DEC-approved consulting foresters and in accordance with the SAF guidelines. In fall 1994, Ward Lumber received a permit for "selective thinning" of 32 acres in Jay, along the Ausable River, specifying it must "avoid cluster removal." In 1996, Darcy Forest was permitted a 3-lot subdivision of 889 acres in Johnsburg, the lots to "continue to be used for forestry uses and timber production under the Fisher Act."

        Last year, Boeselager Forestry was granted two permits allocating a total of 18 building rights and allowing hunting leases on 4300 acres in Black Brook / Dannemora [APAR 7/99]. The permit states that "applicants have submitted a long-term comprehensive management and development plan" for both acreages, which also included a 480a FMP, but that "the APA is only able to evaluate general land use strategies of the long term management and development plan. Detailed plans for any future land use and development shall be submitted to the APA for approval." A condition stated that the permit "does not regulate the forest management of this project site except as specifically noted."

        The easement in Long Pond was transferred to NYS prior to its permit application. By contrast, the 1999 easements granted to NYS by Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. on a total of 12,000 acres in Colton, Parishville, Hopkinton and Piercefield, were made "a part of the record" of the two permits to split off hydropower operating lands surrounding several reservoirs [APAR 4/99]. NMPC was to retain "commercial forest management rights" to the easement lands, along with its utility uses.

        The NMPC permits enfold the conservation easements (making them   enforceable by the APA), but with the caveat that the easements "do not provide for any State oversight of the forestry management on the easement lands."  Therefore, conditions in the APA permits require "a comprehensive FMP" to be developed "in consultation with" and approved by DEC.  The plan "should take into account potential impacts to wetlands and other critical environmental areas, as well as surface waters and special habitats" and "should address and minimize the potential for conflict with recreational uses of the property." The permits do not go beyond the 25-acre/three acres in wetlands jurisdictional clearcutting threshold; however, those cuts must be "associated with" the FMP.

        "Forest Management Plans as Permit Conditions."  This memo was written in January 1989 by former Executive Director Robert Glennon, in connection with "back country" subdivision proposals in the 1980's, and was not limited to forest company land. Glennon had "hoped to define the nature of such FMPs, their scope, when they should be required, who may prepare them and how they might be evaluated by the APA to determine their adequacy."

         The memo stated that FMPs should be required for properties greater than 500 acres, if "the site has a history of forestry or wood products utilization or is forested with a commercially marketable stand" or if "the forest site is commercially viable" due to its soils, slopes and access. For lands less than 500 acres, Glennon had suggested that FMPs be required "on a case by case basis," if a project "poses a threat to the forest resource base by eliminating the land as a viable commercial woodlot through the removal of wood products or by subdivision."

        The APAR has no record of whether or not this FMP "policy" was formally adopted by the APA members, but some permits have referred to "the APA's March 1991 draft guidelines" for FMPs while others use different language or are silent. In 1991 the Smith family in Keene divided up 581 acres on which "timber harvesting has occurred in the past and is expected by the applicants to occur in the future," with no applicable permit condition.

         Later that year, the Butler Lake Associates subdivision of 532 acres in Ohio was required to be "clustered" in order to "ensure the potential for integrated, comprehensive management of the site for enhanced forestry, fish and wildlife, aesthetic and open space values," and that "segmented ownership will greatly inhibit the potential to develop an integrated comprehensive timber management plan for the entire parcel." A FMP was required prior to any lot sales.

        The Butler Lake project was never undertaken and returned in 1999 in the guise of its original use as a children's camp, Camp Cottleston [APAR 1/99].  The condition required that "prior to any timber harvesting, clearing, road construction or any other material change to the existing open space lands, the applicant shall receive APA approval of a comprehensive FMP prepared by a professional forester."  The plan must "provide for management of the watershed in a comprehensive fashion and assure the highest possible water quality, continuous wildlife habitat and protection of visual and wetland resources" and "shall take into account and protect the overall ecology of the forest resources of the site and ensure that its diversity is preserved together with its unique natural resources."

         Also in the 1990's, a FMP had been required for the Oven Mountain subdivision of 675 acres in Johnsburg [APAR 1&2/95], "prepared pursuant to the APA's 3/91 draft guidelines. "The FMP wa required "to provide for management in a comprehensive fashion and assure the highest possible water quality, continuous wildlife habitat and protection of visual and wetland resources."

         As to ownerships of less than 500 acres, most permits are silent on FMPs. Some note that forestry activities are going on but without imposition of any conditions; however, prohibition against "vegetative cutting" on all or portions of properties is common.  And there have been a number of smaller projects which do have FMP requirements of some type.

        In mid-1991 L Corp. was permitted  4-lot subdivision of 146 acres in Piercefield with a condition that "prior to any timber harvesting a FMP plan shall be prepared" by a forester on a DEC-approved list and the FMP "shall be prepared in accordance with the APA's guidelines." A permit to Martin Stone to sell 66 acres in North Elba prohibited cutting "without prior APA approval of a FMP prepared by a forester, which includes all access trails/roads."

        A 1993 subdivision for Baker of 222 acres in Ticonderoga for two lots and one house specified that "timber harvesting activities shall adhere to" the SAF guidelines. In 1994 FMPs were required for the area around Pampalone's pond in Chesterfield, and for Wynn's 2-lot subdivision of 70 acres on Cat Pond in Long Lake.

        While not requiring FMPs, specific conditions in some APA permits regulated some aspects of timbering: a 1996 2-lot project for Both on 145 acres in Keene limited cutting within 300' of the highway to "not more than 40% of the basal area;" Caza in North Hudson was limited to "40-45% basal area" near the river, and Cirillo's Black Brook permit for a SFD was required to leave 50 sq.ft. of basal area per acre and "no area shall be cleared larger than 500 sq.ft. without APA approval."

        Last month, a permit for Hall described the Brighton project as a SFD, with trees on the property to be used for its construction.  The permit sets forth the 25 acre upland/three acre wetland threshold for jurisdiction, and contains a statement that the harvesting aspect of the project does not require an APA permit.

 LOCAL PLANNING
        Town of Chesterfield, preliminary plan presentation. The plan calls for additional apartments on lots, which staff said may conflict with overall intensity guidelines [OIG]. Supervisor Gerald Morrow: "A statement that I was against zoning, there's history.  I was in the building construction business, when I campaigned and was asked if I favored zoning, I said 'Not at this time.' The Town Board didn't support the planning board.  I'm glad after 25 years we have a better working relationship. I started to hear people talk about protection of their rights. I'm now 100% in favor of zoning and I'm proud to live in the Adirondack Park."

        Bolton amendment on towers [APAR 10/00]. Staff James Hotaling: "A company needs to demonstrate that they need to be above the treeline."  Frenette: "I've never seen one that's below it." Hotaling: "You can cut a line [through trees].  It's a fairly tough position on the part of the town board."  The amendment was unanimously approved.

        Arietta amendment. Staff John Banta: "They want to limit hunting and fishing camps to 500 sq.ft., following our definition.  They kept 'hiking' in addition to 'hunting and fishing.' They have a few a year and some close to the road that could turn into houses.  To build one bigger would be a variance."  Unanimous approval.

        State Environmental Quality Review law [SEQR]. APA attorney Ellen George suggested the board discuss "when you want to assert lead agency status." She gave the example of DOT, which takes the lead on new roads but defers to local government or other agencies in lesser projects: "Certainly when the official map is being changed we want lead agency status.  Local governments don't understand SEQR when it applies to local plans, rather than a project or changes on the ground physically. DEC is working on a new Environmental Assessment Form for those two types of actions."

        North Creek revitalization, panel Johnsburg Supervisor Bill Thomas; and representatives from the Olympic Regional Development Authority [ORDA] which runs the Gore Mountain ski area; Warren County Economic Development; local historical society in charge of the railroad station museum where Theodore Roosevelt arrived after the McKinley assassination; and the tourist railroad now operating.

        Slides were shown of the ongoing downtown revitalization, which is mostly in Hamlet. Thomas pointed out the new businesses and gave some history of previous enterprises, and he reiterated the Town's plan to connect Gore to "Little Gore," originally the privately owned "Ski Bowl." The train station representative said the project was initiated with private funds, and that there is now a study of a "Wilderness Corridor" train to Saratoga and Albany."

        Michael Pratt of ORDA: "The Ski Bowl was the first ski area in the country. This heritage goes back to the 1930's, ski trains.  We're a tradition and a destination. In 1994 it needed modernization badly, everything was 30 years old.  $16 million invested, two new lifts and rehabbed another, and replaced gondola.  The pump from the Hudson River [APAR 4&5/95;5/96] is in the train station, our easement agreement requires us to renovate the engine maintenance station. We were a presenter on ecotourism at the White House and 1995 conference on mountain resort development and endorser of National Ski Areas environmental principles document.

         "We're trying to market the area as a four-season destination, 52% of our business comes from south and west of Syracuse. We've been recognized by the ski industry, magazines, the customers, and our different partners in the regulatory agencies. We received environmental excellence awards from the special interest groups and work very hard to protect their interests.  We want to build a childrens center, difficult to market as a family resort without it."

         The representative of the Economic Development Corp. said that most of the county's industrial development is limited to Glens Falls and Queensbury: "Our push is for four-season destination resort areas. If we build a sewer facility, we would need to rezone. Telecommunications is a huge issue, high speed internet is virtually impossible for visitors or businesses. People coming from Westchester County are used to a certain style, we're unable to give them access.  Improvements to Gore and Ski Bowl would allow us to compete. We lose a lot of business to Vermont.

        "We need to create a developer - friendly atmosphere.  While we have 50% more businesses, it's still difficult. Most of them close in November.  We need pre-zoning. The county is applying as an Enterprise Zone so some of the hamlets would be included.  We'd have credits t help businesses in the first two - three years.  A lot done but we need more." Staff Stephen Erman: "This Agency is in a position to be of help and continue to be of help with the sewer study, we're partners in improvement of the community." Lefebvre: "I have a hook, where you leave your pessimism at the door!"

REGULATORY REVISION
        The eleven revisions of Part 1, Phase 1, first begun in early 1997, were adopted with minimal changes [APAR 9/99] and will become final after publication in the Environmental Notice Bulletin.


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