Tuesday, May 11, 2010

APA Meeting: Doubling Cell Towers, Fire Towers, More

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting this Thursday and Friday (May 13 and 14) at APA Headquarters in Ray Brook.

Among the items the Agency will be considering are a General Permit for the replacement and doubling of existing cell-towers and possible classification alternatives for fire towers in the Hurricane Primitive Area and the St. Regis Canoe Area. These could include reclassifying a small area around the base of the fire towers to a Historic Area classification, revising the State Land Master Plan.

The 2009 State Land Classification Package involving 32,013 acres of State Land will also be considered for approval, following five public hearings held in early 2009. The board will also hear for the first time the Unit Management Plans for the Jessup River Wild Forest, Jay Mountain Wilderness and the Hurricane Mountain Primitive Area and also a draft APA/DEC memorandum of understanding concerning development of new facilities and uses on State-owned Conservation Easements on Private Lands.

The May 2010 meeting will be webcast live on the Agency’s website at www.apa.state.ny.us. Meeting materials are available for download here. What follows is the APA’s full announcement of the meeting:

The Full Agency will convene on Thursday morning at 9:00 for Executive Director Terry Martino’s report which will include resolutions recognizing the retirement of long serving agency staff.

At 9:30 a.m., the Regulatory Affairs Committee will consider issuing a shoreline setback variance for the construction of a deck. The project site is located on Big Moose Lake in the Town of Webb, Herkimer County.

The Committee will then hear a first reading for a new draft general permit which if authorized would expedite agency approval for new or replacement cellular towers on existing agency approved sites. General Permit 2010 G-1 would facilitate timely approval for:

Installation of one new telecommunications tower in the immediate proximity of an existing telecommunications structure previously approved by the Agency and where the existing access drive and utility infrastructure are used to the greatest extent practicable.

Replacement of a pre-existing telecommunications tower or a telecommunications tower previously approved by the Agency to address structural deficiencies of the existing tower in order to accommodate co-location of an additional telecommunications provider on said structure; with potential for some de-minimus increase in height.

At 11:00, The State Lands Committee will hear a first reading for the Jessup River Wild Forest, Jay Mountain Wilderness and the Hurricane Mountain Primitive Area Unit Management Plans. No action will be taken this month on these plans.

The State Lands Committee will reconvene at 1:00 p.m., to discuss approval for the 2009 State Land Classification Package. This action involves 32,013 acres of State Land and was subject to five public hearings held from January 25 – February 5, 2009.

The Committee will then consider authorizing a public comment period and scheduling formal public hearings to consider possible classification alternatives related to fire towers in the Hurricane Primitive Area and the St. Regis Canoe Area. Alternative actions for amending the Master Plan include:

Reclassify a small area around the base of the fire towers on St. Regis and Hurricane Mountains to a Historic Area classification

Revise the State Land Master Plan classification guidelines to allow the retention of fire towers in Primitive areas under certain conditions which will include the creation of a small Primitive area around the fire tower on St. Regis or the revision of guidelines for Canoe Areas to allow the fire tower as a conforming structure. Revisions will include retaining a small Primitive area classification around the fire tower on Hurricane. The balance of the Primitive area surrounding the fire tower on Hurricane Mountain would be re-classified as Wilderness.

No Action – which would result in removal or relocation from their current locations

At 2:30, the Park Ecology Committee will hear a presentation from Department of Environmental Conservation Endangered Species Unit staff. DEC will provide background and updates on critical wildlife issues such as white-nose syndrome in bats, chronic wasting disease in deer and the decline of bog turtle populations.

At 3:30, the Legal Affairs Committee will meet to act on regulatory revisions for the definitions of boathouses and docks. The proposed changes are responsive to public comments. The revised definitions are available from the Adirondack Park Agency’s website. Please use this link: [pdf].

On Friday May 14 at 9:00 a.m., the Economic Affairs Committee will hear a presentation on the history and economic impact of children’s camps in the Adirondack Park.

At 10:00, The Full Agency will reconvene to hear this month’s Community Spotlight presentation. Town of Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey will overview her community and discuss important issues facing this Essex County town.

At 10:45, The Park Policy and Planning Committee will hear a first reading of a draft APA/DEC memorandum of understanding concerning development of new facilities and uses on State-owned Conservation Easements on Private Lands within the Adirondack Park. The draft memorandum of understanding defines the working relationship, provides guidelines for minimum thresholds defining new land use and development and establishes protocols for the review of DEC projects which in the future may be proposed for lands with State owned conservation easements in the Park.

At 11:30, the Full Agency will convene to take action as necessary and conclude with committee reports, public and member comment.

The next agency meeting is June 10-11, 2010 at the Adirondack Park Agency Headquarters.

July Agency Meeting: July 8-9 2010 at the Adirondack Park Agency Headquarters.

The mission of the Adirondack Park Agency is to protect the public and private resources of the Adirondack Park through the exercise of the powers and duties of the Agency as provided by law. With its headquarters located in Ray Brook, the Agency also operates two Visitor Interpretive Centers, in Newcomb and Paul Smiths. For more information, call the APA at (518) 891-4050 or visit www.apa.state.ny.us.

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