The New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department has announced a decision to uphold the approvals by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) for the 6,000-acre Adirondack Club and Resort planned for Tupper Lake.
Protect the Adirondacks along with the Sierra Club and local landowners filed the lawsuit in March of 2012, outlining 29 allegations challenging the legality approvals made by the APA that January.
The decision disappointed opponents of the proposed resort project, the largest in the Adirondacks, who have been working for several years to mitigate the subdivision’s imprint on the landscape.
“The ruling by the panel of judges continues to show that all procedures and review were done according to the APA Act and the Adirondack Club project does not rise to the level of having an undue adverse impact.” ARISE Chairman Jim LaValley said in a statement issued to the press. The local real estate developer also took the opportunity to call the suit “frivolous” and declare the intentions of the plaintiffs “anything but honorable”.
“This is a great loss for the Adirondack Park and the Adirondack Park Agency because it sets a precedent for forest fragmentation across the Adirondacks and codifies for the first time in 40 years of APA history that the APA Act is to be reduced to mere guidance and not law,” Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks Peter Bauer said in a statement. “Today could mark a point of no return in the history of the Adirondack Park, Bauer said. “This follows a series highly political decisions regarding Forest Preserve management and private land development in the Adirondacks.”
The project has been widely touted by developers and their supporters as a boon to the local economy, but questions about the struggling Big Tupper Ski Area component of the resort, and the likelihood of meeting the subdivision’s real estate expectations remain.
The next step for the Adirondack Club & Resort Project is to finalize conditional approvals and secure the final permits from the APA, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Army Corp of Engineers.
Photo: The ACR site near Big Tupper Ski Area in Tupper Lake (Photo by Carl Heilman II).