Barbara Rice attended her first Adirondack Park Agency meeting last week as its new executive director just a few days after starting the job. It was a packed five-hour meeting.
“The one thing that stands out to me is how dedicated and hard working the staff here is,” Rice said, at the start of the meeting.
We published a couple of stories out of that Thursday marathon, including how the Olympic Regional Development Authority plans to widen some ski trails at Whiteface Mountain.
The Olympic Regional Development Authority showcased to the Adirondack Park Agency board the positive comments submitted thus far for its plans to widen ski trails and create new paths at Whiteface Mountain. ORDA officials, including President and CEO Mike Pratt, attended the APA’s virtual Thursday meeting to send their amendment proposal to a second public comment.
The APA board also approved a cell tower in Edinburgh and a solar project in Ticonderoga. Both projects generated discussion about the aesthetics of these utilities.
The Adirondack Park Agency wrestled with balancing residents’ need for utilities with protecting iconic views, ultimately approving a cell tower disguised as a pine tree on a hillside of deciduous trees and a large-scale solar facility in a field backdropped by mountains.
For those interested in the Town of Warrensburg’s map amendment request, the APA did not approve it. The town had wanted to change two parcels to hamlet, a land classification that involves less oversight from the APA and more development possibilities. The town had cited the parcels’ proximity to water and sewer utilities as reasons for the change. APA staff recommended that the smaller portion along the Schroon River be changed to moderate intensity use instead of hamlet, but the APA board did not have a super majority to pass it so the land classification remains the same. APA staff did not recommend any change in land classification for the larger parcel outside of the hamlet boundaries, and the board agreed and voted with staff’s recommendation. Warrensburg officials could still come back and ask for the change should they gather more information for a new application.
I’ll also note, the APA has several projects out for public comment including the use of an herbicide to treat invasive Eurasian watermilfoil on Lake George. The Lake George Park Commission is proposing to use the same herbicide the Town of Minerva used on Minerva Lake in 2020. Check out those public comment opportunities and their deadlines here: https://apa.ny.gov/
Above: A simulation of the cell tower, taken from the APA’s presentation.
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.