Posts Tagged ‘Adirondack Park Agency’

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Questioning APA transparency

roads in wild forest

The Adirondack Park Agency has received criticism for what some say is its lack of transparency regarding the release of old memos about questions staff have posed to commissioners that would interpret a cap on roads in wild forest areas. Commissioners made no determinations at the APA meeting last week, but staff hinted they could be looking for decisions, soon.

Here’s a reminder, quoted from APA Deputy Director of Planning Megan Phillips’s presentation, on the questions:

» Continue Reading.


Friday, November 4, 2022

Communications tower, commercial mine among projects up for public comment

The Adirondack Park Agency is accepting public comment on projects currently under review. The public is encouraged to go to the Agency’s website found at www.apa.ny.gov and click the Public Comment and Hearing Opportunities link found in the News & Activities information box.

The link will direct the public to the Requests for Public Comment page where more information is located. In addition, the public will find an option to electronically submit a comment for the posted projects.

Presently, the Agency is accepting comments on the following proposed projects:

– New commercial sand and gravel mine in the Town of Elizabethtown, Essex County

– Shoreline variance request for the construction of a single-family dwelling in the Town of Ticonderoga, Essex County

– Three-lot subdivision in the Town of Tupper Lake, Franklin County

– Construction of a new 85-foot-tall telecommunications tower in the Town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County

– Demolition of existing mining equipment and structures at the former Republic Steel Mineville #7 complex in the Town of Moriah, Essex County

– Reconstruction of an existing 46kV electric transmission line in the Towns of Long Lake, Arietta and Long Lake, Hamilton County

– Replacement and expansion of an existing on-site wastewater treatment system within 100 feet of wetlands in the Town of Webb, Herkimer County

– Installation of temporary telecommunication infrastructure in the Town of North Hudson, Essex County

– Installation of new utility pole in the Town of Ticonderoga, Essex County

– Four-lot subdivision in the Town of Parishville, St. Lawrence County

– Replacement and realignment of NYS Route 28 bridge crossing south inlet of Raquette in the Town of Arietta, Hamilton County

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.

Photo at top: Cell towers on Prospect Mountain. Almanack file photo


Thursday, October 13, 2022

APA transparency updates and autumn blazes

autumn blaze

Owl Head Lookout. Photo by Gwendolyn Craig

The Adirondack Park Agency will not be meeting this week, “due to no agenda items that require board action,” according to its website. I do have some update to share with you about how the APA is running its public comments and hearings page.

Upon glancing at the APA’s website this morning, I do see that the agency will be holding a virtual training for commissioners on shoreline setbacks, which the public is invited to watch on WebEx. Got to the APA’s homepage for more info: https://apa.ny.gov/.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

More misinformation about APA formal hearings

white lake quarry

Reporter Megan Plete Postol reported on a recent judicial proceeding in Oneida County Supreme Court brought by Adirondack White Lake Association. The lawsuit was brought by neighbors of Red Rock Quarry, a proposed new granite quarry to be located very close to White Lake in Forestport.

The legal challenge was filed this spring because the Adirondack Park Agency in Ray Brook failed to conduct an adjudicatory public hearing that could have, through sworn expert testimony and cross examination, uncovered facts about noise, ground, surface water and other information needed for the APA to render a determination of no undue adverse impact “upon the natural, scenic, aesthetic, ecological, wildlife, historic, recreational or open space resources of the park.”

No hearing about the granite quarry was held by the APA which, after staff review, issued the proposed granite quarry a permit to operate earlier this year.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 16, 2022

The latest state, APA policy news

APA 50th anniversary logo

I know I previewed this in my last newsletter, but in case you didn’t get a chance to read it, here is my roundup of the four Adirondack Park constitutional amendments that didn’t get first passage this legislative session. The conservation design bill, legislation intended to protect more open space and natural resources when planning for some subdivisions, passed the Assembly but not the Senate. Also of note, a bill that brings forest rangers and environmental conservation officers’ retirements up to the same standards as State Police passed both chambers. We’ll see if Gov. Kathy Hochul signs it this time.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Adirondack Park Fares Well in NYS Legislative Session

adirondack council new logoALBANY, N.Y. – The closing hours of the NYS Legislative Session saw three Adirondack Park Agency appointees confirmed by the Senate, including the first Black appointee, Benita Law-Diao.   The Legislature also approved important policy advances to curb the impacts of climate change, such as the commitment to protect 30% of New York’s forests by 2030.  None of the several proposed amendments to the NYS Constitution’s “forever wild” clause was approved.   
 “Overall, the Legislative Session provided some great victories for Adirondack wilderness, water, jobs and communities,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “It was great to see new Governor Kathy Hochul reaffirm her support for the Adirondacks and work with Legislative Leaders to achieve it.”  

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Public meetings for Wild Forest and roads

roads in wild forestAs part of the ongoing public comment period regarding the interpretation of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan’s Wild Forest Basic Guideline No. 4 – no material increase of road mileage on lands classified as Wild Forest, the Adirondack Park Agency in coordination with the Department of Environmental Conservation, will hold a virtual public informational meeting and an in person meeting.

The virtual public meeting will be held on June 2, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. To access the virtual meeting the public is asked to please pre-register using the following link – tinyurl.com/APA-NMI-info. To dial in to meeting please call 518-549-0500 and use Access Code: 2347 466 3096. For those who would like to make an oral comment please email your name and phone number you will be calling in from to: keith.mckeever@apa.ny.gov

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Wild Forest roads: “No Material Increase” needs context

wild forest roads

Fifty-one years ago (1971) the newly created Adirondack Park Agency was granted the authority to draft, revise, and interpret the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, or APSLMP. That plan was signed by the Governor in 1972 and revised by many Governors since. The NYS courts have found that the APSLMP has the force and effect of law.

No Material Increase: This past week, the APA sent the public notice that we have 60 days to comment in order to “inform the APA Board’s interpretation of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan’s Wild Forest Basic Guideline No. 4 – no material increase of road mileage on lands classified as Wild Forest.” The rest of APA’s press release consists of seemingly arcane questions and alternatives that presumes public awareness and understanding of the past and how it relates today.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

APA to vote on Whiteface amendment

whiteface

The Adirondack Park Agency is meeting in person this week for the first time since last summer. The two-day meeting will start at 10 a.m. on Thursday at the APA’s Ray Brook headquarters. It will pick back up at 9 a.m. on Friday. The meeting will be broadcast live online, but public comment will have to be made in person. Face masks are not required but encouraged, the agency wrote.

There are several projects the board is expected to vote on including an amendment to the Whiteface Ski Center Unit Management Plan. More background on that here. Staff are recommending approval for the amendment’s conformance with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

APA announces open public comment periods for projects under review

The Adirondack Park Agency  (APA) is accepting public comment on projects currently under review.  The public is encouraged to go to the Agency’s website found at www.apa.ny.gov and click the Public Comment and Hearing Opportunities link found in the News & Activities information box.

 

The link will direct the public to the Requests for Public Comment page where more information is located.  In addition, the public will find an option to electronically submit a comment for the posted projects.

 

Presently, the Agency is accepting comments on the following proposed projects:

 

  • Three-lot residential subdivision in the Town of Fort Ann, Washington County
  • Reissuance of un-recorded and expired Agency Permit 2021-0048 for the construction of a self-storage facility in the Town of Harrietstown, Franklin County
  • Construction of two new access roads involving wetlands for replacement of a pre-existing utility line in the Town of Ticonderoga, Essex County
  • Establishment of an agricultural service use, involving construction of a barn for maple syrup production and a detached garage for equipment storage in the Town of Dannemora, Clinton County
  • Construction of a 5-megawatt solar generation facility in the Town of Ticonderoga, Essex County
  • Proposal to install athletic field lighting poles and goal posts at Moriah Central School District’s new athletic stadium in the Town of Moriah, Essex County

See the following for a more detailed list of proposed projects including the end date for public comment periods: 

Public comment is invited for the following projects under review by the Adirondack Park Agency. Notices are sorted by comment period ending date. If a public hearing is scheduled for a project, the hearing date, time, and location will be listed.

April 28 — Brandon & Andrea Montag; APA:2022-0071;
NYS Route 186 and Airport Road, Town of Harrietstown, Tax Parcel 423.-2-3;
more information or comment on this project


May 5 — National Grid; APA:2021-0298;
Black Point Road and State Route 22, Town of Ticonderoga, TMP 160.2-2-3.000; 160.2-2-2.000; 160.2-2-1.000; 150.4-4-1.000, and 150.83-1-7.000.;
more information or comment on this project


May 5 — Malcolm Gatherer; APA:2021-0290;
Sunset Road, Town of Dannemora, Clinton County, TMP: 182.-2-2.1, 2.3, and 2.4;
more information or comment on this project


May 5 — Pivot Energy; APA:2021-0296;
Old Chilson Road, Town of Ticonderoga Tax Parcels 150.2-1-2.110 and 150.2-1-18.000;
more information or comment on this project


May 5 — Moriah Central School District; APA:2022-0002;
Viking Lane, Town of Moriah, Tax Parcel 97.17-5-1;
more information or comment on this project


May 12 — Denise Plano, Andrew Kropff, Stewart & Donna Jerdo; APA:2022-0022;
Simonds Hill Road, Town of Elizabethtown, Tax Parcels 74.2-1-27.100 and 74.2-1-27.300;
more information or comment on this project

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.

 


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Cost to Lake George of Not Holding APA Hearings

lake georgeThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) last held an adjudicatory public hearing in 2011 – the kind of hearing that involves sworn testimony and cross-examination of evidence before a law judge, followed by a full hearing record on which to base a judicious, carefully examined, evidence-based decision. That 2011 hearing was for the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort subdivision and development near Tupper Lake. In the eleven years since, and despite the many hundreds of permits issued by the APA since, including many large, regional projects, not a single adjudicatory public hearing has been convened by the APA.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

APA, Gov. recognize former chief Terry Martino

barbara rice and terry martino

In recognition of Terry Martino’s career as executive director of the Adirondack Park Agency, at her last APA board meeting before retiring, Martino was presented with a citation from Gov. Kathy Hochul, and the board passed the following resolution:

Whereas: On August 12, 2009, the Adirondack Park Agency Board appointed Terry Martino as Executive  Director of the Adirondack Park Agency. For the next twelve and a half years, Executive Director Martino led  the Park Agency with dignity, respect, and fundamental fairness until her retirement on February 22, 2022; and  

Whereas: Terry Martino’s exceptional background was deeply rooted in decades of Adirondack environmental  stewardship and smart growth accomplishments. Prior to her appointment to the Park Agency, she  successfully advocated for the North Country as the Executive Director of the Adirondack North Country  Association; and  

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

Debating solar and cell tower aesthetics

cell tower

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.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Improving APA Procedures Will Not Result in the Visionary Planning Needed. What Will?

APA sign regional planning

This is prompted by David Gibson’s op-ed a week or so ago. David calls for the APA to return to its former practice of reporting finds of fact. He believes, as I read him, that this would justify the exemption of the agency from New York’s environmental review law, SEQRA, and result in better decisions.

I agree. Experience throughout the U.S. makes it clear that the best way, which is to say the most disciplined and defensible way to report significant land use decisions is in the form of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The terminology can vary, but these functions are essential. I will also take David’s argument further. Proposed findings and conclusions should be available for public review and comment before the public hearing that should precede all significant land-use decisions. That’s the minimum transparency needed.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The next APA executive director – a lot at stake for Kathy Hochul, John Ernst and the rest of us

terry martino

After a dozen years, Terry Martino is retiring as the executive director of the NYS Adirondack Park Agency. Terry is an admirable person who has had a difficult job of balancing the pressures from APA applicants, staff, members and the Cuomo administration – and much else.

But for more than a decade she – like many others – loyally saluted as a member of Team Cuomo, the Governor who:

  • put up those banners in Ray Brook that the Park was Open for Business;
  • weakened both the Private Land Use and State Land Plans;
  • weakened the APA and was satisfied with token environmentalism on its board;
  • steered APA further off course from its mission as a planning agency in an era when climate change accelerates the urgent need for better land use planning.

» Continue Reading.



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