Posts Tagged ‘APA’

Monday, November 17, 2008

Adirondack Park Agency’s November Meeting Summary

Starting this month, I will begin offering (verbatim) the Adirondack Park Agency‘s monthly meeting summaries. You can find all of the summaries by clicking on “APA Meeting Summaries” below.

During its deliberations on Friday, November 14, 2008 the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) approved a cellular project in the Town of Keene, Essex County. The Agency authorized an energy policy which integrates concerns for energy supply, conservation, and efficiency into the Agency’s Park planning, public education and project review functions. The Agency also adopted regulatory reform which addresses subdivisions involving wetlands, expansion of non-conforming shoreline structures, land division along roads or right of ways owned in fee and clarified definitions for floor space and hunting and fishing cabins.

Verizon Wireless Cellular Project, Town of Keene

The Agency approved a cellular tower southeast of the hamlet of Keene along State Route 73. The tower will provide cellular service throughout most of the hamlet of Keene and help infill coverage along 73 north to Lake Placid. Coverage will extend into the hamlet of Keene Valley.

The project involves construction of a new 79 foot tower behind the gravel pit east of NYS Routes 9N and 73. The site is adjacent to the Town of Keene’s water tank and will be accessed from an existing dirt road. The tower will include a ten foot lightening rod for a total height of 89 feet. Verizon will paint the tower and antennas a dark charcoal or a black color to minimize its visual appearance. The color and project site, which includes a vegetative and topographical backdrop, ensures substantial invisibility and compliance to the Agency’s Telecommunications and Tall Structures Policy.

Agency Endorses Policy on Energy Supply, Conservation and Efficiency

The Park Agency approved a forward thinking policy that sets forth general principals for consideration of energy concerns inside the Adirondack Park. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to Agency staff, Park stakeholders and permit applicants regarding the APA’s exercise of its responsibilities under the APA Act and the State Environmental Quality Review Act for energy supply, conservation and efficiency. The policy is intended to protect Adirondack Park resources while recognizing that energy conservation is critical to sustainable communities within the Park.

The Energy policy considers public and private concern for current energy use and conservation, climate change, fossil fuel consumption, acid rain and development sprawl impacts. The policy will address the cumulative effects of energy consumption on the Park’s natural resources and the need to continue to develop clean, reliable and affordable energy supplies. It is consistent with State efforts to address climate change, state energy use, sustainable communities and smart growth.

Staff will work in partnership with applicants during pre-application meetings to incorporate policy guidelines ensuring projects adhere to existing New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code requirements. Large-scale subdivision projects will be encouraged to exceed the minimum requirements of the State’s Energy Code.

The policy also directs the Agency to improve public awareness by serving as a forum on energy related issues. To meet this goal the Agency will use its Visitor Interpretative Centers and websites to promote greater awareness for energy conservation and sustainable building practices. Please see the APA website @ www.apa.state.ny.us for energy resources.

Regulatory Revisions

The Agency adopted five proposed revisions to its rules and regulations. Revisions were approved for: (1) wetland subdivision; (2) expansion of non-conforming shoreline structures; (3) land division along roads or rights-of-way; (4) definition of “floor space”; and (5) definition of “hunting and fishing cabin”. These involve new or amended definitions and companion changes to sections of the Agency’s regulations in Parts 570, 573, 575 and 578 of 9 NYCRR Subtitle Q. The revisions will apply to future Agency determinations and are expected to take effect on December 31, 2008.

The record for this rule making began in 2003 when the topics were first addressed by the Agency and Park stakeholders. It involved extensive interaction with all affected stakeholders over the following years. In August 2008, the Agency provided notice of the rulemaking and posted related documents to its website. In October, it conducted public hearings including one hearing outside of the Park to solicit public comment.

The Agency regulatory reform effort: (1) clarifies existing regulatory language; (2) expedites delivery of services to the public; (3) introduces more consistency, uniformity and predictability into Agency administration and decision making consistent with governing statutes, and (4) improves regulatory, advisory, and educational functions.

The Agency deleted provisions allowing unlimited expansion of pre-existing non-conforming shoreline residential structures located within the setback area established by Section 806 of the APA Act. As a result, most expansions will require a variance, similar to the variance required by many municipalities for non-conforming structures under local zoning. The right to replace pre-existing structures is unaffected by the revision, and in the eighteen towns with Agency-approved local land use programs, these variances will continue to be administered by the local zoning boards. In other situations, landowners will need to consult the Agency regarding the variance requirement. The definition revisions for “Floor Space” and “Hunting and Fishing Cabins” establish structure criteria that provide clarity and consistency for jurisdictional determinations.

Adopted changes to “subdivisions involving wetlands” remove long recognized unintended consequences that ensnare individuals in inadvertent violation of the law and often resulted in the creation of lots with no development potential, solely to avoid APA jurisdiction. The adopted regulation carefully tailors jurisdiction to the potential for impacts to the wetlands protected by the statutes.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

APA to Host Online Energy Conservation Workshop

From the Adirondack Park Agency:

On Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at the Agency’s offices, there will be an energy conservation workshop beginning at 1:00 (and ending no later than 4:00) focused on technical assistance for the design, construction and financing of energy efficient residential dwellings. The session will be web-cast.

Presenters will include:

James Hotaling, Architect-Planner, AIA, AICP, will discuss the overall energy aspects approach of the regional plan, site assessment, including solar and other potentials, and his experience for the possible energy-related futures for large and small scaled homes, with ‘old’ and ‘new’ examples.

Michael DeWein, Technical Director, BCAP/Alliance to Save Energy, will discuss simple, cost-effective things people can do to save money and energy in the home. This will cover simple home air sealing and insulation treatments, to getting a proper energy audit, to installing a variety of energy conservation measures themselves.

David Trudeau, Program Coordinator for Honeywell, will discuss 3 NYSERDA residential programs for existing homes: i) EmPower NY, ii) Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star, and iii) Home Performance with Energy Star. David will also discuss various types of heating fuels (electric, propane, fuel oil, Kerosene, wood pellets, and cord wood) and the cost comparisons between them.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Adirondack Cell Towers Approval Details

Local news is reporting that construction has begun on four new new cell towers: Warrensburg, North Hudson, Schroon Falls and Lewis. They are expected to be working by the end of the year.

The following list is from a document called “Adirondack Park Agency Status Update on Cellular Projects in the Adirondack Park.” It includes the status of cellular carrier projects approved, currently under review, or projects submitted but deemed incomplete. It does not include other related tower projects such as TV, radio, or emergency services systems. It does however include a historic look at towers and concludes the surprising fact that 59 new cellular carrier permits have been issued since 1973 – missing of course is any indication of permits denied, which I suspect is none or close to none.

Here are the details:

The Agency Board approved the Independent Towers LLC/RCC Atlantic Inc application (Town of Lewis, Essex County). This project was the first cell tower application submitted specifically designed to accommodate multiple cellular carriers. AT&T was a co-applicant and will provide service from this site. There is room for three additional carriers. The tower will provide Northway coverage south and north of exit 32.

The Agency Board will consider approval for Verizon’s proposed tower in the Town of Chesterfield, Essex County at its September 11-12 meeting. This project is located near Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain between exits 32 and 33.

Staff is reviewing the fabrication designs for the Schroon Falls (Town of Schroon, north of exit 28) Verizon tower. This tower will be a simulated Pine tree.

Staff is seeking additional information for a second Verizon tower submitted in the Town of Lewis, Essex County.

Agency staff monitored visual analysis for the Verizon cellular application proposed for the Town of Keene, Essex County. Visual analysis was also conducted for a site in Keene Valley. Staff is awaiting submission of the visual analysis for the Keene site and an application for the Keene Valley site.

Verizon’s application submitted in the Town of Wells, Hamilton County remains incomplete.

Staff is reviewing a permit amendment to upgrade an antenna on a preexisting tower in the Town of Moriah, Essex County.

The Agency approved a general permit application from T Mobile (AT&T) to co-locate cellular panel antennas on a 145-foot tall existing tower. The project is located in the Town of Fine, St. Lawrence County.

Cellular carrier activity since January 1, 2008:

4 cellular carrier permits approved for new towers

2 cellular carrier general permits approved for co-location

3 cellular carrier application for new towers incomplete

1 cellular carrier application for upgrades to an existing tower remains incomplete

1 cellular carrier application currently being reviewed for Board consideration

1 cellular carrier permit amendment being reviewed

0 cellular carrier applications submitted for temporary towers for I-87

Cellular carrier activity May 1973 through present:

59 new cellular carrier permits approved authorizing 65 activities:

11 new free standing towers

13 tower and/or antenna replacements

21 co-locations on free standing existing towers

6 co-locations on existing buildings

6 co-locations on water tanks

3 co-locations on existing fire towers

2 co-locations on Olympic ski jump

2 co-location on smokestack

1 temporary tower and a second renewal (Town of Mayfield, Fulton County)

20 cellular carrier permit amendments issued authorizing 21 activities:

10 tower and/or antenna replacements

7 co-locations on free standing existing towers 2 co-location on fire tower

1 co-location on existing building

1 co-location on Olympic ski jump


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Newcomb VIC Hosts Geology Festival

An announcement forwarded from Andy Flynn:

NEWCOMB, NY – The history and culture of rocks in the Adirondack Mountains will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 9 during the Adirondack Park’s first-ever geology festival, Rock Fest 2008, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Newcomb.

The VIC staff is teaming up with the Adirondack Museum and SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry’s Adirondack Ecological Center to present this historic event, which will include exhibits, lectures, field trips and children’s activities. Free and open to the public, Rock Fest was designed to be a day-long exploration to increase appreciation and understanding of regional geology.

Exhibits and lectures at Rock Fest will focus on the geological history of the Adirondack Mountains and man’s relationship with the natural resources of the Adirondack Park. The human history will be provided by Adirondack Museum educators.

Here are the Rock Fest 2008 lectures and field trips:

-10 a.m. Lecture: Introduction to Geology, with Matt Podniesinski,
Division of Mineral Resources, NYS DEC
-10:30 a.m. Lecture: Adirondack Geology, with William Kelly, State
Geologist, NYS Geological Survey
-11:15 a.m. Field trip: Rocks in Place, with Matt Podniesinski and
William Kelly
-1 p.m. Lecture: Historical Use of Minerals Resources, with Adirondack
Museum staff
-1:45 p.m. Lecture: Contemporary Use of Mineral Resources, with hris
Water, Barton Mines Company
-2:30 p.m. Lecture: Shake, Rattle, & Roll: Seismology, Earthquakes and
New York State, with Alan Jones, SUNY-Binghamton
-3:15 p.m. Lecture: Rocks in Everyday Life, with Matt Podniesinski
-4 p.m. Field trip: Of Mines and Men: The McIntyre and Tahawus Mines,
with Paul B. Hai, SUNY-ESF’s Adirondack Ecological Center

Exhibitors will include: the Adirondack Park Institute, the Adirondack Museum (making sandpaper with kids), Natural Stone Bridge and Caves, High Falls Gorge, the Rock Shop/Waters Edge Cottages (Long Lake) , the Slate Valley Museum, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Adirondack Museum, located in Blue Mountain Lake, tells the story of the Adirondacks through exhibits, special events, classes for schools, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. For information about upcoming exhibits and programs, call (518) 352-7311, or visit online at www.adirondackmuseum.org.

The Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC), located in Newcomb, is the leader in ecological sciences in the Adirondack Mountains and a major contributor to the science internationally. Established in 1971 by the State University of New York College of Environmental Forestry in Syracuse, the AEC provides the science that underpins the management of Adirondack Park as one of the world’s foremost experiments in conservation and sustainability.

The New York State Adirondack Park Agency operates two VICs, in Paul Smiths and Newcomb, which are open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas and Thanksgiving. They offer a wide array of educational programs, miles of interpretive trails and visitor information services. Admission is free.

The Newcomb VIC is located 12 miles east of Long Lake on Route 28N. For more information about the VICs, log on to the centers’ Web site at www.adkvic.org.

This is the rest of the post


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Paul Smiths VIC’s Adirondack Wildlife Festival

Another announcement forwarded to you from Andy Flynn:

PAUL SMITHS, NY – The increasing need for wind energy in New York state and the exploding moose population in the Adirondacks will top the list of Adirondack Wildlife Festival programs on Sunday, Aug. 10 at the Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Paul Smiths. The annual event, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will also feature children’s activities, live music, wildlife exhibits, food, trail walks and live animal demonstrations. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Newcomb VIC to Host Climate Change Lecture

According to a media release we received last week, the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry’s (ESF) Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Newcomb will feature a presentation on climate change during the Huntington Lecture Series at 7 p.m. this Thursday, July 10th at the Newcomb VIC.

Colin Beier (that’s him at left) is a research associate at the AEC. He will present a program titled “Changing Climate, Changing Forests: from Alaska to the Adirondacks.”

Beier will demonstrate that the impacts of climate change in the far north are much more than disappearing sea ice; the boreal forests are changing dramatically, due to increased fire, insect outbreaks and tree diebacks. These are all are linked to climatic changes in the last century. » Continue Reading.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Home Building in the Adirondacks

The number of homes being built in the Adirondacks is getting out of control. The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is understaffed and the local economy is increasingly dependent on new construction. The Glens Falls Post Star recently reported that home sales in Warren County are up 38 percent from 2004. More alarming is the fact that the median selling price of those homes, jumped nearly 20 percent in just one month — from $165,500 in July 2005 to $197,900 in August 2005.

This month’s issue of Adirondack Life has a large feature piece devoted to housing prices and related issues. Unfortunately, their webpage has taken a turn for the worst and they have exactly no content.

It’s clear that in our parts of the park the only real opportunity for young people is to become a part of the housing boom and work as laborers building houses. Local companies have continuous ads for workers and we see more and more workers from out of state. This summer we saw home construction workers from Montana and Alabama among others.



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