LAKE GEORGE Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis took a trip to Lake George last week, announcing a million dollars for planning in Adirondack communities.
Weve been pushing for this for a long time, said Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe.
Some small towns, villages and hamlets in the Adirondack Park dont have the resources to conduct the comprehensive studies that assist in spurring economic development and growth, Grannis said during a press conference along the shore of Lake George.
Historically, economic development and conservation in the Adirondacks have been at odds, Grannis said.
Monroe said that towns with a plan in place are more apt to receive state grants and other benefits.
The state is buying massive amounts of land in the park, and theyll listen if you have a plan, but they wont if you dont, Monroe said.
The town of Chester spent more than $100,000 over the last several years, conducting studies, holding public hearings, submitting information to the Adirondack Park Commission and revamping many, many drafts before finally getting the APAs approval of its new zoning plan.
With a plan approved by the APA, Class B projects dont need APA approval, Monroe said. The town has taken back jurisdiction of the approval process for those projects.
The state Smart Growth Grants Program for the Adirondacks will help communities develop plans to address the two issues of conservation and economic growth. Monroe said that of the 104 towns and villages in the Adirondacks, about 50 or 60 have a plan in place, but only 17 have plans that are approved by the APA.
I dont know if this program is only for plans that are APA approved or not, Monroe said. But each town can use this money to work on a plan that fits the town.