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Local governments want to revamp forever wild clause

They presented their view during a recent work session at Local Government Day. The idea sparked curiosity from state officials and impelled a comprehensive park-wide survey of Adirondack towns and villages. The survey, to be called the Adirondack Park Regional Assessment Project, intends to gather relevant community data from every town inside the blue line. In a move to change the course of Adirondack land use, Brad Dake, chairman of the Town of Arietta Planning Board, pointed to dominance of public over private land ownership. Every one of the 104 towns and villages inside the park is locked into borders with adjoining state land, he said, calling them battle lines. Towns like Arietta in Hamilton County, which is 96-percent state land, have no room to move when they need or want to add water pipes, sewer infrastructure or extend an airport runway, which happened twice by constitutional amendment in the town's history. To address the constraints felt in Arietta and in other towns, Dake suggests that New York state convey 500 acres annually to a county or town to improve Adirondack community growth. Lands would be used to update infrastructure, commercial property, development, housing and other benefits.

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