Proposed APA policy changes raise ire of local officials

Homes built prior to the APA's founding in 1973, he said, could expand away from waterways without oversight while those built since 1973 were subject to Agency review.

"It puts all the projects on the same level," he said.

This and three other rule changes will be considered at the agency's monthly meeting Nov. 13, he said. The public comment period on these changes expired Oct. 23.

Monroe said he was also concerned about the Agency's decision to phase out float planes on Low's Lake.

Monroe met Monday with state Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury) and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro) to discuss these two issues.

Little said she was deeply concerned about both the Agency's new regulations as well as the float plane issue.

Little said late Monday she was recruiting other legislators to fight the policy changes and other recent initiatives by the Park Agency.

"When the economy in in such rough shape, the Agency isn't even considering economic issues when they're making these decisions," she said.

She also said the pending rule changes were a "power grab."

"Decisions like this should absolutely be handled by the state Legislature," she said. "I've talked to lawyers involved in Adirondack issues, and they agree."

Other state agencies adhere to their jurisdictional boundaries, and suggest "program bills" to the state legislators, she said.

"State agencies should not be creating new laws through changing policy regulations," she said. Little said she and other legislators were writing letters to the Governor and APA commissioners to back off.

If the requests are ignored, she said she's ready to introduce legislation to override the Agency policies and constrict or clarify the Agency's jurisdiction.

Little said she also was concerned about the phase-out of float planes on Low's Lake.

"APA commissioners have to respect other people's desires to get around the Park - it's not just for the healthy athletic person able to carry a canoe or kayak through the woods. "The Agency's becoming too selective on who can enjoy the Adirondacks."

Little also said she was concerned that the Agency was overlooking the health and sustainability of local economies.

"We have a declining population and there's increasing difficulty in keeping businesses open, she said.

On the float plane issue, former Warrensburg Supervisor Maynard Baker has asked county officials to donate $2,500 to help bankroll a lawsuit to retain float plane access. Baker said he intends to solicit similar funds from about a dozen other counties in the Adirondacks. Baker said last week that he has already received the support of the Essex County Board of Supervisors in his effort.

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