ACR hearing expected soon

"The members at the table now are dramatically different now than the members who were here when this first came before us," she said.

The 60 day clock required under APA regulations for a final decision could be extended. But that could only happen with the consent of the developer, Michael Foxman, who's seeking the permits.

Foxman says he's not sure whether he would agree to an extension, but he acknowledged that the time clock might make it difficult for some commissioners.

"It seems to me that the board has the staff and the staff has total knowledge and will make a careful recommendation," he said. "If I were a new board member, I might need more time or I might depend on the staff. It will depend on the circumstances."

Foxman adds that the design for the ACR project has been tweaked, adjusted, and scaled back and is now basically ready to go.

"I don't think there are any questions on the table," he said. "Other than those that the opponents raise reflexively."

That view is shared by Jim LaValley, a realtor in Tupper Lake and founder of the group ARISE, which formed to support this project. He says the resort is well-designed and will serve as a much-needed boost for his town's economy.

"And I remain very optimistic that this project will be hitting the market at just the right time," LaValley said.

But environmental leaders are saying the project still needs dramatic restructuring.

John Caffrey is an attorney in Glens Falls who sits on the board of Protect the Adirondacks. He'll serve as counsel for the group during the upcoming hearings.

"It's not close and based on what we've seen so far, the chances of the applicant ever agreeing to anything that we feel would be acceptable and would be consistent with the Adirondack Park Agency Act are extremely low," Caffrey said.

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