Debate points set for resort hearing

The state Adirondack Park Agency last week outlined conditions it might include in an approval of the Adirondack Club & Resort in Tupper Lake.

The resort developer, environmental groups, and members of the public are preparing to debate what conditions are kept, changed or eliminated during the public hearings set to begin March 16.

Conditions include a provision that would invalidate the resort's permit in five years if certain criteria weren't met.

One requirement is that the proposed ski lodge is completed and that one of the chairlifts is replaced. A certain number of lots would also need to be sold and several roads would have to be improved or constructed.

Other conditions deal with monitoring effected wetlands and the disposal of wastewater.

Lead developer Michael Foxman said that while he would like to see some fine-tuning, he is assured that the conditions will address concerns over the environment and the local economy.

The large-scale resort planned for the Big Tupper ski area has drawn sharp criticism from environmental organizations taking part in the hearings.

But one group said the APA process might be on the right track.

Adirondack Council spokesman John Sheehan said "the conditions are a good start and set the right tone for what the APA is expecting."

The council does hope a few other concerns are addressed before a final permit is granted, including water quality, forest health and the overall project design.

Sheehan said the resort should adhere to an effective conservation design that builds from the center of the ski area and grows outward as more space is needed.

This would prevent unnecessary sprawl, something Sheehan said is expensive for everybody.

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