Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Adirondack Council Turns Their Back on the Village and Residents of Tupper Lake

April 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 


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With the hearing resuming on the Adirondack Club and Resort this week, the Adirondack Council presented Mr. Harry Dodson, as one of their key witnesses. Mr. Dodson is the Principal of Dodson Associates in Ashfield, MA, which offers design and landscape architectural services.

In Mr. Dodson’s testimony, he stated that resorts should feature, “a dense, gridded town center with a mix of commercial, residential, restaurant, and shopping uses clustered at the base of the ski lifts.” He went on to say that, “alternative plans for the ACR project should feature compact, walkable and dynamic village style development.”

Franklin County Legislator Paul A. Maroun in reacting to the Adirondack Council’s witness was, “shocked and concerned” with the path Mr. Dodson is creating. “The Adirondack Council through their star witness is attempting to ruin the Village of Tupper Lake’s economy by placing dense commercial activity at the mountain rather than in the Village. The Adirondack Council had pledged to assist the Village with economic stimuli and growth, not destroy the downtown commercial areas of Tupper Lake.” Legislator Maroun went on to say “This only supports my belief that The Adirondack Council does not support the people of Tupper Lake and is only trying to sink a project that will breathe life into a dying downtown commercialTupper Lake.”

Jim LaValley, Chairman of ARISE said that he was stunned over the comments of the Adirondack Council’s witness. “Mayor Desmarais and the Trustees of the Village of Tupper Lake should be outraged by this approach. This is a real threat to the existing Village. After all the meetings and effort to work on making downtown the central business center with new shops, and now the Adirondack Council is supporting a Hamlet at the bottom of the ski lifts.”

LaValley went on to say, “the Executive Director of the Adirondack Council met with the Mayor well over a year ago, and made promises that they would help with the Village economy. And to their credit, they introduced us to Melissa McManus. But then to turn around and hire a witness on their own behalf, that supports the creation of a new Commercial Center/Hamlet at the base of the ski lifts, just shows why the mistrust will continue to exist between the Adirondack Council and residents of the Adirondack Park. Their actions speak louder than their words”

Doug Wright, President of the local Chamber of Commerce said, “The Dodson testimony is incredulous. It says that the ACR plan is all wrong and, in order to be successful, that they need to construct a new retail district within walking distance of the resort consisting of homes and shops at the base of the ski area. In other words, after all that the ACR has offered to include the Village’s business community model, the Council’s witness is saying that the ACR needs to put their focus on commercial development at the base of the ski trails disregarding the Village’s existing business district. The Chamber of Commerce does not support these statements and questions the witnesses familiarity with the local community and whether his statements are relevant. As another example, this witness claims to be an expert about conservation development and the harm of urban sprawl, yet he proffers a proposal directly contradicting his own field of expertise. Who knew that it was more environmentally friendly to rezone the land as hamlet instead of moderate intensity or resource management.”

Maroun, LaValley and Wright expressed a similar feeling, “that the Adirondack Council is now using paid witnesses to question the ability of the Adirondack Park Agency staff and Commissioners. It remains unclear at this time, but Mr. Dodson may very well be qualified when asked to offer unbiased opinions outside of the Adirondacks. It is suspect, though, that his assertions appear to directly question the expertise and analysis of Agency and DEC staff.”

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