Saturday, October 21, 2017

Adirondack Club & Resort



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The proposed Adirondack Club & Resort is located on approximately 6,400 acres, south of the Village of Tupper Lake. There are several access roads including NYS Route 30, Lake Simond Road, Country Club Drive, and private interior roads. The project site includes the former Big Tupper Ski Area, and has frontage along the Tupper Lake Country Club, Lake Simond, and the Raquette River.

The Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR) would re-open the Ski Area as a centerpiece to the overall resort development. The project also includes a marina located along NYS Route 30 with frontage on Tupper Lake. Other commercial uses would be limited so that most retail and commerce will be directed to the Village of Tupper Lake. It is expected that the ACR will have a large regional, economic impact.

The final number of housing units has not been determined at this time, but is expected to be approximately 700. These will include Ski-in/Ski-out, Great Camps, Townhouses, etc.  The project intends to offer 4-season recreational amenities, and embrace the region’s unique natural resources and culture.

Needless to say, the project has created debate and opposition by environmental groups, and a small number of individuals. ARISE feels that the concerns raised by these groups and individuals, have been carefully considered by the developers, and that the tactics used by these parties is only to create further delays in hopes that the project developers will give up, and go-away.

It is the intent of ARISE to provide the facts, and promote further support for the successful approval of the project. The following is a list of concerns that have been expressed by the environmental groups, and individuals, followed by the actual facts:

Concern #1:  Waste water disposal, and storm water management.

The fact is, that the Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR) will be constructing a state of the art tertiary treatment facility that will service a portion of the project. The end product of this treatment is drinkable. The ACR will also be hooking into the Town of Tupper Lakes District 23. Recent events in District 23 show that due to the lack of waste water flow, that residents currently hooked into that district are experiencing odors in their homes and basements. Discussions and plans being developed with engineers show that by having the ACR tie a portion of their project into District 23, it will increase flow and eliminate the odor issue. As far as the storm water system, it has been carefully designed, and will be subject to approval by the Adirondack Park Agency, and local planning authorities. Other than the marina portion, all construction is well away from the main lakes and streams.

Concern #2: Subdivision of back-country.

Back country property is loosely defined as those lands in Resource Management (1 principal dwelling for every 42.7 acres). The area that is most sensitive to those opposed to the project, would be that area east of Lake Simon, and bordering the Follensby Tract recently purchased by the Nature Conservancy. The fact is that only 7% of the overall Resource Management lands within the project area, are being developed. The “back-country” parcels (aka the Great Camps) are all 300 acres or more (one is 1400+/- acres). The actual building envelope for each of the Great Camps lots is clearly and carefully defined, a large distance from the Follensby tract, and further restricts the owner as to where they can build. The design does not fragment the back-country, nor is there any scientific evidence that it would impact the migration of any bird species, deer, moose, or other wildlife.

Concern #3: the PILOT program should not be allowed.

The fact is, the final PILOT program cannot be defined until the project is approved. Also, even under the proposed PILOT program there will be more tax revenue realized by the government entities, then what is currently being collected. ALL taxing entities must approve the PILOT before it can become enacted. This debate should not hold up the other aspects of the project that need approval.

Concern #4: Property Taxes will go up.

The fact is, that many resorts see an increase in taxes. It is not a result of the resort, it is a result of the taxing entities overspending with a new stream of revenue. One of the largest complaints over the past several years has been the increase in property taxes, and that’s without the ACR. The Adirondacks, and the Town of Tupper Lake, have seen a decrease in population since the 1950′s. A new study showed that student population in the Adirondacks since 1970 has decreased by 30%. That figure holds true for Tupper Lake. Yet, school budgets have continued to increase. The ACR will provide a greater tax base. If the ACR does not happen, there will be fewer people carrying the costs to operate our local schools and governments, forcing even higher property taxes.

Concern #5: the Jobs created will be low paying.

The fact is, there will hundreds of jobs created during and after the project is complete. Besides the jobs created directly by the ACR, there will be new businesses opening, existing businesses may have to hire additional people, etc. The pay scale will become part of the free market. Plus, any job creation is a benefit to the local community, region, county, state, etc. Tupper Lake recently lost one of its major employers (Jarden plastics) – approx. 100+ jobs were lost. There is tremendous dependence on State jobs in Tupper Lake, and the Adirondacks. When a private concern proposes a project that will hire hundreds, everyone should be embracing it.

Concern #6: the Project is too big.

The fact is the ACR is well below the mathematical allowance for building rights. The ACR has carefully examined the environmental issues – wetlands, streams, high country, steep slopes, animal migration patterns, etc. – and has designed a project that should be embraced by all parties involved. This is a showpiece project that is a win-win for all sides.

Concern #7: the Project Developer is not providing all of the information needed to the environmental groups, so that they can react and comment.

The fact is the project developer has been meeting with certain environmental groups that are truly willing to discuss the merits of the project. There are some in the business community that have also been meeting with environmental representatives. There are some environmental groups and representatives that will say they want the number of dwellings reduced, but with no sound reasoning for the reduction. There is no desire on the part of the developer, or the business community, to further reduce the number of principal dwellings as the project is well within what is allowable, and that it clearly balances the environment with the economy. It is clear that some will never agree to any sized project, and as such, is a waste of time for the developer to have any further meetings with them. The project developers have already spent in the vicinity of $9M and still do not have approval. Their commitment is clear… each time a change is requested by any group that is a party to the hearing, there is a significant cost. By all appearances, it is an attempt to ‘grind’ the developers down to the point of giving up. Those supporting the project feel that enough is enough.

It is time for an intervention that allows the project developers to move forward in a meaningful manner.   You can support the effort in two ways:

Click here to let our elected officials know of your support.

Click here to join ARISE.

You can also contact us at info@adirondackeconomy.com


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