By Gwendolyn Craig
After a quiet April, the Adirondack Park Agency has a number of projects open for public comment this month, from new cell towers to a proposal to weaken restrictions on a swath of land.
The public hearings and comment periods for these projects are separate from the agency’s monthly meeting, which is slated for 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 14. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting will be held remotely. The public may call in at 518-549-0500 and Access Code 613 297 758, or may join through Webex online.
Projects under review this month include:
Map amendments to support development
The town of North Elba and the town of Lake Luzerne are looking to reclassify acreage in their respective municipalities under the Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan to support development projects.
Lake Luzerne officials are hoping the APA will reclassify 105 acres from rural use to moderate intensity use, a downgrade in land protections, along Hidden Valley Road and part of Route 9N.
According to the draft environmental impact statement for the project, the request is intended to “reflect the current usage,” and “would be an economic benefit,” to the town.
Town Supervisor Eugene Merlino said one of the landowners has plans for his property, but deferred questions to Karen Putney, the zoning enforcement officer. Putney said one of the landowners approached her, Merlino and the town attorney about a project that he realized he could not do under the APA’s rural use classification
Putney declined to say what the project was or who the landowner was, adding that no formal application had been filed for the project with the town. To assist this person, however, the town is taking the first step and applying for the classification change with the APA. According to the environmental impact statement, there are eight property owners associated with the 105 acres.
There is no public sewer or water facilities serving the property, which is about 200 feet downstream of Lake Vanare. Should the APA allow moderate intensity use on that land, things like single-family homes, cabins, public utilities and agricultural projects could be completed there.
Changing the classification, according to the environmental impact statement, doesn’t do anything to the land in itself, but the potential impacts from development and “the magnitude of future impacts is unknown at this time.”
The map amendment virtual hearing is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, May 18. Comments may be submitted in advance of the hearing, but they must be submitted to the APA by June 2.
Teleconference access is available online or by phone at 518-549-0500 or 1-844-633-8697, Access Code 610 716 306. Submit comments ahead of the meeting to Matthew Kendell via email or voicemail at 518-304-6168.
Meanwhile the Town of North Elba is looking to reclassify about 34.5 acres from moderate intensity use to a hamlet in preparation for housing.
The project involves the Cell Science Center property on Barn Road and developer Joe Barile has plans to first house athletes for the 2023 World University Games there, and then turn it into community housing, town meeting minutes show. The University Games is expected to draw more than 2,400 student athletes.
A lack of affordable housing has been a hurdle for the Lake Placid area. State and local officials are hoping to jump on the tourism and winter sports funding and notoriety to help those that live in the community.
The virtual public hearing for North Elba’s amendment hearing will take place from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, May 15. Comments may be submitted ahead of the meeting, but the deadline to send them to the APA is May 30.
Teleconference Access is available at: Web – Remote Hearing Link MA2020-01 or via phone, (Local) 518-549-0500, (US Toll Free) 1-844-633-8697, Access Code 613 081 155. Please submit comment ahead of the hearing to Matthew Kendall via email or voicemail, 518-304-6168.
Adirondack Park Agency
New Tupper Lake accommodations
Tupper Lake could be getting a new tourist accommodation from Hollingsworth Property Holdings.
The five-cabin rental property would be located on State Route 30 and Hillside Drive, in land that APA classifies as moderate intensity use, a public notice shows. The cabins will be served by municipal water and sewer.
Comments on this project must be made by Thursday, May 7.
New cell towers
AT&T is looking to erect a new cell tower, which will be 84 feet including a lightning rod, in the Town of Lewis off Route 9.
The tower will be located in what the APA considers a “rural use” land area on leased land, accessed by an approximately 250-foot long driveway, an APA notice shows. “An antennae array is proposed at the 760-foot centerline above ground level including six, 8-foot antennae and 15 remote radio head units,” according to the notice.
Comments are due by Thursday, May 14.
AT&T is also looking to erect another 90-foot tower in Lewis on Brainards Forge Road. According to the public notice, “an antennae array is proposed at 81 feet centerline above ground level, including six, 8-foot panel antennae and 15 remote radio head units.”
Comments for that tower are due by Thursday, May 21.
The Town of Dannemora is looking to build an approximately 6,400 square-foot, one-story salt and sand storage building at 78 Higby Road. The building will keep the town highway department from storing salt and sand outside.
Public comments must be submitted by Thursday, May 14.
The town of Chesterfield is planning to upgrade the village of Keeseville’s wastewater treatment plant by installing a new intake well, new water mains and new storage lagoons, according to a public notice. The work would take place on Frontage Road in the town.
Public comments on that project must be submitted by Thursday, May 28.
Private land projects
Property owners in Fort Ann are looking to subdivide their lot and conserve some open space.
Jeffrey and Lisa Edwards are proposing the subdivision in the area of Whipple Way and Pilot Knob Road. Two of the parcels have current single-family dwellings. The Edwards are looking to deed restrict approximately 3 acres as non-building lots.
The project is open for public comment through Thursday, May 28.
Another private project is up for public comment involving a new single-family dwelling and on-site wastewater treatment system in Johnsburg.
The applicants are Mark Schmale and Judith Powers, and they’re looking to build in the area of Harvey Road and Old Schoolhouse Road. The wastewater treatment system would be installed within 100 feet of wetlands on a rural use parcel.
Public comments must be submitted by Thursday, May 28.
The Lyme Adirondack Forest Co., a timber harvester out of Queensbury, is looking to harvest about 140 acres in the town of Day.
The harvest would take place on the 12,206-acre Farrell Farm Tract. The proposal includes removing “mature and unacceptable stems to release a well-established understory” on 88 acres; removing “mature stems and unacceptable growing stock to release healthy small sawtimber and pole trees and encourage regeneration” on 35 acres; and reducing “the overstory basal area” and establish openings for regeneration on 17 acres.
The comment period ends Thursday, May 28.