APA gets 56 comments in less than a week
By Gwendolyn Craig
Initial public feedback about a luxury resort proposal in the town of Jay along the Ausable River is largely negative, records from the Adirondack Park Agency show. A comment period announced on Monday has so far collected 56 electronic responses, and three quarters of them are against the development.
Miami-based developer Eric Stackman, who owns more than 350 acres in the area, submitted his concept for one of the largest subdivision projects the APA has reviewed. The development would house 72 hotel rooms, mansions, a villa and townhomes, according to the proposal. The luxury resort community would be a 23-minute drive to Whiteface Mountain and close to other outdoor recreational venues and High Peaks trailheads.
The APA invited the public to comment on the first part of Stackman’s submission to the agency’s large-scale subdivision application earlier this week. The agency will collect comments until Dec. 3 on the initial project site information and conceptual designs.
On Friday, the APA released the first batch of public comments received. More than 40 people wrote in opposition to the project while about five gave a thumbs up. A few commenters lacked a firm stance or posed questions to the agency and the developer.
Comments on the plan may be submitted to Devan Korn, Adirondack Park Agency, P.O. Box 99, Ray Brook, NY 12977 or to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2021-0248.
Ketih McKeever, a spokesman for the APA, said Stackman’s application will evolve. Public comments collected during this initial period will provide Stackman feedback, he said. It is also an opportunity “for the public to provide pertinent information relative to the preparation of plans and application materials before the applicant invests significant time and resources into final plans,” McKeever added.
ACCESS THE APPLICATION: Check out the full application submitted to the APA
Those against the project are generally concerned about its impact on the environment and its potential to change the rural nature of the town. Several wrote that they would prefer to see affordable housing instead of luxury estates, or as Craig Brashear, of Au Sable Forks, described “more playgrounds for the wealthy.”
Lyn Ellen Burkett, of North Carolina, wrote that she has lived in St. Lawrence County, New York and in several Florida counties over the years.
“In Florida, similar developments have led to urban sprawl, geological problems including sinkholes and saltwater intrusion (in aquifers), and serious problems with wildlife (e.g., alligators) encroaching on residential areas,” Burkett wrote. “Please don’t destroy the beautiful North Country the way most of Florida’s natural beauty has been destroyed.”
Many of the comments came shortly after the Adirondack Explorer published a Monday story about the project. Several opponents used quotes made by Stackman in that article about how he had considered building in Colorado and how he would bring amenities to the Jay area. Commenter Rebecca Laufer, of Crown Point, wrote “Where he says ‘There’s not much going on there, that’s where I come in’ … Bro, it’s the mountains, we don’t want a lot ‘going on’ here.”
Other commenters pointed to history, and how the proposed 719-unit Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake never came to fruition.
CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE COMMENTS
“Where is the proof that this won’t be another abandoned property in 15 years with a completely deteriorating infrastructure leaving the people who live in Jay and have enjoyed it for years with the price to pay,” wrote Joseph Gedeiko Jr., of Blauvelt.
Those in support of Stackman’s plans felt the project could bring a much needed economic boost to the community. Some wrote they were generally in support, but they would like to see more information including stormwater runoff plans and drawings for septic and drinking water systems.
Neighbors to the project site also wrote to the agency giving their full support.
“Au Sable Forks, and its residents, needs all the help it can get,” wrote Jennifer Stanton, who lives north of the project in the town of Peru. “It’s a beautiful area in need of revitalization so that more people can enjoy the beautiful Adirondacks. Done correctly, this will be a wonderful new addition to the area.”
Do we have a way of knowing, as we should have, where the “3/4 negative comments” come from? Are they, as with the North Carolina residents comments, from local residents or outsiders?
Hey Burkett from NC, how and where do I get to weigh in on developments in your area? Is this a local issue there or do you have an Uber agency such as the APA?
If you don’t live or own property in Jay, this isn’t any of your business. It’s a local issue.
And OBTW, I live just a few miles down the road from the proposed site. It isn’t anything near wilderness or wild. It’s been logged, farmed, built upon for hundreds of years. Got that Rebecca from Crown Point?
To be fair, comments from people who are not New York residents should be thrown out. Otherwise there will be ‘environmentalists’ from all over the country weighing in and opposing it, since they oppose any development.
LeRoy Hogan says
In the Catskills, the rich and famous have the resources to dictate their policies on the rest of us including NYS. Don’t let ADKS fall into the same problem.
Gary Hicks says
Cluster housing would be preferable to sprawling out over 350 acres. This is, after all, the Adirondack Park.
I live here and think this is a terrible idea. I moved here from the Catskills as a kid and saw what happened in Windham and Hunter . Locals are already being priced out of here that’s the whole purpose of lake placid ” vacation rental regulations” can’t imagine what building a bunch of luxury homes would do. There’s enough hotels. And Windham Mt did this . The town next to it which I lived in is now a ghost town. When I say not one person left from when I lived there I mean not one. They slowly got pushed further out they’d move a town further away and then following year another. I don’t even visit anymore bc it’s so depressing. They came in, ruined the landscape, sucked the money out, priced all locals out on these same promises, and guess what no one’s left not even the ppl who bought those luxury homes on the side of Windham Mt. Stayed. Maybe 30 percent will come up here n there. Not enough to sustain any buissnes.
. Do not believe these promises of prosperity. Need only look to lake placid to see what happened to locals there as an example. Also what happened to the ADK being preserved? Assuming the possible “natural energy source” is just so ppl don’t question its effect on the climate and I’m sure a nice grant from tax payers will set this project up nice n cheap bc of this claim. Shouldn’t we be planting trees instead of clearing another 300 acres of the ADK park. These ppl don’t realize that they come to places like this bc they love the wilderness up here and the feel of the town, then try and do this. You left where u were for a reason don’t come and ruin our home now. Only 1% can afford these luxuries, isn’t what’s been built for them enough? I know the ppl making 15$ an HR to clean up after them are tired of it. Who’s going to work in this place when the locals are priced out just like lake placid. Oh that’s right they’ll have housing for Jayones. Everyone says lake placid changed after the 80 Olympics and they stopped caring about the locals. Now all hotel owners sit on their town board. I pray everyone sees thru this.
Todd Eastman says
What will be the number of permanent full time jobs coming from this proposed development?
Will Jay grant tax exemptions to the developer?
If an out of state resident is proposing this project, whats wrong with out of state commenters who are likely stakeholders as they vacation up in the area and subsidize the local economy during their visits?
I’ve lived in Ray Brook . But from Florida. New yorkers are doing it to are state in record numbers. So what comes around goes around.
Allyson Glaser says
I saw this happen glad someone else knows about it. I grew up down there and moved up here in my teenage years. No one I grew up with is left. Saw the town die bc of this. I hope everyone knows what this will actually do not the false claims .
John A Bottiroli says
This proposal has GOOD and BAD parts-
Maybe it is time to let the developer expand on his proposal, taking into account concerns of the local population, and the APA input.