By Gwendolyn Craig
The Adirondack Park Agency will convene at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday with a slate of projects and four new board members starting.
The meeting will take place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are a few projects up for discussion during various committee meetings, according to the APA’s agenda.
Newcomb cell tower
The regulatory programs committee will discuss whether to approve the installation of a 150-foot telecommunications tower for Cingular Wireless in the Town of Newcomb. The tower, should it be approved, will be built near the town’s water storage tank on Sanford Lane.
Map amendment in North Elba
The park policy and planning committee will discuss the proposed map amendment that would allow community housing in the Town of North Elba. The amendment would reclassify more than 30 acres from moderate intensity use to hamlet.
Developer Joe Barile hopes to build housing for 2,400 student athletes expected to come to the town during the 2023 World University Games. Afterward, officials are expecting the buildings to be converted to affordable housing.
A draft order states the “reclassification is consistent with and reflects the regional nature of the land use and development plan and the regional scale and approach used in its preparation.” The board could vote on that Thursday.
Parking, campfire changes for Essex Chain Lakes
The state land committee will also hear from the state Department of Environmental Conservation about a proposals to allow campfires and improve the Outer Gooley Parking Area. Both are parts of the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex. The changes would require an amendment to the Essex Chain Lakes Unit Management Plan, which covers the towns of Indian Lake, Minerva and Newcomb.
According to a draft amendment, local officials and the DEC believe some of the camping areas have low public use because waterfront campfires are prohibited. The draft describes this potential change “as a learning opportunity. The Adirondack region has relatively little observational data regarding the impacts of campfires on natural resources.” Should the amendment be approved, DEC would build rock fire rings at the waterfront tent sites.
The amendment may not be permanent, the draft document adds, stating that “if increased use causes the types of negative natural resource impacts associated with campfires … then fires may be prohibited once again.”
The draft amendment also considers improved parking for horseback riders at the Outer Gooley Parking Area. Currently the parking area accommodates about six vehicles. Officials would first remove the Outer Gooley building, then expand the existing parking area. The proposal also includes an outhouse, horse mounting platform and informational kiosks.
To listen in on the meeting, go to http://nysapa.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2. The public may submit meeting comments to AgencyMeeting.PublicComment@apa.ny.gov. To view documents related to the upcoming meeting, go to apa.ny.gov.