Latest version of subdivision includes alternative design plans
By Gwendolyn Craig
The Adirondack Park Agency has about two weeks to determine if the latest version of an application for a luxury subdivision in the town of Jay is complete, though it could request more review time. Eric Stackman, a Miami-based developer proposing the project, submitted new materials on April 7 to the agency that oversees public and private development in the 6-million-acre park.
In this latest round of application materials, Stackman offered three different designs that include his original proposal and two alternatives. Plans initially had a 72-room hotel, multiple mansions, villas and townhomes on 385 acres along the Ausable River, about a half-hour drive to Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington. The other two renderings pull buildings away from steep slopes and position some of the homes closer to the main road. Stackman has also proposed adding a fire tower and two small bridges or boardwalks to wetland and brook areas on the property.
The project proposal has received two notices of incomplete application, the latest in September. The APA asked for more information including revised site designs that showed more wetland, slope and forestland details, water and wastewater systems, proposed roads, consultation with local emergency services and state agencies and forest management plans.
Stackman declined to comment on Thursday. Roberta Alba, Stackman’s associate, wrote APA staff that they had strived “to ensure a successful approval of what we feel is a positive growth opportunity for the town of Jay, Au Sable Forks and the surrounding communities.” The application materials also suggest the Au Sable Water District will have the capacity to supply water to the resort complex, but existing water mains may need to be replaced “at the developer’s expense.” Stackman’s engineers said the district’s sewer capacity was still in question, and the project may require DEC permits.
In the 61 pages of new information, the application suggests some wetlands will be under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the APA. It also suggests surveys of plants and animals and found that northern long-eared bats, Appalachian tiger beetles and meadow horsetail “find their needs met by the habitats on site.”
The development would be built on about 40 acres, “leaving over 345 acres undisturbed and protected for future generations,” according to the application. Alba and Stackman pointed out that the parcel has been logged in the past.
The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation did not find any causes for concern for development on the property. Records show the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Stackman were continuing to review what additional permits might be required. Some items were listed in the application as “to be finalized upon site plan approval” including the proposed activities and development, additional information on solar arrays and building plans.
Jamie Coolidge, chief of the Jay Fire Department, told Stackman in a Jan. 3 letter that he worried about the steep topography of the area, access to the site and water supply in case of a fire. David Reynolds, Essex County sheriff, said he did not anticipate the development “to put a strain on any of the sheriff office resources,” but warned Stackman that New York State Police service the region often. The letters from both emergency services leaders were part of Stackman’s application materials. No letters from New York State Police accompanied the application materials as of mid-April.