About Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen is an award-winning journalist covering environmental policy for the Explorer since January 2020. She also takes photos and videos for the Explorer's magazine and website. She is a current member of the Legislative Correspondents Association of New York. Gwen has worked at various news outlets since 2015. Prior to moving to upstate New York, she worked for a D.C. Metro-area public relations firm, producing digital content for clients including the World Health Organization, the Low Income Investment Fund and Rights and Resources Initiative. She has a master's degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She has bachelor's degrees in English and journalism, with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology, from the University of Connecticut. Gwen is also a part-time figure skating coach. Contact her at (518) 524-2902 or gwen@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Gwen’s newsletter here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Boreas says

    “Stackman also anticipates providing housing for employees, a criticism from some commenters concerned about the lack of affordable housing in the area.”

    Stackman is missing the point. Many are not as concerned about where the employees will live, but are more concerned about what effects property tax changes and real estate values have on current residents historically struggling to get by. Some may profit from the development, but in the long run, I fear many locals will be chased out of their homes by taxes and rental prices will rise chasing others away.

  2. JB says

    As we get more information, it seems that it cannot be emphasized enough how expansive this project is: over 100 housing units surrounding a huge luxury resort. In Stackman’s letter he says that the land is “zoned for moderate housing development” and then admits the contrary: “We are following all current APA guidelines on the site, classified for low intensity use designation.” It seems that a reasonable reader of APA Act § 805.3(e) (Low intensity use areas) will not be able to find “moderate housing development” nor “large-scale luxury housing subdivision” in the guidelines. Stackman says: “we are planning less than one home per 3.2 acres of land – lower than the allowed density”; but 355 acres divided by 104 housing units gives greater than 3.4 units per acre. This all leaves me wondering: where is the scrutiny of APA? And, if the majority of more than 200 public comments were against the project, where is the Town of Jay in all of this? Have town governments forgotten that they, too, have the authority to pass ordinances to stop development that has met widespread opposition? There are towns all over the state that are listening to their residents and stopping similar, albeit much smaller, subdivisions from going forward. It is strange that an Adirondack town would be behind the curve on land-use planning. But, of course, the APA Act predicted this very phenomenon: “This fruitful relationship [between public and private land] is now jeopardized by the threat of unregulated development on such private lands. Local governments in the Adirondack park find it increasingly difficult to cope with the unrelenting pressures for development being brought to bear on the area, and to exercise their discretionary powers to create an effective land use and development control framework.” The “forever wild” status of public lands is not–as some would have it–a justification for free license to develop adjacent private lands. As we are seeing now, It necessitates the opposite: the only way for Adirondack communities to survive the exclusivity and induced demand that undeveloped forest preserve engenders is through the counterbalance of regional private land use planning.

    • JB says

      Sorry, the math up there was definite wrong. It is 0.3 acres/unit. That specific calculation is a red herring anyway (density on a per-parcel basis). The focus should be upon the entire constellation of criteria that goes into the land use restrictions (especially for Class A projects).

    • Barbara G says

      Two of the town council are for this development. One is the son of the original land owner and is also a real estate agent. The other two councilmen I don’t know where they stand. If the Apa approves this it then goes to our zoning board which is 3 people. All who were appointed by said town council members and are all contractors or former contractors. The 2 town councilmen keep saying all the people who committed against this development are from outside the town or are an that most locals are for it. I am local and have spoken to many people an they are against it.

    • Dana says

      It does no good to label anyone with an opinion. But if that is all ya got, I guess we know how much weight to give your opinions.

  3. Adkskibum says

    This plan is likely to evolve over time, changes will be made throughout the approval process. As a resident of the Town of Jay, I support it in concept.

    Jay could use a hotel, at present, there is one small motel and a few B&Bs in the Town. Our Town and school district could most certainly use the enhanced tax revenue. Ausable Vally School District taxes are quite high compare to surrounding districts.

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