Chris Knight is reporting at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that John Banta, the Adirondack Park Agency’s senior counsel, will retire at the end of this month.
Banta isn’t widely known to the general public, but he’s been one of the most significant players in the evolution of the APA and its legal and regulatory framework since the late 1970s. Knight lays out that narrative in the Enterprise:
Over the past 10 years, Banta has laid the legal groundwork for some of the agency’s biggest, and often most controversial, policy decisions, including restrictions on the size and height of boathouses, a mileage cap on snowmobile trails on state lands in the Park and the ban on floatplane access to Lows Lake.
He’s been counsel to the agency during its review of countless development projects in the Park, from small subdivisions to the largest project ever to come before the APA board – the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake, which won agency approval earlier this year.
The APA has won several high-profile legal and enforcement cases during Banta’s tenure, including a six-year legal battle over the Spiegel house in Lake Placid and a challenge to tighter shoreline setback restrictions enacted by the agency. The agency also lost a prominent case over farmworker housing, with Essex farmer Sandy Lewis, during Banta’s tenure.