Phil Brown from the Adirondack Explorer reported late yesterday in the Adirondack Almanack that the Adirondack Park Agency and the developers of the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake have responded to the lawsuit over the project filed by Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club.
Brown reports that a key argument in the suit hinges on how you interpret language dealing with residential development on private land in the Park zoned for “resource management” use. Here’s the nut of the issue, according to Brown:
The plan states that that residential development is allowed on RM land “on substantial acreages or in small clusters on carefully selected and well-designed sites.”
That appears to be an either/or proposition, or at least so I thought. After the APA board approved the project in January, I asked agency officials which of the two criteria was met. Would the lot sizes amount to “substantial acreages”? Or would the homes be arranged in “small clusters”? Or perhaps some of both?
I could not get a clear answer from the APA. Protect and the Sierra Club, however, contend that the project meets neither criterion. “There is nothing optional about this statutory language,” they assert in the lawsuit. “It is not conceptual guidance. It is a mandate.”
But the APA and the developers, Preserve Associates, are arguing in their answers to the lawsuit that the either/or language does not constitute a legal requirement. The APA denies the complainants’ assertion without elaboration. The developers quote extensively from the testimony of Mark Sengenberger, the former deputy director of regulatory programs at the APA.
In his testimony, Sengenberger calls the two criteria “important considerations for reducing impacts rather than as inflexible mandates that may or may not make sense in a given factual context or for a given applicant.”
So there you go. Check out Brown’s full article in the Almanack here.