TUPPER LAKE — Adirondack Club and Resort architects have revised their development plan.The changes represent an environmental response to issues raised by the Adirondack Park Agency for adjudication, according to a letter from developer Michael D. Foxman's attorney, Thomas A. Ulasewicz."The project sponsor offers these items as mitigation to what has been perceived as potential adverse impacts to its application and not application amendments. If the agency elects to disagree with this interpretation, all three proposals are withdrawn and the issue conference/public hearing will proceed as currently structured."A 36-unit slopeside "East Ridge" neighborhood and the smaller of two wastewater-treatment plants were withdrawn from the proposed Tupper Lake ski resort.Instead, developers would run wastewater treatment from the Simond Pond View subdivision to Tupper Lake Sewer District 23, which is now under construction.The third item — a move to place lands around Moody Pond in conservation easement — was included among changes made last year.In a public-hearing notice, APA stated the "mitigation measures" had "a positive environmental impact," though the technical details and fiscal impact of connecting to Sewer District 23 will be examined further.
As a pre-hearing conference on April 26 approaches, financial review of proposed bonding with a payment in lieu of taxes moved ahead.The Franklin County Industrial Development Authority Board of Directors passed a resolution Wednesday night finding it "desirable and in the public interest" to move toward issuance of up to $50 million in bonds for Preserve Associates, LLC; Big Tupper, LLC; and Tupper Lake Boat Club, LLC.The IDA Board authorized notice of public hearing and provided an official statement for use by developers in the "proposed offer and sale of the bonds."IDA Executive Director Brad Jackson said the resolution defines the project as consistent with Industrial Development Authority Act law."It suggests that this is a bona fide project for the IDA to complete. This is a first step allowing us to move forward with cost-benefit analysis."
Jackson said the IDA would not petition for party status in the adjudication process but will conduct cost-benefit review of its own.The IDA further resolved that the Adirondack Club and Resort project requires no further State Environmental Quality Review by the IDA.Foxman could not be reached Wednesday for comment on either IDA financing or changes in the resort design.
Meantime, town officials in Tupper Lake are waiting to see if upcoming hearings elicit further changes in the ski resort."We're on standby," Supervisor Roger Amell said Thursday."We're working on other issues in town, waiting to see where it's going to go from here. Until the hearing is done, there is no sense for us to move forward. We don't know what the issues are yet."Amell was not aware of the IDA resolution, but knew the IDA's cost-analysis study would be paid for by the developer.
Last Friday, Amell said, the town's attorney presented oral arguments in the Article 78 lawsuit pending against Tupper Lake and Foxman.The lawsuit claims resort, town and village planners did not conduct a proper SEQR before adding a planned development district to local zoning law.The planned development district was a pre-requisite for APA review of the Adirondack Club and Resort.Judge David Demarest of St. Lawrence County heard the case but did not issue a decision, Amell said."He said it would be a couple of weeks."I thought it came out positive," Amell said, again reassuring taxpayers the legal fees were covered."It's being paid for by the developer."John Caffery, attorney for the two dozen plaintiffs, including Concerned Citizens of Tupper Lake and two environmental groups, was not available for comment Thursday.Jack Delehanty, a plaintiff in the case, would not comment on the ongoing matter.But Delehanty did say the Article 78 findings could affect the IDA's resolution not to pursue SEQR."IDA has tracked the same incorrect course that the Town of Tupper Lake has charted. Legal decision in the lawsuit will apply to what IDA did incorrectly as well."A second legislative hearing for public comment will be held before Department of Environmental Conservation Administrative Law Judge Daniel P. O'Connell on Wednesday in the auditorium of the Tupper Lake High School, starting at 3 p.m.A pre-hearing conference begins April 26 to establish party status.