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Developers Michael Foxman (left) and Tom Lawson (right) accuse environmental activists of waging a "war of attrition" against their project. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Developers Michael Foxman (left) and Tom Lawson (right) accuse environmental activists of waging a "war of attrition" against their project. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Green groups raise new challenge to Tupper Lake resort

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State officials are rejecting a claim by two environmental groups that permits for the new resort in Tupper Lake are invalid because developers failed to meet a deadline for satisfying permit conditions.

On Monday, Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club issued a letter arguing that a six-month grace period had expired in July, requiring developers to begin the permitting process again.

But in a statement, Adirondack Park Agency spokesman Keith McKeever said that the resort has a "ten year tie period" to complete requirements.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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In a letter sent to the APA, Protect attorney John Caffrey noted that six months have passed since the Agency approved a series of permits for the massive resort in Tupper Lake. The permits have never actually been issued because the developers haven't met a series of conditions, including the drafting of new plans for wastewater treatment systems.

According to Caffrey, a deadline established in the Park Agency act expired in July, meaning that the developers would have to begin the review process all over again. "We request that the APA promptly notify the project sponsor that the approval of the project has expired," Caffrey wrote.

But in a public statement issued late Monday, APA spokesman Keith McKeever said that the project order issued in January "specifies a ten-year time period for the project sponsor to complete all requirements necessary to obtain permits and convey the first authorized lot."

Developer Michael Foxman also issued a statement yesterday, accusing green groups of raising "an unfounded and inaccurate claim" in order to "interfere with economic development in the region."

"Protect is, once again, abusing the system in hopes that it can win a war of attrition," Foxman wrote.

Protect and the Sierra Club are already suing state officials in an effort to overturn permits for the resort, approved by the APA last January.

That so-called Article 78 challenge is now before the New York State Supreme Court. 

The suit has sparked anger and opposition from supporters of the resort in Tupper Lake, who say the project is a crucial part of the village's economic future.

 

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