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News stories tagged with "adirondack-park-agency"

Departing APA chairman Curt Stiles (Source:  APA)
Departing APA chairman Curt Stiles (Source: APA)

Departing APA chairman talks about victories, struggles and controversy

Adirondack Park Agency chairman Curt Stiles is stepping aside after four years on the job. His tenure was marked by some big accomplishments, including an effort to boost affordable housing in the Park.

But Stiles also faced a nearly constant drumbeat of criticism and controversy.

The APA's legal battle with Essex farmer Sandy Lewis and his public disagreements with local government leaders made regular headlines.

In an editorial written after Stiles announced his resignation, the Glens Falls Post Star blasted his leadership and accused the APA of "stomping" on individual rights.

Stiles sat down to talk with Brian Mann about the future of the Adirondack Park, about his own reputation, and about the reforms and changes that he thinks are still needed.

Note: So far, Governor Andrew Cuomo hasn't named a replacement for Stiles. An interim chairman is expected to be picked before the APA meets August 18th in Ray Brook.  Go to full article
Departing APA chairman Curt Stiles (Source:  APA)
Departing APA chairman Curt Stiles (Source: APA)

Departing APA chairman Stiles: Park's communities struggling, reforms needed

After four years as head of the Adirondack Park Agency, chairman Curt Stiles is stepping aside. His tenure was marked by big clashes with elected officials in the Park, who lobbied Governor Andrew Cuomo not to reappoint Stiles for a second term. But Stiles also pushed through major reforms of the APA's regulatory approach, and engineered the first legislative change to the Park Agency Act in a generation.

Stiles, a former Xerox executive who lives on Upper Saranac Lake, sat down to talk in-depth with Brian Mann. Here's the first part of their conversation.

Note: Tomorrow during The Eight O'clock Hour, we'll hear from Stiles about the environmental challenges still facing the Park and about some of his own controversial decisions, including his handling of the Sandy Lewis farm case in Essex County.  Go to full article

APA process may complicate flood recovery

The National Weather Service says some parts of the North Country will see more than four inches of rain before this latest storm passes. That's pushing Lake Champlain's waters back toward record-high levels. The Ausable and Raquette rivers also surged over the weekend. Most of the region is once again under flood warnings or watches.

For homeowners, businesses and local governments, recovering from the disaster will be tough. For communities inside the Adirondack Park blue line, rebuilding could be complicated by the need for project reviews and permits from the Adirondack Park Agency. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
APA chairman Curt Stiles says LGRB's resolution okay (File photo)
APA chairman Curt Stiles says LGRB's resolution okay (File photo)

APA chairman says Review Board can weigh in on land purchases

A prominent pro-environment group has been pushing the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board to stop commenting on the issue of state land-purchases in the Park.

The Adirondack Council argues that the state-funded Review Board doesn't have a mandate to weigh in on the issue.

But APA chairman Curt Stiles says Review Board is defending the Review Board's decision to issue a resolution opposing the Finch Pruyn and Follensby land deals.

Chris Morris has details.  Go to full article
Arthur Lussi (Source:  APA website)
Arthur Lussi (Source: APA website)

Local town official accuses Park Agency, commissioner of unethical conduct

A local government official in North Elba is accusing the Adirondack Park Agency and one of its commissioners, Arthur Lussi, of unethical conduct. Lussi is partnering with Verizon to build a new cell phone tower on top of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Lake Placid.

Now, a member of North Elba's planning and zoning board says Lussi and members of the APA staff tried to manipulate local review of the project.

As Brian Mann reports, the Park Agency says the case was handled properly, despite confusion and miscommunications between state and town officials.

Clarification: The proposed cell tower structure described in this story would be 56 feet high from the ground to peak elevation. The height above the existing roof line would be approximately 20 feet.  Go to full article
Will APA chairman Curt Stiles get a second term?
Will APA chairman Curt Stiles get a second term?

Political fight brews over leadership of APA commission

A fierce political fight is building over the make-up of the Adirondack Park Agency board. Over the next year, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo - a Democrat - will have the power to completely reshape the commission.

As many as eight members of the 11-seat panel could be replaced, including APA chairman Curt Stiles. With the Agency set to make landmark decisions in the coming months, various factions are lobbying hard to shape the commission. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article
Peter Hornbeck likely won't be confirmed to the APA board
Peter Hornbeck likely won't be confirmed to the APA board

Hornbeck's Park Agency bid blocked, likely dead

For nearly twelve months, Adirondack businessman and environmentalist Peter Hornbeck has been waiting. Hornbeck is a boat builder in Omstedville, in Essex County. Last year, Governor David Paterson appointed him to sit on the Adirondack Park Agency's board of commissioners.

But his track record as a conservationist sparked opposition from local government groups and from Republican state Senator Betty Little. Little convinced Democrats in the Senate to delay Hornbeck's confirmation. Once again last week, a key committee left his appointment on the shelf.

Now Governor Paterson is leaving office and Republicans appear to have won a new majority in the Senate. After all those months, Hornbeck's bid to sit on the APA board appears to have reached a dead end. On Friday, Hornbeck told Brian Mann that he's been in a kind of political limbo, with little information about the process in Albany or what might happen next.  Go to full article
They're trying to create wilderness on the cheap.

APA creates vast new wilderness, along with snowmobile and bike trails

State officials are close to approving a new management plan for the Moose River Plains region of the Adirondack Park.

The compromise deal would create more than 12 thousand acres of new wilderness in Hamilton County. It would also establish new trail corridors for snowmobiles and mountain bikes.

As Brian Mann reports, the plan has been more than a decade in the making.  Go to full article

Strange legal battle pits Nature Conservancy against Tupper developers

A strange kind of local trial is underway this week in Tupper Lake. Developer Michael Foxman and his partners are hoping to build the Adirondack Club and Resort on property that includes the old Big Tupper ski area.

But to gain permanent road access to more than 1200 acres of the resort property, the company needs legal rights to cross a small parcel of land owned by a neighbor. It turns out that neighbor is the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, which owns the Follensby Pond tract. The group hopes to sell the land to the state of New York to be added to the state forest preserve.

The Conservancy has said publicly that it doesn't want to sell or give away the access rights. So Foxman and his partners have begun a legal proceeding that could force the Conservancy to allow access to the road. The issue has sparked protests and an angry exchange in the Tupper Lake Free Press.

Brian Mann was in Tupper Lake yesterday and spoke about the case with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Stephen Maselli located his Old Adirondack furniture company in the industrial park in Willsboro (File photo)
Stephen Maselli located his Old Adirondack furniture company in the industrial park in Willsboro (File photo)

Even free of APA regulations, Adirondack business sparks struggle

Critics of the Adirondack Park Agency have long claimed that its zoning rules and regulations stifle economic activity.

But over the years, the APA has approved eight shovel-ready business parks for light industry and manufacturing.

Businesses who choose to locate in these industrial parks - which stretch from Tupper Lake to Moriah - face little or no APA oversight.

Still, most remain empty or nearly empty.

As Jon Alexander reports, the real problem may be the lack of infrastructure and convenient access in remote rural towns.  Go to full article

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