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News stories tagged with "second-homes"

John Collins (Source: RCPA)
John Collins (Source: RCPA)

Collins: Residents Committee faces challenges, change

The Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks has emerged as one of the most influential (and often one of the most controversial) pro-environment groups in the North Country. The RCPA has taken a lead role opposing the proposed resort development in Tupper Lake and also raised early alarms about the spread of second homes in the Adirondacks. But the Residents Committee is going through a period of upheaval. Long-time executive director Peter Bauer resigned this month to take a new job in Lake George. John Collins is the former head of the Adirondack Museum and a former chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency. He was chosen last week to take over as the RCPA's chairman. Collins told Brian Mann that his group hopes to maintain its high profile.  Go to full article

$1 million in seed money to help Adk hamlets grow

Sustainable development was the buzz-phrase at a high-level gathering yesterday in Lake George. Some of the Spitzer administration's most powerful officials unveiled a million-dollar grant program designed to help Adirondack communities improve their economies. As Brian Mann reports, some local leaders hope the money will help hamlets in the Park expand their borders.  Go to full article

Adirondack tax group withdraws suit, for now

A group of taxpayers suing the town of Harrietstown abruptly withdrew their petition on Friday. The case was set to be heard by the state Supreme Court in Malone. As Brian Mann reports, the suit was delayed after the judge refused to allow a new set of claims against the town.  Go to full article

Strong debate over Big Tupper resort

The Adirondack Park Agency held a full day of meetings yesterday to review the massive new second-home development planned for Tupper Lake. The 760-unit resort would be the biggest project ever approved by the APA. Public testimony was often passionate. Many locals say the Adirondack Club and Resort would revitalize the town's sagging economy. Pro-environment groups and some neighbors of the project say the 760-unit development would erode the environment and the community's quality of life. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

Adirondack housing market softens slightly

The US has seen a historic real estate boom the last decade, with home prices in some cities doubling in a single year. Here in the North Country, the Adirondacks have emerged as a top condo and second home market. The last few months, real estate experts nationwide have reported a softening market, with more homes sitting unsold. As Brian Mann reports, the Adirondack market has also cooled, but local realtors say they're still seeing a lot of interest from retiring baby-boomers.  Go to full article
WCS researcher Heidi Kretser (Source:  A. Keal)
WCS researcher Heidi Kretser (Source: A. Keal)

High Home Prices "Gentrify" Adirondacks

Home prices in some parts of the Adirondacks have more than tripled in just the last few years. The Adirondack Park's wild scenery and tight zoning laws have made the region attractive to second home-owners and retirees. Local leaders worry that the price pressure could push out local, working families. A study conducted by Heidi Kretser, a researcher with the Wildlife Conservation Council, found signs that at least one part of the Adirondack Park is changing. Kretser studied Census information gathered in the towns of Brighton and Franklin. Her analysis appeared in the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies. She told Brian Mann that the two towns are aging. Also, the number of low-income families facing serious economic hardship because of skyrocketing home costs has risen by a third.

Kretser's study, "Housing Trends in Franklin and Brighton townships (Franklin County, NY) 1990-2000" appeared in the Fall/Winter 2005 issue of the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies.  Go to full article

APA Sued By Pataki Ally

The Adirondack Park Agency is embroiled in a new political and legal controversy involving one of Governor Pataki's allies. Art Spiegel, a businessman who lives in Plattsburgh, has sued the Agency over its decision to suspend a permit for a controversial mansion in Lake Placid. Spiegel sits on the Olympic Regional Development Authority board and was also appointed by the governor last year to take part in a commission reviewing hospital facilities. Spiegel's suit, filed in Federal court, follows an APA ruling last summer that his partially-built mansion violated several provisions of a state building permit.
In December, the APA commission, appointed by Governor Pataki, sent the matter to the Attorney General's office for enforcement.
The decision followed several months of deliberation and negotiation. In his suit, Spiegel names another close Pataki ally, APA director Dick LeFebvre. He also singles out APA enforcement director Paul Van Cott, an active member of the Democratic Party. Greg Caito is a political consultant from Jay who is part of Art Spiegel's legal team. He's also a former member of the Park Agency board. He told Brian Mann that Spiegel is the victim of a political witch hunt.  Go to full article

$400 Million Big Tupper Plan Echoes Across Adks

In Tupper Lake, the local planning commission is finishing work on new zoning rules that will govern the proposed $400 million resort around the Big Tupper ski area. The Adirondack Park Agency has also begun a review of the project. Developer Michael Foxman, from Philadelphia, hopes to build more than 700 mansions, condos and townhouses over roughly six thousand acres. It would be the biggest project in the Adirondacks in the last 25 years. Yesterday, we looked at some of the environmental questions surrounding the resort. This morning, in part two of our report, Brian Mann looks at how this project could shape development across the Adirondack Park.  Go to full article

"Seasonals" Enter Big Tupper Debate

Town officials in Tupper Lake will hold a hearing tonight to discuss zoning changes for the proposed resort around the Big Tupper ski area. Pennsylvania developer Michael Foxman hopes to build 700 condos and luxury great camps on a six thousand acre parcel on the edge of the village. No zoning decisions will be made tonight, but board members will take public comments. A new town supervisor, Roger Amell, will be sworn in after the New Year. Officials are also waiting for recommendations from an outside consultant and the town planning board. At a meeting yesterday, the town did approve new water and sewer districts for the resort project. Meanwhile, a new group issued a statement on Tuesday urging the town to reject the zoning changes. The group calls itself "Concerned Citizens of Tupper Lake". In fact, the organizers are all seasonal residents. Many of them own camps and vacation homes near the proposed development and have been outspoken critics. The growing activism of seasonal residents has been controversial. Brian Mann spoke with Phyllis Thompson. She's a professor and administrator at a small liberal arts college in Houston, Texas, who spends part of each year at her camp on the shore of Lake Simond.  Go to full article
Times-Union columnist Fred LeBrun (Source: Albany T-U)
Times-Union columnist Fred LeBrun (Source: Albany T-U)

Pataki Era's End Means Changes For Adks

Governor George Pataki won't be running for re-election next year. Over the next few months, we'll be looking at the end of the Pataki era, trying to gauge how this transition will affect the North Country Pataki owns a farm in the Adirondacks. He's been a close ally to local Republican leaders, including state Senators Jim Wright and Betty Little. This morning, we talk with Fred LeBrun, a veteran columnist for the Albany Times-Union. He's written extensively about state politics and the Adirondacks Park. LeBrun told Brian Mann that Pataki's deepening ties to the region and his interest in Adirondack issues came as a surprise.  Go to full article

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