RAY BROOK - In order to be careful about influencing state Adirondack Park Agency commissioners about the Adirondack Club and Resort project, two different groups of APA staff have been working on the ACR review.
Through the initial parts of the project review and the adjudicatory hearing, one set of APA staff has been working on the project.
That team included Environmental Program Specialist Colleen Parker; Soil and Water Engineering Specialist Shaun LaLonde; Dan Spada, supervisor for natural resource analysis; Associate Attorney Paul Van Cott; and Senior Attorney Mitch Goroski.
Skip Outcalt was involved in the initial project review, but he retired in May 2010. Mark Sengenberger, who had retired as the agency's deputy director for regulatory programs, came back on staff on a contract basis to help with the hearing.
The Adirondack Club and Resort is a proposed project in Tupper Lake that would overhaul the Big Tupper Ski Area and build out the land around it with about 700 luxury housing units and various amenities including an inn, a marina and an equestrian center. The project is under review with the state Adirondack Park Agency and, as part of that review process, was studied in a 19-day adjudicatory hearing.
Parties submitted closing briefs in September and response briefs in October.
Specialists in that group testified during the hearing on various topics. Attorneys questioned other witnesses to compile the most complete record possible. They did not advocate in favor of or against the project.
In their final briefs, APA staff didn't recommend that board members approve or deny the project, saying only the board can determine if the project would create an undue adverse impact. Staff did, however, recommend a list of conditions for the board to attach to a permit, if one is given.
Executive Team takes over
Now that the hearing is complete, that set of staffers handed off the project to another group, being referred to as the Executive Team.
That group includes Executive Director Terry Martino; Rick Weber, the deputy director of Regulatory Programs; Environmental Engineer Greg Bendell; Senior Natural Resources Planner Matt Kendall; biologist Ed Snizek; and Counsel John Banta.
The Executive Team had to familiarize itself with the project, and its role will be to help point commissioners to places in the hearing record where any questions they have can be answered.
(Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Mark Sengenberger, not Skip Outcalt, came out of retirement to help the APA with the hearing on a contract basis.)