Fight Against the Mega-Resort: Latest Developments
Business Blueprint for the Blue Line
FIGHT AGAINST THE MEGA-RESORT: THE LATEST
The environmental review of the resort proposal proceeds
apace. Here are the latest developments:
Summer, 2004: Administrative Law Judge Richard Wissler of the state’s
Department of Environmental Conservation, lead agency for the state-mandated
environmental review process, holds hearings to determine which issues,
if any, raised by the Catskill Preservation Coalition should be adjudicated
in public, trial-like hearings. The CPC comprises 11 organizations,
including the Catskill Heritage Alliance, which have come together
to oppose the proposed megs-resort.
September 7, 2005: Judge Wissler issues a ruling calling for adjudication
of 12 issues. The ruling [LINK]
is a stunning moral and public relations victory for resort opponents.
The developer and his local allies announce their intention to appeal
the Wissler ruling.
October 12, 2005: Congressman Maurice Hinchey proposes an alternative
to the mega-resort proposal in keeping with the Wissler ruling. Hinchey’s
formula would lock up the eastern portion as public land to be “forever
wild” while allowing some form of smaller-scale, environmentally
sound development on the west subject to full-scale scrutiny…
Read the Congressman’s proposal here:[LINK]
January 17, 2006: All Appeals of Judge Wissler’s ruling are
officially filed with the DEC. A deputy commissioner’s ruling—the
Commissioner has recused herself on the issue—may be expected
at any time…
5, 2006 THE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, echoing the stance
of U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, has taken the position that the proposed
Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park should not include any construction
on the eastern portion of the 1,900-acre site on which the developer
wants to build.
11, 2006 A report issued on Thursday by Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi
says developer Crossroads Ventures "understates the potential
environmental impacts and economic risks of the project" because
of "faulty assumptions regarding profitability and comparable
developments in other areas."
HERITAGE WRITING PRIZE:
WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!
The jury worked hard to select winners among a number of imaginative
and well written entries. Winners were announced first at the graduation
ceremonies of the respective schools—Andes, Margaretville, Onteora,
and Roxbury. Read all four >>>
nearly empty Scoharie Reservoir and Gilboa dam under construction
in background on August 25, 2006
by City of New York Department of Environmental Protection, the
Scoharie Reservoir holds 20 billion gallons of water. In October,
2005 the dam was found to be at risk of failure. 8,639 people live
in the four towns within 20 miles downstream. The city now has an
emergency repair in progress. Also, an improved portal intake is
planned that should reduce turbidity in the water released into
the Esopus Creek. SEE
MORE PHOTOS>>> --- Visit DEP
website and www.GilboaDamInfo.com
for more information.
WIN ONE! What
You Can Do Now...
view of the Gilboa dam showing structural damage
JUDGE’S RULING IS A VICTORY FOR OPPONENTS OF THE PROPOSED MEGA-RESORT
Law Judge Richard R. Wissler of New York’s Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC) ruled September 7 that 12 issues—virtually
every issue we and our fellow members of the Catskill Preservation Coalition
raised—should and must be adjudicated in a trial-like administrative
proceeding. This is an unquestioned and resounding victory, and it represents
a clear message from the judge that the environmental review of the
proposed project must be careful, deliberate, and very thorough.
Specifically, the judge found that the following issues required adjudication:
“(1)Water Supply and Groundwater and Surface Water Impacts; (2)
Aquatic Habitat Impacts; (3) Stormwater Impacts; (4) Impacts to the
Catskill Forest Preserve; (5) Impacts to Wildlife; (6) Noise Impacts;
(7) Traffic Impacts; (8) Visual Impacts; (9) Impacts to Community Character;
(10)Secondary and Induced Growth Impacts; (11) Cumulative Impacts; and
(12) Alternatives (to the current proposal).”
It means that the proposed resort's potential impact in all these areas--plus,
in #12, the developer's failure to offer alternatives as required--will
be aired and addressed in a proceeding in which witnesses will offer
sworn testimony and may be cross-examined. In a sense, today we got
the chance to make our case loud and clear in a place and manner that
will put it on the public record.
We owe this victory to a lot of hard work by a lot of people, to the
CPC's exceptional Albany-based legal team of Marc Gerstman and Cheryl
Roberts, to the rightness of our cause, and to the support, financial
and otherwise, from all of you. Thanks.
Now let's dig in hard and drive our point home. We have a chance to
go all the way...
Please send your contributions, needed now more than ever, to: CHA Treasurer
PO Box 88 Shandaken, NY 12480
the complete ruling by Judge Wissler…
You Can Do Now...
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Blueprint for the Blue Line
owners who live, work, and are planning our futures within the blue
line of the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve, America’s first
wilderness, we wish to promote development while we protect quality
commercial development that capitalizes on the unique cultural, historic,
scenic, and recreational resources our communities offer.
that such development must be of appropriate scale, environmentally
as well as economically sustainable, and in harmony with the special
considerations of the watershed in which we live and work.
We seek to
empower our communities with upgraded infrastructure and telecommunication
services that are integrated into the environment rather than imposed
We wish to
promote development within existing population centers.
We want to
protect from development the delicate web of ridgelines and mountainsides
inside the blue line, recognizing that to alter these fragile treasures
would be to compound destructive flooding, potentially harm our own
water supply, and undermine the wilderness environment that is our region’s
that these values offer a balance between development and protection
of our quality of life that can bring prosperity to all in the years
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