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Martens kills environmental hearing for resort

Jul 12, 2015 12:02 am
Lissa Harris in The Watershed Post reports that on his way out the door, departing Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens granted a motion to cancel the final hurdle to approve construction on the Belleayre Resort: a legal proceeding called an "adjudicatory hearing." The project, 15 years in the works, can start without a hearing that would have given environmental groups that successfully sought to downsize the project years ago another chance to weigh in on recent changes. In 2007 an agreement was reached between the developer, state officials, local governments, New York City watershed regulators, and several environmental and public interest nonprofits. But it is not all systems go yet. The Watershed Post reports one or more of the resort's neighbors may now sue the DEC, and the developer still needs permits from the DEC and from both of the towns the resort property straddles: Middletown in Delaware County and Shandaken in Ulster County. Read the full decision below at newsroom.wgxc.org

Commissioner Decision Ends Adjudicatory Process and Allows Project to Move Forward

In a decision released today, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens granted DEC staff’s motion to cancel the adjudicatory hearing on the Crossroads Ventures LLC project, known as The Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park, and directed DEC staff to issue the necessary permits associated with the project. The project will be located on lands near the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.

Commissioner Martens determined that significant modifications to the project and additional environmental studies have resolved environmental issues related to the project. Modifications to the project include eliminating development on Big Indian Plateau. The Commissioner also determined that concerns recently raised regarding the modified project are not substantive and significant.

Negotiations among parties to the proceeding resulted in the execution of an Agreement in Principle in 2007 that served the basis for a significant redesign and downsizing of the project that reduced environmental impacts. In addition, the proposed project has also been subject to considerable public review and comment.

DEC staff will now complete its responsibilities under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), including issuing a Findings Statement. The decision directs DEC staff to issue permits to the applicant, Crossroads Ventures LLC, consistent with the Commissioner’s decision and draft permits that staff previously prepared. Permits are expected to be issued following issuance of the SEQR Findings Statement.

To read Commissioner Martens’ decision, visit DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/54709.html.
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