Man, nature, property, and the social contract.
Follow up with this: Property Rights and Public Lands Management
Man, nature, property, and the social contract.
Follow up with this: Property Rights and Public Lands Management
Some recent discussion regarding Adirondack Tourism Marketing hits on a topic near my heart. I don’t think anyone would argue about tourism’s importance as a crucial part of our economy. But how to effectively market our destination seems to have generated a variety of comments. Some useful, others very uninformed. I once had the joy of thinking about this very topic, and wrote-up a plan for consideration. So rather than join the fray with my own comments, I thought I’d share my ideas. Not official, implemented, or endorsed by anyone other than me. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that the public parking and use of Stillwater Reservoir at the end of the Stillwater Road will be much improved for the coming summer recreation season. The Reservoir is located in the Adirondack Forest Preserve, Town of Webb, Herkimer County. Related issues have been resolved through the use of Temporary Revocable Permits (TRP) allowing for limited private use of state land at the Stillwater public dock and Grassy Point.
“Parking and use of the docks at Stillwater by the public who are recreating on the Reservoir had become increasingly difficult due to the private uses of these facilities,” Judy Drabicki, DEC Regional Director said. “Through increased enforcement, the involvement of State Senator Seward, Town of Webb Supervisor Robert Moore, the Beaver River Property Owners Association and the Thompsons, we feel there is a solution that will greatly enhance the public’s use of the Stillwater facilities – which were built for them to use on these public lands, while still allowing for limited private uses of these facilities.”
State Senator James L. Seward said, “Working together, the state, the Town of Webb and property owners have forged solutions which recognize the unique situation of Beaver River and its taxpayers, both year round and seasonal, and address the varied pressures on this beautiful and attractive lake wilderness. The agreements and actions announced today respect the history of the area, its unique needs, and the state’s role in overseeing and protecting forest preserve lands for all people.”
Town Supervisor Robert Moore said, “We appreciate the willingness and efforts put forth by all parties involved in seeking solutions for the challenges we faced related to Stillwater parking and Beaver River docking and access. I would be remiss not to expressly thank Senator Seward and the DEC staff for having empathy and seeing things from others point of view.”
In September 2009, the Department sent letters directing those who had left their boats and trailers unattended in state parking lots in Stillwater to remove them. In the spring 2010, DEC posted signs stating that parking is limited to people who are present at that time on the reservoir or surrounding land and that parking for more than four days without a valid camping permit is prohibited.
Beaver River is a hamlet of 125 seasonal residents, a handful of permanent residents, and two businesses east of Stillwater reservoir which is surrounded by Forest Preserve and no road access. Despite concerns that the parking enforcement would inconvenience Beaver River residents who want to leave their boats in Stillwater they have been able to find alternatives parking arrangements. The local DEC Forest Ranger has received a number of compliments from the public because of the increased availability of parking.
Use by Thompsons of Public Dock at Stillwater
The Thompsons increasing commercial use of the public launch site over the past few years resulted in severe restriction of the public’s access to Stillwater Reservoir. That use included: a barge for hauling people for short day trips to their facility at Grassy Point and for longer term visits and for hauling supplies to the residents of Grassy Point.
This issue was resolved by the issuance of a TRP to the Thompsons limiting the time and location of docking their boats, while allowing them to transport people and goods as needed.
Grassy Point Docks
The state owns Grassy Point and the surrounding land on Stillwater Reservoir near the hamlet of Beaver River. Despite the belief by landowners in Beaver River that the docks they keep at Grassy Point are “public,” these docks were private structures on Forest Preserve and are not allowed.
The issue was resolved by discussions between DEC, the Town of Webb and the Beaver River Property Owners Association. The Department issued a TRP to the town allowing them to have docks at the end of a town road that leads from Grassy Point to Beaver River. The town, in turn, entered into a license agreement allowing the Beaver River Property Owners Association to maintain the docks on the road right of way.
Stillwater Reservoir is spread over 6,700 acres and offers a multitude of recreational possibilities. The primary draw to the public is the undeveloped, remote camping on both islands and along the shoreline but also includes remote wilderness camping, canoeing, boating, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. The area receives considerable use during each of the four seasons. Camping within 150 feet of the high-water mark is limited to 46 sites designated and marked by the Department. Surrounding the Reservoir, there are two major classifications: the Five Ponds Wilderness Area on the north and the Independence River Wild Forest on the southern shores. During recent years, popularity of the Stillwater Reservoir has greatly increased. In an effort to alleviate some of the problems and preserve remote camping opportunities, campers are now required to use only designated sites along the shoreline or to camp at least 150 feet inland from the high-water mark. More information including a map outlining these specific areas is available on the DEC website.
I will neither confirm or deny any support or opposition to ATVs. Too “risky”.
(via Adirondack Almanack)
Lake Placid, Adirondacks USA – The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism/Lake Placid CVB is pleased to announce the results of the 2011 Board of Directors election.
Over the last 60 years, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism has evolved from the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce, providing traditional business services and tourism promotion, to the accredited Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for Lake Placid and Essex County through traditional marketing efforts, communications, and destination planning.
The board of directors, responsible for governing the organization, is comprised of 15 individuals, with at least one director from each of the four tourism regions in Essex County; the Lake Placid/High Peaks, Lake Champlain, Schroon Lake and Whiteface regions. The 2011 slate of officers are as follows: Chair, Justin Smith, Northwoods Inn and Prestige Hospitality Group; Vice Chair, Ed Finnerty, Champlain National Bank; Second Vice Chair, Joe Kelly, Glens Falls National Bank; Treasurer, Mike Beglin, Beglin’s Jewelers, and Secretary Jenn Webb, Golden Arrow Resort.
Newly elected Directors include Beth Hill, Executive Director at Fort Ticonderoga; the Lake Champlain Region representative, and Bob Hockert, owner of Little Peak Chalet and Clearwater Camp vacation rentals, and the Whiteface Region’s board representative. Joe Kelly was reelected to a second term, and is the Schroon Lake Region representative.
They join sitting Directors Deborah Fitts, Lake Placid Sinfonietta; Mary Ann Hawley, Parajax, Inc.; Kate Fish, Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA); Deb McLean, the UPS Store, Jamie Rogers, energy program coordinator at ANCA; Charlie Cowan, financial consultant with Janney Montgomery Scott; and Carol Brown, president of North Country Community College.
“With representatives from diverse facets of the business community, including lodging, retailers, financial institutions, attractions, the arts and educators, the Board of Directors represents a broad range of perspectives and expertise,” said James McKenna, CEO of the DMO. “Our Board commits a lot of time on behalf of the work that we do to promote our destinations, and we extend our gratitude to them all, with special recognition to our outgoing Director, Don Poulsen of Swedish Hill Winery for his dedication.”
“I’m proud to be part of this great team of dedicated volunteers, and excited and optimistic about 2011, said board chair Justin Smith. “With the upcoming opening of the new Conference Center at Lake Placid, and other positive momentum such as the destination planning projects throughout the County, it promises to be a terrific year for our organization and the destinations we represent.”
The election took place during the business portion of the members’ annual meeting on January 31. The business meeting was adjourned, to be reconvened with the social portion this spring in celebration of the opening of the new Conference Center at Lake Placid.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is a private, 501c6 not-for-profit corporation. Most recently doing business as the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau, the organization has continuously evolved to stay ahead of the changing destination marketplace. Marketing partner news and resources can be found on the organization’s website, www.roostadk.com.
So, Hamlet 3 is out. I’m all for beating the horror of urban sprawl.
What do you think about the expansion model? Is it realistic? Does it fit your vision for growth in the Adirondacks? Do we need more models and studies?
(click to view, scroll to zoom)
More: NYS Smart Growth
The Adirondack Community Housing Trust (ACHT) announced today that the Hamlets 3 guidebook is completed and available on-line to Adirondack towns and villages seeking to expand the population centers of their communities – the villages and hamlets.
The guidebook and website are the culmination of a two year study conducted by Roger Trancik of Urban Design Consultants that was funded through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 2007 Adirondack Park Community Smart Growth Grant Program. The sponsors plan to continue the project with a follow-up program, if they can obtain additional funding.
“Hamlets 3 is the model for all towns and villages within the Adirondack Park to utilize as they plan their future,” said Joe Kelly, President of ACHT. “Adirondack Community Housing Trust is proud to have been a sponsor of this valuable project.”
“The unique, rugged and attractive nature of the Adirondack Park, with its wild lands, working forests, waterways, trails, and scenery goes hand in hand with its vibrant, successful mountain communities,” said Robert Davies, Director of DEC Division of Lands & Forests. “The Hamlets 3 guidebook provides Adirondack Park communities with a valuable tool for re-imagining the growth potential of hamlets and developing smart growth projects that will capitalize on the irreplaceable natural resources of the park and attract future investment.”
Many towns in the Adirondacks have concluded that the population centers of their communities have become built-out, have no room to grow, or are in need of an economic boost. ACHT, concerned that built-out and/or waning villages and hamlets increase the difficulties of providing affordable housing and supportive development, sought to study options for hamlet expansion using smart growth principles.
Smart Growth principles include compact, walkable, well-defined hamlets, which maximize use of existing infrastructure; places that provide jobs and housing, high visual quality, transportation choices, and access to nature; places that are based on energy efficiency, resource protection, and sustainability.
Hamlets 3: Planning for Smart Growth and Expansion of Hamlets in the Adirondack Park provides interested citizens, planning boards, not-for-profits, planners, and public officials in the Adirondacks with an easy-to-use, smart growth planning model, principles, and processes for achieving expansion of their community centers. Hamlets 3 is presented in an illustrated guidebook that may be viewed and downloaded at the project website – www.adkhamlets.org. It may also be viewed and downloaded from the Adirondack Park Agency; NY Department of State; and NYSDEC.
The guidebook and website:
“Hamlets 3 builds on a long tradition of Adirondack Park Agency involvement following the first and second hamlet publications dating back to the eighties, said Terry Martino, APA Executive Director. “ We recognize the value of the hamlet population centers and the need for planning for additional growth opportunities. The study is significant in its presentation of strategies such as Main Street revitalization, commercial reuse, green technologies and walkable communities to enhance community life and economic vitality.”
“Adirondack hamlets are catalysts for regional economic growth, environmental stewardship, affordable housing and community quality-of-life, said Ruth Noemi Colón, Acting NYS Secretary of State. “This guidebook provides a useful road map that respects and enhances the unique attributes of this splendid region.”
The analysis and recommendations in Hamlets 3 are based on a two-year study that used three case-study clusters of Adirondack hamlets to generate and evaluate real-world opportunities for smart hamlet expansion, both within the footprint of the existing hamlet and outside that footprint.
The three clusters of hamlets that were studied are located around Old Forge, Clifton-Fine, and Elizabethtown and were selected because of their geographic dispersion and varied character within the Adirondacks. From these studies, the Hamlets 3 planning model was derived, which is broadly applicable to a wide range of situations throughout the Adirondack Park.
“Participating in the field work during the development of Hamlets 3 guide meant stepping out of our same old existence,” said Robert Moore, Supervisor, Town of Webb. We looked at our community from a new perspective. It opened doors in our minds to new possibilities. It was enlightening and refreshing.”
“This was a fun venture,” commented Mark Hall, Supervisor, Town of Fine. “It combined the reality of what we have with the opportunity to dream of what could develop. The model created by Roger Trancik and his team brought an enviable level of planning professionalism to the Adirondacks.”
“Last summer the Elizabethtown Planning Board had the opportunity to work with Roger Trancik and his brilliant group of young planners when they came to town to work on the ‘E-Town Cluster’ for the Hamlets 3 Project,” said Elena Borstein, Town of Elizabethtown Planning Board member. “We learned about Smart Growth Principles of planning and now hope to put these into our new Comprehensive Plan for Elizabethtown, which hasn’t been revised since the 1970′s. The guidebook is a great tool for planning and for the future of the Adirondacks.”
Although the guidebook and website have been developed, the project is unfinished. The project sponsors are seeking Adirondack communities that want to use the smart growth approach. During a proposed second phase of the project, public training programs and technical assistance courses will be offered to communities that want to implement smart growth projects at the local level. Interested communities can contact ACHT at 518-873-6888.
In addition to receiving training and assistance the communities should be prepared to assemble a committee that can apply the expansion model step-by-step to assess the smart growth potential of their own communities and develop specific local projects to be undertaken using Hamlets 3 guidelines. More details about Hamlets 3 and how communities can participate will be presented at the Adirondack Park Local Government Day conference in Lake Placid on March 23. (www.apa.state.ny.us) Participants in the Hamlets 3 session at Local Government Day will be a given a CD of the guidebook.
Roger Trancik, a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, is Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture and City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. Trancik, and his consulting firm Urban Design Consultants undertook studies of the 130 Adirondack hamlets in the 1980s in conjunction with the Clinton, Essex, Hamilton and St. Lawrence county planning offices and the Local Planning Assistance staff of the Adirondack Park Agency.
Those earlier studies resulted in two publications – Hamlets 1 and Hamlets 2. Hamlets 1 educates non-Adirondackers about the centers of the Park’s communities (the “hamlets”) where most of the population, community services, commerce and employment are concentrated, and their needs for revitalization and investment. Hamlets 2 provide strategies for hamlet revitalization to Adirondack communities utilizing examples of successful endeavors from within the Adirondacks. Both publications won national awards and are widely known in the Park.
DEC’s 2007 Adirondack Park Community Smart Growth Grant Program has provided assistance to seventeen other planning and sustainable development projects throughout the Park initiated by local communities. A second round of funding is currently open for applications until March 18th. For more information on smart growth initiatives underway, or for details on the second round of funding, visit the DEC website at: www.dec.ny.gov/lands/49210.html