In the News  Archive

Plan for ex-scout camp opposed

January 12, 2015
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

By John Borgolini

BLEECKER - Five Adirondack organizations announced Friday via a news release that they are opposed to a subdivision proposal for the former Woodworth Lake Boy Scout Camp.

Members of the Adirondack Council, Adirondack Wild, Protect the Adirondacks, Adirondack Mountain Club and the Sierra Club's Atlantic Chapter said the current proposal to turn the 1,119 acres into 24 building lots for private homes may affect the surrounding wildlife. The groups favor making smaller lots.

John Sheehan, director of communications for the Adirondack Council, said their concerns are the proposal is a suburban-style development plan in a rural, backwoods location that is too sensitive to handle the proposed project.

"By spreading houses, driveways and accessory buildings across all 1,100 acres of property, they're using up all the open space, and it would also have an impact on water quality to do it this way," Sheehan said. "We believe that they can build the same number of homes on a much smaller footprint, and do it in a way that protects the forest and the two lakes. In the long term, that would make the properties much more valuable."

Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adiondacks, has warned that this project is modeled after the Adirondack Club and Resort subdivision in Tupper Lake, which has survived lawsuits by Protect and the Sierra Club.

New York Land and Lakes Development submitted an application for the project on Woodworth Lake Road in the towns of Bleecker and Johnstown. It's on the agenda for the state Adirondack Park Agency's monthly meeting Thursday in Ray Brook.

The developers, along with the APA, held a meeting in late November at Bleecker Town Hall to answer questions and discuss the details of the proposal. At that meeting, representatives of these two organizations said there are well-designed building sites clustered to minimize the impacts on the enviorment and community.

Also during the meeting, Alan Lord, project manager of New York Land and Lakes Development, said there were already 18 new buildings proposed.

Sheehan made it clear the five organizations aren't opposed to the project as a whole, but rather to the size of the current proposal.

"You can design it in a way that would preserve privacy for the homeowners, but move the houses physically closer together, so the construction sites and the places where driveways and outdoor lighting and traffic will be are limited to a small section of the property," he said. "The rest would be conserved for open space, which would be good for wildlife and good for recreation for people who live in the new development."

In 1990, the Adirondack Council called for the state to protect the site or buy it, and it's been on their radar for a long time, Sheehan said.

The five organizations expect to hear a response from the APA Board of Commissioners when it meets Thursday.

"We still believe the property itself is worthy of protection, and that can be accomplished through a better design through this development," Sheehan said.

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