NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Re. Town of Warrensburg Proposed Land Use Map Changes
Dear Mr. Kendall,
On behalf of Adirondack Wild, we find the proposed map amendments in Warrensburg, both proposed to be reclassified Hamlet, problematic in terms of the APA Act. The likely adverse environmental impacts of reclassification, thereby ending the overall intensity guidelines in both areas, are significant. Both areas are presently part of a regional mapping plan consistent with and supportive of the present land use classifications of Low Intensity Use and Rural Use, respectively. The regional nature of the APA’s Land Use and Development Plan is retained by the current classifications. The overall characteristics, purpose, policies and objectives of Hamlet are not met in either area. Through its comprehensive planning, Town has not well justified their reclassification to Hamlet.
In Area 1 now classified Low Intensity along the Schroon River (21.9 acres), one-third of which is classified wetlands (Type 2) within the river’s floodplain, there could be significant environmental impacts to the river’s quality and floodplain environments by allowing a virtually unlimited density and type of new development. 25% of the area is also forested today. Thus, over half of the area is either forest or wetland. Moreover, there is an identified aquifer under the entire area proposed for reclassification. Strictly from a resource perspective, this is not an area can or should withstand the unlimited density and variety of new development that Hamlet classification would permit. Moreover, from a regional planning perspective, the area is classified Low Intensity Use as part of and contiguous to a much larger 270-acre LIU area on both sides of the Schroon River. The APA Map correctly extends the LIU classification to this section of the river to account for the presence of sensitive natural resources associated with the undeveloped Schroon River floodplain at this location. The characteristics, purposes, policies and objectives of Hamlet are not present here. The present classification should not be altered.
In area 2, now classified Rural Use along Route 9 (65.9 acres), virtually the entire area is heavily forested today. Half of the area has slopes of 15-25 percent or greater, where intensive development authorized by a Hamlet reclassification poses significant risks and adverse impacts. There are vulnerable plant species occurring here associated with the great extent of rock outcrop. The visual and aesthetic character of this area is entirely consistent with the Rural Use classification. If reclassified to Hamlet this section of Rt. 9 would lose its present Critical Environmental Area classification and its rural character. In addition, the 65.9 acres of Rural Use are part of a large, 16000-acre block of Rural Use extending into several other towns. The regional nature of the Land Use and Development Plan is retained through the present Rural Use classification. The area is properly classified Rural Use and ought not to be changed. The Town of Warrensburg has not presented strong comprehensive planning reasons and justifications for the proposed change to Hamlet, nor does the area possess the characteristics, or meet the purposes, policies and objectives of Hamlet.
In terms of an alternative reclassification of a portion of the 65.9 acres in order to avoid some of the sensitive topography and resources, we are not persuaded that this would satisfy the criteria for a land use map change or the regional nature of the Land Use and Development Plan.
Thank you for considering our comments and concerns.
David Gibson, Managing Partner
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve
P.O. Box 9247. Niskayuna. NY 12309