ACR still needs to file for permits

TUPPER LAKE — Developer Tom Lawson told the local planning board last week that the Adirondack Club and Resort was close to securing necessary permits from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, both agencies said they had not yet received permit applications as of Thursday.

The developers of the ACR, a planned 6,200-acre luxury housing development, have been working on obtaining the approval of the Army Corps and the DEC to construct Pond Road, which would run 5.5 miles from the Lake Simond Road extension to the 1,200-acre Moody Pond lot, the development’s largest parcel, and 17 other “great camp” building lots.

“DEC recently met with representatives of the Adirondack Club and Resort Project to discuss their permit application but we have not received a permit application at this time,” DEC spokesman David Winchell wrote in an email.

Real estate partner Jim LaValley said the group has been working on many aspects of the project, not just road permits.

“It’s been a stretch where we’ve been working very closely with affiliates and people who are involved in the project, and it’s all been very, very positive,” LaValley said. “The information that Tom passed on to the planning board, that is the schedule that we’re on, and as we move into 2017, we’re feeling very strong that the sales effort will begin as we get into the first or second quarter of 2017. There will be a very strong sales effort underway.”

Lawson declined to comment on the applications not being filed.

“I’m not going into this conversation,” Lawson said. “Things are going really well, and that’s all the world needs to know. I appreciate the call. Everything is going to play out the way we expect it to, and we’re very excited about 2017.”

Winchell said Phase 1 of the ACR project requires three permits: an Individual Stormwater State Pollutants Discharge Elimination Permit using 2015 design manual standards for stormwater pollution prevention plan preparation, a Stream Crossing Permit for a bypass road that crosses any protected streams, and a Water Quality Certification for federal wetland disturbance exceeding ACOE Nationwide Permit thresholds.

When received, the department will combine the applications under one permit for the review process, Winchell said.

“Under the New York State Uniform Procedures Act, DEC has up to 60 days to determine if the permit application is complete,” Winchell said. “It is likely to take less than 60 days to complete the review process. If DEC determines the permit application is complete, we will issue a notice of complete application, including a draft permit, and begin the required 30 day public comment period.”

Winchell said after the public comment period, the department has 60 days for another review to make a final decision regarding the permit, but said it is unlikely the final decision would take 60 days. He could not provide a minimum amount of time an approval process could take as there are too many factors in the process.

Jim D’Ambrosio, spokes-man for the Army Corps’ New York District, said the agency has also been in talks with developers but has not received an application.

“Here’s the basics: Currently, we do not have an application for the permit on the project, not yet,” he said. “But we do have a request for a jurisdictional determination on a portion of the Adirondack Club and Resort site.”

D’Ambrosio said the agency conducted a site visit in June 2016.

“We reviewed the aquatic resources, and we’re waiting for additional information that we requested from the applicant based on the site visit so we can complete our work,” he said.

He said he could not provide the amount of time an application process would take as it depends upon the project at hand.

The Tupper Lake Joint Planning Board approved its 13th extension of the ACR’s permit since February 2013, when it first gave conditional final approval to Planned Development District 1, a 3,200-acre section containing the great camp lots. The great camp lots are currently owned by a liquidated trust of the former Oval Wood Dish Company, which had a factory in Tupper Lake.

The project has had to continually renew the permit as it expires every 90 days, but Lawson said at the meeting he expected the renewal to be the final one since the development group is weeks away from securing the permits.

LaValley said the project is ready to move forward once the permits are approved.

“Right now, in working with the affiliates, the next phase we’ve already begun to undertake is discussing the marketing, putting together the proper promotional materials and developing our affiliations, so that when the time comes and we have the green light from the final permitting agencies, we can hit the ground running,” he said.

He added that well-known golfer Greg Norman’s company, Great White Shark Enterprises, is still involved with branding and marketing the resort.