APA approves permits, map change

Updated State Land Master Plan to be published soon

RAY BROOK — The state Adirondack Park Agency approved a trio of permits and a map amendment at its regularly monthly meeting in Ray Brook on Thursday. Meanwhile, an updated version of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan should be released within a month.

APA staff said during the meeting that the SLMP will be updated after several momentous decisions last year, including the classification on tens of thousands of acres of land and a change to the definition of a travel corridor. The updated SLMP, which includes the newly classified High Peaks Wilderness Area, should be released before the agency’s next meeting in mid-August.

The APA board, with state Department of Economic Development representative Bradley Austin standing in as chair, also approved a trio of permits for logging, a deck and a Lake Placid project to convert a boathouse-turned-restaurant into rental units.

One permit is for a clear-cut logging operation on 102 acres of private land near Azure Mountain in Franklin County. There will be no visual impact seen from Azure Mountain’s fire tower, and APA staff recommended its approval with minor conditions.

The APA board then approved a variation for a deck on a single-family residence on Upper Saranac Lake. The homeowners built a deck last year but had to tear it down due to an enforcement action since the deck was within the 75-foot required setback from the water. The homeowner modified the design and was granted the variance to build the reduced deck.

The board also approved a permit for changes to the Boat House Restaurant on Mirror Lake in the village of Lake Placid. APA board member Art Lussi’s family owns the property, and he recused himself from the discussion and vote. The plan is to take the existing building, modify a staircase and turn the building into three vacation rental units. On the upper level there will be two units — a four-bedroom, three-bathroom unit and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit. The lower level will house a four-bedroom, four-bathroom unit.

The full board also passed two motions that resulted in a change to the land use map for the town of Westport, changing 32 acres of lands classified as “resource management” to “hamlet,” which is a less restrictive classification.

During the Park Ecology Committee session, the board received a presentation on improving forest habitat for birds from Suzanne Treyger of Audubon New York and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The APA board’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Aug. 15 and 16.