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For Immediate Release: April 2, 2018

Keith P. McKeever | keith.mckeever@apa.ny.gov 
Public Information Officer | Adirondack Park Agency | Press Office | (518) 891-4050

APA Improves Application Process for Large Scale Subdivisons and Shoreline Variance Projects

RAY BROOK, NY - The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) released revised project and variance applications today to enhance the permitting experience for the general public while still maintaining rigorous environmental standards. After detailed deliberation with local government officials, environmental advocacy groups and land use professionals, the APA incorporated feedback to modify the Large-scale Subdivision Application and Shoreline Variance Application.

"These revised application processes will improve efficiency, further clarify project requirements and eliminate unnecessary costs to project sponsors. In addition, these new applications will still ensure full conformance with environmental law and regulations", said APA Chairman Sherman Craig. "We appreciate the professional advice we received from our dedicated stakeholder groups and I thank APA Board members for their contribution to streamline our review process without diminishing approval standards."

APA Executive Director Terry Martino said, "APA staff worked as an interdisciplinary team to revise our permit and variance application processes to better serve the public while still maintaining our rigorous review standards. We benefitted from peer review and input from our Board members and workgroup members. We look forward to successfully using these new applications to continue to protect the Adirondack Park and efficiently assist applicants in their pursuit of project goals."

The Large-scale Subdivision Application applies to all subdivisions involving five or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Resource Management lands, ten or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Rural Use lands, or twenty-five or more proposed lots, parcels or sites on Low Intensity Use lands.

The revised application process ensures proposed projects are designed in conformance with the APA's review criteria, including protection of open space, wildlife, and habitat resources, and in accordance with the objectives of conservation design. The project sponsor will benefit from the opportunity to review conceptual designs and public comment with APA staff earlier in the application process. This will lead to the development of preliminary and detailed design plans before presentation of the project to the APA board. These modifications will help project sponsors avoid unnecessary costs and help reduce approval time.

The Adirondack Park Agency Act and Agency regulations implementing the NYS Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System Act establish shoreline restrictions on lands associated with lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. A variance must be obtained from the APA before undertaking any development activity that does not comply with these restrictions.

APA staff revised the variance application to include detailed questions related to the variance site, history, and ownership of the property as well as appendices specific to the type of variance requested. APA staff will also work with project sponsors to identify possible alternatives to avoid the need for the variance as the first step in the process. This could eliminate the need for a variance and avoid associated financial costs.

If it is not possible to avoid the need for a variance staff will issue concise and targeted information requests and require that project sponsors obtain professional assistance only where necessary.

For more information on the enhancements to the large-scale subdivision and shoreline variance applications please go to the APA's website: APA.ny.gov

The mission of the Adirondack Park Agency is to protect the public and private resources of the Adirondack Park through the exercise of the powers and duties of the Agency as provided by law.