Limit the resort size

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To The Editor:
As local full-time residents, we write to express our opinion that the proposed massive building of a spa resort, conference center, and timeshares on the steep slopes of the Highmount Ridge is a destructive environmental debacle, which will cause long-term environmental damage to our local villages.

The upper development will create 27 plus acres of impervious surface, thus causing massive storm water runoff flowing into the streams of Fleischmanns, Arkville, and Margaretville.  As we all know, these areas are still trying to recover from the last flood after Hurricane Irene. Any storm-water runoff will eventually end up in the NYC Pepacton Reservoir. The Ashokan is now protected, why risk the Pepacton?

We do support the expansion of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center to the east (the East Alternative of the UMP). This area, which includes the Cathedral Glen ski run, is adjacent to the 1,200 acres NYS taxpayers have already paid for and should be able to utilize, not only for skiing, but also for recreation during all the seasons of the year.

The East Alternative Proposal would provide for updated lodges and additional ski lifts, and would create a truly memorable ski experience.

Reasonable, sustainable improvements to Belleayre Mountain Ski Center will create jobs and add to the local economy without threatening the survival of the villages downstream from Highmount.
As members of Catskill Heritage Alliance, we ask that the resort development be limited to the Wildacres area only.

Freddi Dunleavey and Goline Doremus,
Arkville