March 12, 2008: Bad policy
To The Editor:
With‚ÄÇBelleayre Mt. Ski Center‚ÄÇabandoning plans to expand‚ÄÇon the eastern side toward Pine Hill, the remaining expansion of the ski center would only be for the purpose of giving the proposed Highmount Spa Resort ski in/ski out access to the rejuvenated slopes of Highmount Ski Center.‚ÄÇ
The Belleayre expansion is now‚ÄÇnothing more than‚ÄÇa gift‚ÄÇof‚ÄÇcitizens‚Äô tax dollars and environmental security to‚ÄÇCrossroads Ventures.‚ÄÇThe proposed Highmount Spa Resort, consisting of 240 units sprawling from 2,600 feet to the ridge top above 3,000 feet is environmentally unsound.‚ÄÇThe final DEC scoping document suggests that Crossroads‚ÄÇeliminate the Highmount Spa from the development plan to avoid‚ÄÇa host of‚ÄÇadverse environmental impacts.‚ÄÇThe state should not be questioning the wisdom of this high-slope development on the one hand and paying for it on the other.
Coupled with the governor‚Äôs agreement to buy the developer‚Äôs land holdings on Big Indian Plateau for three times the going rate, the‚ÄÇexpansion of the ski center to accommodate the developer‚Äôs‚ÄÇfar-fetched scheme‚ÄÇcannot be justified financially or legally.‚ÄÇ
Belleayre Mt. Ski Center needs to disentangle itself from the proposed private resort for its own good and for good public policy.‚ÄÇThe proposed Belleayre Resort must pay its own way‚ÄÇwithout the gift of a taxpayer-owned ski center.‚ÄÇ
Matt Frisch, coordinator
Highmount Preservation Association