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View Full Version : Public Hearing this Thursday December 4th re: proposed casino in NY near AT



somers515
12-02-2014, 21:22
I received this email today. I post it because I'm sure it's a topic of interest to many on whiteblaze.

"A public hearing this Thursday, Dec. 4 could decide the fate of Sterling Forest in southern Orange County, New York.

The hearing is in reference to this Draft Environmental Impact Statement (http://appalachiantrail.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=64f18e8ab0289e37511640181&id=c2e5997d11&e=17c6b6d613) (DEIS) for the $1.5 billion gambling casino that is proposed by the Genting Corporation of Malaysia (http://appalachiantrail.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=64f18e8ab0289e37511640181&id=c9d6327811&e=17c6b6d613). The casino development will impact the Appalachian Trail, and we need your help to stop this project.

Please consider attending this important public meeting, held at 7 p.m. this Thursday at George Baker High School, 1 Tornado Drive, Tuxedo, NY 10987, to make public comment on the DEIS. The Town Board of Tuxedo, New York is the deciding body for the DEIS, and it is important that your voice is heard.

If you cannot attend the hearing this Thursday, here are two other ways you can help stop this casino development:

1) Write Tuxedo Town Supervisor Mike Rost and the Tuxedo Town Board at supervisor@tuxedogov.org (https://us-mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/b/compose?to=supervisor@tuxedogov.org) to request more time for review of the DEIS by extending the public comment period one month to January 31, 2015.

2) Review the Sterling Forest Resort DEIS and submit your concerns to Tuxedo Town Supervisor, 1 Temple Drive, Tuxedo, NY 10987 by December 19, unless the deadline is extended.

The Sterling Forest Casino is incompatible with the scenic, natural, and cultural values of the landscape that the state, the National Park Service, the ATC and its partners invested to protect. We have urged the state and local officials to locate the casino in a more appropriate location.

Learn more about why we are opposed to this project here (http://appalachiantrail.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=64f18e8ab0289e37511640181&id=834d21783b&e=17c6b6d613).

Sincerely,

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy"

Lone Wolf
12-03-2014, 10:06
https://medium.com/@sheryltucker15/sterling-forest-resort-will-benefit-the-environment-916cc48b70cd

just another viewpoint

RED-DOG
12-03-2014, 10:29
I agree with this but also they got be room for change, they could probably find another place to build the casino if they wanted to.

Havana
12-03-2014, 11:04
I'm on the fence on this one. Any development, even LEEDS development, is less environmentally friendly than no development. That said, it won't be the first building visible from the AT. What's interesting about the Medium opinion piece is that the jobs, tax revenue and local investment figures are treated as fact. In my experience those sorts of promises made by developers are ephemeral. The reality is somewhere in the middle. One has to chose battles and a casino that is a mile away from the trail, though clearly visible at vistas, doesn't seem to be at the top of the list. Perhaps the "218 foot tall spires" to be negotiated away. But at the end of the day, it's still a more natural view than most of the vistas one gets from anywhere in Shenandoah. Am I missing something?

One more thing: Sheryl Tucker seems to be a shill for the developer. All her tweets are about the casino.

Alleghanian Orogeny
12-03-2014, 12:18
As much as I enjoy a long scenic view, I realize few of them, particularly in the East, are free of buildings, roads, cleared farm land, etc. The notion of "natural beauty" being equated with there being no evidence of man's presence is a ship which sailed long, long ago.

Both the AT and the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP), indeed any linear park corridor, includes views of the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of man's influences. That's not going to change, as the owners of private property outside of the boundaries of designated parklands should have the right to do as they please so long as their uses conform with zoning and general environmental regulations.

Over the last couple of decades, or more, the concept of "viewshed" has entered the discussion, where mere visibility of a development from within a park is seen as an incursion into the park itself. I believe many who don't share such an expansive view of the rights of park users see "viewshed" arguments as overreaching by proponents of limiting development simply because it may be seen from a park. I further believe parkland advocates should invoke "viewshed" arguments very, very carefully due to the perception from the other side that they're going too far.

It's like arguments between parents and kids: The smart parent realizes the kids need to win some of them, and he carefully reserves the parents' wins to include the most important ones. Is stopping the casino development worth losing the debate on other viewshed projects? I don't know, but I think a "big picture" frame of mind should be employed. Neither side is going to bat 1.000 on viewshed debates.

AO

Another Kevin
12-03-2014, 12:48
I'm on the fence on this one. Any development, even LEEDS development, is less environmentally friendly than no development. That said, it won't be the first building visible from the AT. What's interesting about the Medium opinion piece is that the jobs, tax revenue and local investment figures are treated as fact. In my experience those sorts of promises made by developers are ephemeral. The reality is somewhere in the middle. One has to chose battles and a casino that is a mile away from the trail, though clearly visible at vistas, doesn't seem to be at the top of the list. Perhaps the "218 foot tall spires" to be negotiated away. But at the end of the day, it's still a more natural view than most of the vistas one gets from anywhere in Shenandoah. Am I missing something?

What I think you're missing: If the plan lives up to its promises for the local economy, it creates a traffic problem. The only way to solve that traffic problem is by taking park land to build another Thruway exit south of Harriman and route a wide, graded road up out of the Ramapo valley onto the ridge. Even the existing plan involves widening 17 and 17A and removing choke points, worsening the already-significant traffic hazard at the west side of Harriman. When that proves insufficient, the locals will demand that something be done about the traffic - and the most likely outcome is that the area around the Elk Pen will be turned into a cloverleaf and toll plaza. (I concede that the Elk Pen is anything but a natural area. It's had a varied history as industrial wasteland, private estate and state park. Nevertheless, it's been a fascinating journey, watching Nature reclaim it.)

The plan really has two possible outcomes: a failed resort creating a blight on the landscape, or a successful one suddenly creating demand to encroach on the park, including the AT corridor. The development is going forward without the road (and with the developer promising that it will not take away parkland), and then by the time the resort is open, the road will be too "needed" for the voices of park protection to be heard. The plan as submitted is the camel's nose in the tent.

Another Kevin
12-03-2014, 12:49
I agree with this but also they got be room for change, they could probably find another place to build the casino if they wanted to.

There are seventeen proposals on the table. It's a done deal that four will win.

freightliner
12-03-2014, 23:06
Are they planning on putting this in the donut hole? Does this mean there's going to be no more Renaissance fair? I think you just gonna have to admit that y'all knew that the developer was going to do something eventually. If you guys do lose I hope you really fight hard for a footbridge over 17. I guess all I'm going to do is hope that they have an all-you-can-eat buffet so I can go in there make them feel sorry for having an all-you-can-eat buffet so close to the trail. I guess one argument you guys could use to convince them it's not a good idea is by telling them about all the very stinky thru hikers that will be stopping there. You know that being so close to New York City its going to end up being as big as Foxwoods. Maybe it's time to move the trail up the Long path and cross the bridge at Rhinebeck.

Dogwood
12-04-2014, 04:52
This isn't about maintaining a supposed pristine view, which it isn't anyhow, from various geographical points on the AT. Nor is this about a building. It's much larger in scope than that narrow reasoning.

After reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement(DEIS) the Sterling Forest Resort is a large sprawling project located only 1.5 miles from the Appalachian Trail having a substantial viewshed impact on the quality of the Appalachian Trail. However, the DEIS' inherent verbiage minimizes the significant magnitude of the visual impact. Also, consider the viewshed impact is only one such negative environmental impact of potentially several to the surrounding area not just the Appalachian Trail. From Chap III - Visual Character and Aesthetic Resources the balloon studies depicted in Figs. III. 10-7 and 10-8 this can be seen. The way the Aug 2014 balloon study was conducted(View of the Site from Recreational Sources - Appalachian Trail, Part 1.pdf, pg 36) and the scheduling and release of the Dec 2014 follow up balloon study and how it is also being conducted strongly suggest the full visual impact of the project from the Appalachian Trail are not known or are not being fully revealed in a timely manner. Also, consider the viewshed impact is only one such negative environmental impact of potentially several to the surrounding area not just the Appalachian Trail.

Consider the magnitude and scope of just the DEIS. In short, it's lengthy, complex, and with much to consider. At times it's superfluous making it further difficult to review properly on such short notice. I doubt anyone here read it through much less understood much of it or the ramifications. Yet, even so, despite this complexity the DEIS is only being allotted a 30 day open public review period. In any proper context this isn't enough time to review the DEIS even for some entire architectural firms. The project is being ramrodded through before the necessary time it would take to review the DEIS.

With a $1.5 Billion project at stake, this far already into the planning stages, there is going to be significant pressure bought to bear on prioritizing the economic values over environmental values.

rickb
12-04-2014, 07:35
https://medium.com/@sheryltucker15/sterling-forest-resort-will-benefit-the-environment-916cc48b70cd

just another viewpoint

And here is summary of the AMCs in contrast:

http://online.outdoors.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=gsJMKZPGJrH&b=8596901&ct=14193059&notoc=1

somers515
12-04-2014, 10:11
And here is summary of the AMCs in contrast:

http://online.outdoors.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=gsJMKZPGJrH&b=8596901&ct=14193059&notoc=1

+1 for linking. Thank you. I think the "trail map" speaks volumes.

If anyone goes tonight be sure to post how it went!

Sly
12-04-2014, 10:49
I surprised a affluent town like Tuxedo is backing a casino. Neighborhoods in Boston voted them down.

Sly
12-04-2014, 10:57
One more thing: Sheryl Tucker seems to be a shill for the developer. All her tweets are about the casino.

Yeah, her byline is part-time tweeter, full-time mom.

Alleghanian Orogeny
12-04-2014, 11:00
+1 for linking. Thank you. I think the "trail map" speaks volumes.

If anyone goes tonight be sure to post how it went!

Yes, the map and another contributor's reference to the site being "in the doughnut hole" sheds considerable light on the potential impact of the development.

AO

Sly
12-04-2014, 11:41
+1 for linking. Thank you. I think the "trail map" speaks volumes.



I wonder what the name of the blue-dot trail is and if it hooks to the AT south of the map? It would make for a nice alternative.

Sly
12-04-2014, 11:57
I wonder what the name of the blue-dot trail is and if it hooks to the AT south of the map? It would make for a nice alternative.

Then again, maybe not...


Allis Trail: Wouldn’t recommend this route, traffic noise at parts, trail wasn’t bad, a little overgrown and grassy, just not very scenic. We wanted to get some basic miles in to train for a trip so it met its purpose, but wouldn’t go again.

Sly
12-04-2014, 11:57
I wonder what the name of the blue-dot trail is and if it hooks to the AT south of the map? It would make for a nice alternative.

Then again, maybe not...


Allis Trail: Wouldn’t recommend this route, traffic noise at parts, trail wasn’t bad, a little overgrown and grassy, just not very scenic. We wanted to get some basic miles in to train for a trip so it met its purpose, but wouldn’t go again.

swisscross
12-04-2014, 12:42
It would make for a fun Hostel.

Wonder how the owners would feel having 400 stinky hikers showed up every year.

Traveler
12-04-2014, 15:44
It would make for a fun Hostel.

Wonder how the owners would feel having 400 stinky hikers showed up every year.

If they are any kind of marketing owners, they will figure out a way to lure those 400 hikers to clean up, resupply, eat and drink inexpensively, perhaps build a nice camping area with services for a very small fee. Not only a good way to help mitigate public relations issues, but has the added allure of some of those folks would want to play a few hands of blackjack.

Sly
12-04-2014, 16:40
If they are any kind of marketing owners, they will figure out a way to lure those 400 hikers to clean up, resupply, eat and drink inexpensively, perhaps build a nice camping area with services for a very small fee. Not only a good way to help mitigate public relations issues, but has the added allure of some of those folks would want to play a few hands of blackjack.

Hikers are notorious for being cheap, and would want to pack 10 to a room. A casino's main interest is separating a customer from their money, I don't think $10 or $20 dollars would cut it.