“State should say no thanks to Sunapee plan”
Concord Monitor Editorial
Sunday, December 28, 2014 – Print edition and on-line
Sometime soon – soon being relative in a process that’s dragged on for years – Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, will issue his draft response to yet another proposal to expand the state-owned Mount Sunapee Ski area. That expansion, which would link publicly owned parkland to private land and become home to a major real estate development, is unprecedented in New Hampshire.
Get it wrong and a premier part of the state, and land left in trust to its people, could be forever altered. Rose’s response should be to withhold judgment pending more public hearings and answers to a host of questions. Should he ultimately recommend in favor of expanding the ski area, its fate will be up to the Executive Council and Gov. Maggie Hassan. If it comes to that, like her predecessor, governor John Lynch, Hassan should say, “No.”
…Anyone who wants to get a sense of what the Sunapee area could become should visit Ludlow, Vt., home to the Okemo ski area and soon to yet another “village” of summer homes and condominiums. Is that what New Hampshire wants for its state parks?
Read the editorial in full via www.Concord Monitor.com
State should say no thanks to Sunapee plan (PDF 75kb)
Proposed Expansion at Mount Sunapee
What are the issues and concerns?
FOMS opposes Okemo’s proposed Master Development Plan at Mount Sunapee as written. Our concerns include, but are not limited, to Okemo’s failure to address their private, residential development plans for the West Bowl; the legal and public policy implications of commingling of State Park land and private land; and the lack of inclusion of relevant environmental impact studies commissioned by the State. Read more…
Okemo/MSR has submitted their proposed 2015-2019 Master Development Plan (MDP) to N.H. Department of Resource and Economic Development (DRED). The plan proposes a “West Bowl” expansion of the existing trail network onto privately held land in Goshen. Although the MDP, as currently drafted, is suspiciously silent on the scale and scope of future residential development, the proposed West Bowl expansion will connect the current lift access terrain to private property that in 2004 was slated for 175-250 condominium units. See below.
There are many unresolved concerns the proposed master plan does not address:
- What are the long term development plans for the private land in Goshen?
- What are the legal and public policy implications of attaching private land to a State Park?
- How will DRED oversee Okemo/MSR if it operates partially on private land?
- What happens to the expansion at the end of the lease?
- What happens to Goshen’s infrastructure if the town’s population doubles?
- What are the environmental impacts? (The plan relies on outdated, 10-year old studies that appear to be incomplete and inaccurate.)
The Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission evaluated the MDP and EMP. Read their Letter to Commissioner Rose.
Although the public comment period ended on Sept. 26, it’s never too late to get involved and to share concerns with our elected officials and policy makers.
Governor Maggie Hassan: http://www4.egov.nh.gov/nhgovernor/comments
Commissioner Jeffrey Rose, Department of Resources and Economic Development: Jeffrey.Rose@dred.nh.gov
Commissioner Rose said he will issue a draft response on the Mount Sunapee master plan “in time for the Mount Sunapee Resort to prepare its Annual Operating Plan for 2015-2016, which is due to DRED by May 15, 2015.” That draft response will be posted on the State website. The commissioner will seek public comment on his draft response.
Okemo’s 2014 Proposed Master Development Plan
Read the Proposed Five Year MDP in three parts:
I. Master Development Plan (16mb PDF)
II. Environmental Management Plan (11mb PDF)
(Click on maps to enlarge)
Will there be Real Estate Development?
The map below is from the 2004 master plan and its clearly shows an area identified for real estate development (175-250 housing units) in Goshen. In the appendices of the current 2014 master plan, the traffic study also discusses development of 175-250 housing units.
Also, the Economic Impact Report (in both the 2004 and 2009 master plans) states: “these housing units are considered to be an integral part of the expansion plan.”