January 2015 – News Break: Old forest may derail Sunapee expansion
Read the AP article and related articles via FOMS Latest News
This is very good news for our cherished Mount Sunapee State Park and the protection of the park’s natural heritage and scenic beauty. Read more…
“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)
This proposal is wrong for Mount Sunapee State Park and wrong for New Hampshire.
- This proposal is wrong for our state park and wrong for New Hampshire. The expansion will violate the public trust, destroy exemplary forest in the park, bisect and diminish an ecological landscape of statewide importance, and will severely impact other popular public uses of the park.
- Considering the harmful impacts and legal implications of expansion, the Friends of Mount Sunapee believes it is appropriate and advisable for the State to now direct Mount Sunapee Resort to bring forth to the public a revised Master Development Plan that stays within the existing ski area, leaves all identified exemplary forest untouched, and limits future projects to the areas of the park already disturbed.
Expansion proposal directly conflicts with the State’s legal obligation to protect exemplary natural communities.
Forest Society letter to DRED addresses Mount Sunapee expansion – Feb. 23, 2015
- “Our review suggests that the Resort’s expansion proposal directly conflicts with the State’s legal obligation to protect exemplary natural communities.”
- “The original reason that the Forest Society started protecting Mt. Sunapee in 1911, and assisted in its eventual transfer to the State, was to ensure that the ancient forests on its slopes be protected for posterity. As the current steward of this public treasure, DRED should continue the work started in 1911 and use its authority to sustain the ecological health of these forests within the State Park.”
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/Mount Sunapee Resort submitted in June 2014 their proposed 2015-2019 Master Development Plan (MDP) for Mount Sunapee 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 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. See FOMS: Discussion of the 2015-2019 Proposed Master Plan for Mount Sunapee – Western Expansion Into Goshen
The Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission evaluated the MDP and EMP. Read the Commission’s Letter to Commissioner Rose.
IMPORTANT: Share your concerns with your 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 said he 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.”