Local business owner says “time is short” — Sign up to Save Mount Sunapee
Save Mt. Sunapee Petition (download/print)
By Kathy Hubert
We are at a critical juncture in saving Mt. Sunapee State Park. The draft decision by Commissioner Rose of 4/16/2015, in summary, was an approval of the resort’s master sprawl plan.
If approved, it will allow the lessees of the ski area—CNL (Florida-based real estate investment trust) and Okemo/Mount Sunapee Resort—to both build a mountain coaster (rollercoaster ride) in our State Park and introduce sprawling development adjacent to the park on private land in Goshen.
DRED paves the way to real estate development
DRED says the operator need not donate the committed land (150 acres) to the State until 2028 in order to allow the resort time to negotiate local density and mitigation requirements. In short, the State is paving the way for timeshare condos or whatever else the resort wants to pursue. All you have to do is look west to Ludlow, Vermont, to see Okemo’s model for growth.
Additionally, DRED wants to give the operators a 10-year extension to a renewable 20-year lease, resulting in a 50-year lease at the same payment rate established in 1998.
The operators, in return, will donate to the greenway 208 acres already protected with a publicly funded conservation easement. Some believe this transfer to DRED will afford less protection than now exists. Another 52 acres, near the summit, will be donated to the State. However, this plan clearly violates a 100-year effort to protect a large mosaic of conservation land in and around Mount Sunapee Park and will cut into and diminish an ecologically important landscape―the Sunapee-Pillsbury Highlands.
Furthermore, CNL senior officers have publicly stated that they are exploring opportunities to liquidate its mountain properties, including the Mt. Sunapee lease, to increase investor profits. DRED’s decision, I believe, is designed to assist CNL in selling it holdings. Even more troublesome is the unknown intentions of a new owner, who will assume this now-extended, long-term lease.
Time is short: DRED’s Public Hearing on the amended plan is May 5th at 6PM at Mount Sunapee State Park (Mount Sunapee Resort, Sunapee Lodge), Rte.103, Newbury, and DRED will accept comments due by June 5, 2015 (at 4PM).
GOVERNOR HASSAN, COMMISSIONER ROSE and the EXECUTIVE COUNCIL need to hear clearly and in large numbers opposition to DRED’s recommendation.
B. Print the petition and get ten signatures or more.
C. If energetic, commit time at the post offices and sidewalks of NH towns, especially Claremont, Goshen, Newport, New London, Newbury and Bradford. I am sure there are many people who feel the same way.
D. By May 20th, mail (or give) signed petitions to Kathy Hubert at 179 Springfield Rd. Newport, NH 03773, or at a Hubert’s store in Newport, Claremont or New London.
E. Show up and bring a friend, we need numbers for the May 5 hearing. You can speak, you can just stand up and say you’re opposed, you can stand up to say your opposed and give your two-minute time to other speakers, and you can hold opposition signs. If you can make the meeting, please email or contact me so we can make sure we are getting the numbers out. Last hearing was a disaster most of the resorts employees and supporters were there and they were rehearsed and out numbered the opposition almost five-to-one.
Thank you for your help, call or email with questions.
Send signed petitions: mail, scan and email, or deliver to —
179 Springfield Rd.
Newport, NH 03773