After some 13 years in the pipeline, the Belleayre Resort proposed by Dean Gitter’s Crossroads Ventures made its introductory appearances at the planning boards in Shandaken and the Delaware County Town of Middletown this week and last.
Town of Shandaken planning board members heard a presentation of the plan by Crossroads’ attorney Dan Ruzow, project managers and project coordinator Gary Gailes at their workshop meeting on November 7. They were expected to make the same presentation before the Middletown planning board, in Margaretville, Thursday, November 14.
According to Shandaken planning board secretary Gina Komuves-Barta, no crowds showed up last week at town hall in Allaben…but there were “a couple of people” in attendance, and questions. She noted that the whole proceeding, along with all future planning board meetings on the resort, will be videotaped, with DVDs of the proceedings available at her office. Similarly, she noted that she was working to provide full transcripts of all such proceedings in a timely fashion…and was working on last week’s meeting this week.
The Belleayre Resort, developed by investors and Crossroads’ mainstays Gitter, Emily Fischer and Ken Pasternak, still proposes two hotels and a golf course adjacent to state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, which is also in the midst of a public review of its own proposed build-out.
Both planning boards are expected to take several months before granting any site plan approvals and special use permits, and a similar amount of review time as has been allotted to the state for review and decision-making regarding its own proposed Unit Management. Other permitting agencies reviewing the massive projects include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation, Transportation and Health, the New York City DEP and various agencies in both Ulster and Delaware Counties.
None can take formal action, however, until the DEC issues a final environmental impact form, incorporating public comments from a series of public hearings and written entries, completed last summer.
Joint planning board meeting
Komuves-Barta added that Crossroads’ representatives all suggested a joint meeting between the two towns’ planning boards in the coming months…and noted that they were working on a 3D model to present to those boards, and the public, so everyone can get a better idea of what’s proposed.
“They seemed very receptive to everything and anything,” she said.
Meanwhile, Crossroads preceded the planning board workshop meetings with press releases touting the various changes and adaptations it had made over the years, as well as the economic benefits — and employment — they believe the resort will bring to the Catskills region, and the two towns within which it will sit.
“We hope that by spring we can move the project forward,” said Gailes. “The guiding principle that made Ken, Dean and Emily start this effort was to create jobs and economic benefit for the region. The goal was to support the community economically and improve the quality of life for everyone here. We are close now, to making that a reality.”
One member of the Shandaken planning board, local realtor Faye Storms, will be stepping down from her position by year’s end to take on her newly-won role as a town board member. That, Komuves-Barta said, leaves two planning positions needing to be filled…the other being a vacancy created in September when Joan Munster resigned.
“We’ve started interviewing for one position,” she said. “Now we’ll have to start looking to fill the other.”
For more info on the Shandaken planning board, including a look at its resort-centered meetings, call 688-5008 or visit www.shandaken.us.