Belleayre Resort Issues Conference
Issues Conference Ends... For Now
By Brian Powers
"Significant professional disagreement"
seemed a fitting conclusion regardless of which side
characterized it that way - both did - as the Department
of Environmental Conservation's "Issues Conference"
for the proposed Belleayre Resort ended in Margaretville
last week, capping 12 weeks of often scathing critique
and rebuttal by five teams of lawyers and consultants
on the adequacy of the project's massive Draft Environmental
At issue throughout have been the
facts, how they were arrived at, and the validity
of the data and conclusions in the proposal, the largest
of its type ever received in the state's history.
Equally at issue were the "offers of proof"
disputing its accuracy and completeness by the Catskill
Preservation Coalition's expert witness lineup, arguably,
according to a number of leading SEQRA attorneys,
the most formidable group of its type ever to testify
at such a proceeding.
Of the fifteen or so major issues under contention,
few appear to have been put to rest by the conferences
end, and some such as water supply, traffic, alternatives,
and community character seem almost certain to resurface
for the coming phases of the review. But based
on the recent testimony and the submission of over
300 new exhibits - some the length of books - many
if not most issues raised at the conference appear
to remain open to the prospect of later adjudication;
a formal "trial" so to speak, of the developer's
Our Intrepid Intern Reporter Gets Pulled Into The
True Depths Of Civic Duty...
By Eric Hersey
It hadn't been ten months since I registered to vote
in Ulster County when I was pegged with a summons
for jury duty. At age 19, I had frankly expected that
my name would kick around the pool of eligible citizens
for at least a few years before I was selected for
this particular duty. Nonetheless, there was the summons,
loudly exclaiming "Welcome to jury service in
Ulster County!" as if the letter would inspire
enthusiasm in its recipients.