Responses to commenters’ concerns

To the editor:

I normally do not read the anonymous comments in blogs simply because they are anonymous. This week, I happened to read the comments related to your poll of opinions on the merit of the Adirondack Club litigation filed by Protect and the Sierra Club.

Although I was pleased to see that 71 percent of the respondents think the lawsuit is unmerited, I was disappointed to see the two primary themes of the negative comments.

One was that we did not care about the village. Those people must not remember that we volunteered to limit the commercial space and uses on the mountain because we wanted our residents and guests to be part of the community and to patronize the struggling village businesses. They also seem to forget that, at the adjudicatory hearing, the preservationist groups put experts on the stand who urged that we build a new village with stores, restaurants and hotels clustered in the base area around the ski lifts, even though they admitted, under cross-examination, doing so would hurt the village of Tupper Lake. They wanted to throw the village under the bus. The Adirondack Club wants and needs the village to thrive.

I was born in Ogdensburg and worked in Tupper Lake as a youth. I invested and had a home in Tupper Lake long before the project even was conceived. My wife, Susan, and I, together, are the largest individual shareholders in the Adirondack Club and have made substantial investments in Tupper Lake. We care.

The other theme was that we have ignored the wishes of the locals on Simon Pond Road and only “granted” them one meeting. The Adirondack Club has had an office in a storefront at 91 Park St. in Tupper Lake for several years. I have made it clear that I am available to talk to anyone, at any time, with or without an appointment. That offer stands.

The only “local” unfulfilled wish I have heard expressed, other than “not in my backyard,” is that we not use Simon Pond Road, a paved, public road. The only way we can avoid using it without leaving the 3,300 acres east of Read Road undeveloped is by crossing Read Road. We asked. The Reads demanded more than $1 million to allow us to cross a 50-foot section of their road. Not surprisingly, we chose to use the public road.

As to our willingness to compromise, with whom? Stop in our office and give me or Susan your suggestion. While you are there, look at our three-dimensional project model, and note the effect of leaving 5,400 of the 6,200 acres undisturbed.

Tom Lawson

Tupper Lake