BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hammond Councilman seeks your help understanding SASS ~

The following letter to the editor was published in the latest edition of the Thousand Islands Sun

Are We Ready For SASS?
The Scenic Area of Statewide
Significance (SASS) Designation is
a topic that very few residents.
and representatives fully understand.
After a two-year assessment
process, there continues to be many
questions and unclear answers as to
the full effects that will take place
as a result of a SASS Designation
from the New York Department of
Has the assessment process been
comprehensive ,objective and
transparent enough to fully realize
the impacts of this important policy
Do residents , property owners
and businesses along the St.
Lawrence River fully understand
what is being proposed in their
Is this about tourism or is it
about property rights and land use
As town councilman in the town
of Hammond I care about the future
of our town and its citizens. I want
to hear your perspective, questions
and concerns. Call:486-9818
                              Howard Demick

Letter cut from the TI Sun


Anonymous said...

From what I know about SASS the state wants to say the Thousand Islands is a beautiful spot. What is so difficult for the councilman to understand? I think the councilman is also being a little disingenuous. He has so many questions and concerns, yet Hammond has been involved in the process since day one. It makes me wonder if he was in the wash room during every discussion of SASS.

Anonymous said...

One most question the very ethics of this individual from the list of comments about relating to SASS. He borders on conflict of interest when he posts a Letter to the editor that states if one has questions about SASS to contact him personally. Who put him in charge. I agree that this person needs to question what their motive is for this action.

Anonymous said...

The councilmen has submitted numerous questions to the state and others that have been addressed as well as being given a variety of contacts from the two other SASS designated areas to find out what others have experienced. When he does not get the answers he wants, he keeps asking the same questions over and over. He is becoming an embarrassment to the town of Hammond.

Anonymous said...

To continue to ask questions even after they have been answered several times over suggests two things. One, the councilman has already made up his mind and the answers don't really matter. The second point is he has nothing to rebut, no new questions, so he keeps parroting the same old stuff. His letter looks more like an attempt to create unrest or it is the opening salvo for his upcoming campaign for town supervisor.

Anonymous said...

If Demick is knowledgeable about the process and its implications, instead of continuing to ask the same questions and requesting public input why not write a letter to the TI Sun giving us his opinion on SASS. I am assuming he has a very negative opinion and if so then put it in print.

Anonymous said...

I find it curious that councilman Demick purports to have questions about SASS particularly as he has been conspicuously absent at information sessions where department of state officials were present and the meeting was well attended by officials from other towns. These meetings were posted well in advance and officials were invited personally to the sessions. On the other hand it seems he has had no difficulty being represented at the functions of other towns to lobby against SASS. Hmmm?
Time for him to come out of the closet and speak for himself in plain sight where he can be held accountable don't you think?

Anonymous said...

This SASS controversy is NOT about SASS. It's about the SAFE Act. It's about locals vs. year-round outsiders. It's about the heavy hand of government. It's about Cuomo's backroom dealings. It's about personal pissing contests. It's about ugly future development plans by some. It's not about SASS. SASS just happens to be the dog lying nearby that's an easy target for a swift kick in the ass.

Local officials should tune in to all the hidden agendas and not kick something that will be good for our area and our tourism economy. Read the final report, attend the public hearing and then support the idea that the Thousand Islands is a very special and very beautiful area of New York State that deserves special consideration. This isn't difficult, it's easy.

Anonymous said...

Please take note that many local folks support SASS and the ideas it promotes. Likewise many locals respect the beauty of the River and the economic opportunities it provides and they make their income from the so called part timers and are happy that they are part of and invested in the communities along the River. Likewise the part timers respect the work done by locals and respect their life styles. Many locals are also subjected to harassment, misinformation and intimidation by the self appointed ruling clans, their families and friends and are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation. Even when town officials who get it and try to introduce things like SASS to promote progress in their towns they too meet with harassment, intimidation and sometimes personal and unwarranted attacks. It is unclear as to why such clans who are clearly in the minority choose to behavior this way. Perhaps it's because " if it ain't our idea it ain't any good" or worse it's the idea that outsiders should " sent their tax money, stay home and shut up, we like things just like they are". This is indeed strange since in many towns, Hammond for example, the so called River folks carry the majority of the tax burden and are denied a voice in local affairs even when they work for the community. What do these minority folks fear? Perhaps it's just fear of progress or things they do not want to understand that could help the community. Look around your communities and ask if you really see progress. If not ask yourselves why not. Let's face it we are all children and custodians of the Garden of the Great Spirit. We need to learn to get along to seek progress and preserve the Garden. If you see enemies all around you you will live a life of fear and lonliness. If you see friends around you you will leave a life of joy and community and so will your children for generations to come. Choose wisely and without malace.

Anonymous said...

SASS is primarily an environmental and anti-development lobbying effort being pushed by Town of Clayton officials, some part time summer residents and TILT under the guise of "tourism development". They see the need for as yet undeveloped waterfront towns, sub-units like Hammond, to remain pristine and "representative of" The 1000 islands, for a variety of purposes. As an example J. Taylor recently sent out personal emails to lawmakers in undeveloped towns, asking that they "keep an open mind" about this legislation that will potentially block future coastal/ waterfront development. This while at the same time he is at odds with his own residents by over developing his own town.
Looking at the SASS report, how many pictures are there of Clayton, representing the beauty of the 1000 Islands? Some? None ? In fact I wouldn't imagine that Clayton on its own could have made it past the front page of the SASS application packet, yet it is de-facto SASS central. Perhaps they don't understand the term "irony"? None of this bodes well for the "eco-tourists" that Clayton needs to fill its hotels, restaurants and stores. Clayton has a fervent need for towns like Hammond to remain undeveloped so as to attract tourists to their now over developed communities ever growing palate of waterfront and rte 12 corridor businesses.
Meanwhile Hammond like other river towns also has part time residents who have made their living elsewhere "or their parents made it for them" and they are just looking for a quite place to live out the rest of their lives. That's entirely understandable except that they have co-opted with TILT and Clayton officials to make it appear that the 1000 islands are somehow at risk of "over development" and in need of State protection. Well they don't actually say that, because doing so would run afoul of "unjust taking" laws, so instead they have pushed the agenda that this is actually "pro-tourism development". Which in fact it may very well be, except when doing so restricts the rights of the property owners in one town, to the advantage of another it is virtually calling out for law suits. The property owners working with the communities along the river that have made it pristine can and will continue to do so without the need of further state intervention. Unfortunately of course for those towns who have seen their quality of life deteriorate due to unfettered development, they should perhaps take care of their problems at home.
The River doesn't need SASS. It needs responsible development and continued opportunity for our present and future residents. As for those towns and communities that have already gone too far, perhaps you should concentrate on your own problems without dragging responsible land owners into your mess.

Anonymous said...

3:55PM How about some facts that might alter your view of SASS and its genesis in the Thousand Islands.

SASS came about from the initial effort of Town of Hammond Supervisor Ron Bertram; not the Town of Clayton. Bertram is a local, not a part-timer living elsewhere.

More importantly, SASS support came from many river municipalities that saw some potential in SASS to help their communities grow. Their endorsement in the end will come only when they see benefits out-weighing negatives. Each town and village has final say if they are in or out. What could be more fair?

3:55 you misinform readers with the suggestion that SASS will affect all future development. That just ain't so!

Thousand Island developers should be concerned with SASS if they have plans for waterfront cement plants, power plants, LP Gas storage facilities, high voltage transmission lines or similar large scale, industrial development. All of the normal residential and small business development that has been regulated by local planning boards will NOT be affected by SASS. I can't imagine any resident of the Thousand Islands who would not want an extended, careful review of all big, industrial development projects that might be planned for the river. Only a fool would argue otherwise.

Finally, Department of State does not issue permits for any large scale, industrial development anywhere in New York State. The review they might provide for a SASS designated area is a non-binding opinion, nothing more. So, SASS and Department of State don't control future development, at most they will only comment on it.

Whoever issues permits, Army Corps, DEC etc., has the final say and these agencies are not bound by reviews and opinions coming from other agencies. Permitting agencies are only bound to read other reviews and consider them.

Sorry 3:55, SASS is not the 800 pound gorilla in the Thousand Islands some make it out to be. Far from it, it is more like the one ounce miner's canary.

Anonymous said...

6:36- sorry, but you have gotten virtually nothing correct

A) no major development will ever happen on the river in the affected communities because they do not have: rail, deep water, or airport access. Compounded with existing state and federal protection of the costal zone, all development (other than governmental which will over-ride SASS for public convenience anyway) is out.. Period.

B) yes Ron Bertrand was the one elected official that through his office was permitted to undetake a program that would essentially end up affecting hundreds if not thousands of property owners. What no one anticipated was that he would then misadvertandly hand over control of the program to a few non-elected, anti development environmentalists who have absolutely no education, or training in either tourism or job development, who then proceeded to "shut out" any questions. In fact after one meeting a steering committee spokesperson said, and I paraphrase: "I can't believe people are askng me these questions, I don't have to do this ".

C) Tell your tale of woe to the people along the coastal waterfronts covered by SASS in Long Island who lose their land and homes every year to erosion because DOS won't let them build retaining walls to protect their homes or properties , because it's not "natural".

D) explain how the DEC can approve docks in SASS areas, and then DOS through SASS tell the Army Corp to disallow, because it " affects wildlife".

I agree it should be up to each community to ultimately decide. However to pretend that this is somehow intended to halt large scale industrial development is so absurd that you should be embarrassed to even bring it up. Subterfuge, fear tactics and protectionism against perceived outside forces worked well for Hitler in sewing fear to a clueless populace as an inducement to control their lives and property, but surely we have not so forgotten history that we would allow this form of false propaganda to prevail again.

If SASS doesn't really mean anything, then why fight so hard for it ? Wouldn't it be easier to say: no cement plants, LP facilities , power lines, and building over 35' in each towns zoning law? Of course it would, but that's not the intent, the intent is to halt all future development on the river, which can hereafter be easily accomplished by rejecting all sea walls and docks,

But Clayton's almost done with their waterfront, so they will be just fine.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:27 PM. Your anger, wrath and ire are dripping from you comments - quoting Hitler, too. However, I applaud your admission that the anti-SASS effort has used subterfuge, fear tactics and protectionism against perceived outside forces to scare Thousand Islands residents needlessly.

However, there is absolutely no subterfuge on the part of those who support the SASS effort. Representatives from the Department of State and others have gone out of their way to provide information and answer all questions regarding the SASS designation honestly and truthfully. Furthermore, additional information and more opportunities to ask questions are programed in the months ahead.

The worst bit of fear-mongering in your diatribe, however, was " the intent (of SASS and its supporters) is to halt all future development on the river." It is silly, illogical and misleading to suggest that the sole intent of all the elected officials within the Thousand Islands region is to squash all and any future development within our region. On the contrary, these officials will only support the designation if they believe SASS can help promote the Thousand Islands and help them plan for a better tomorrow. After due diligence the towns and villages will then have the choice to opt in, opt out, opt back in after out or opt out after in. There is no long-term risk.

One final point, how did you get so angry over the idea of the state designating our area as beautiful and scenic? I can see getting angry over so much hate and violence that permeates the news today, but to attack an effort that says we live in a pretty spot is very, very unusual to say the least. My guess is the anger stems from something other than SASS.

Anonymous said...

On one hand you acknowledge that subterfuge, fear mongering and protectionism are being used to scare people, and then you somehow portend that those tactics are coming from the people who are questioning the wisdom of a SASS designation.

You also state that DOS has answered all questions to the satisfaction of all parties, when in fact DOS has not answer a single question, without the qualifier " this answer is not legal and binding and is only an opinion".

It's impossible to even comment on that.
Hopefully when it finally comes to public hearings, our "elected" not to be confused with "appointed" representatives will make the appropriate decisions for their individual communities.

We live in a free and open society operating with reasonable property rights,relatively free of radical extremism in all things. If instead you want to live in a gated community with a higher authority telling you what you can do with your property, feel free to move to The Villages.

Anonymous said...

9:12- sorry I left out one thing. I never said, as you ad-libbed above, that the sole intent of all elected officials in the Thousand Islands region is to squash any and all future development.

No, no, no.

What I said was that there are "non-elected" individuals who are attempting to do that, and an occasional elected official that is fighting a different but coincident battle.

Most indications received from the actual "elected officials" seem to show that there is no push for acceptance, except in a couple of isolated instances.

My ire is strictly at the insistence by Pro-SASS supporters that somehow this designation is being pushed by a majority of the well meaning and thoughtful elected officials in our area.
There seems to be this relentless "push" by the SASS committee that if you say it loud enough and often enough, people will believe that it is wanted.

I'm afraid that just might not be so, and it is disingenuous to speak as if it is. And to that a good night.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like these arguments are not about SASS. It is all about certain people pushing a new idea. Get over it!

I read the state's question and answer post on this blog and SASS is not a sinister land grab, it is not an attempt to make the Thousand Islands another Adirondack Park. It seems to have far more pluses than minuses.

What is so wrong with towns investigating this program? Recognizing the Thousand Islands as uniquely beautiful is great, but locals have got to use this designation to promote the area to get the full value of the designation.

If you are in the tourism business in the Thousand Islands you should see the value of this program and should be complaining about only one thing, that the towns and chambers followup with aggressive advertising and marketing efforts.

Anonymous said...

Ok, here's a simple analogy:
Jennifer Anniston (pick your favorite nice looking person) walks down the street in your town. You love the way she looks, how her hair is cut and the dress she is wearing.

So you call up her agent and say: I saw Jennifer in town the other day, and she looked great. Just make sure that if she want to come into town again, she has her hair done the same way, and she wears the same clothes.

Get it ??

It's not your hair. It's not your clothes. It's not your place to tell someone what they should or should not look like for time immortal, because you happen to like a thing a certain way, at one particular point in time.

SASS isn't the state saying that you look great, now be on your way . The potential is that SASS is saying, you look great, now by law, you are required to stay that specific way.

If SASS merely looks at a bunch of photos, reads some comments from residents and tourists alike and votes the area as being "scenically significant" that would be great. But that's never been the idea.

It's about redefining coastal boundaries and areas of protection as well as the parameters of views and subsequent appropriate use.

All of the towns along the river should make sure that they put in place sufficient protections to prevent the type of industrial eyesores that no one wants. But you can't confuse one with the other, unless DOS answers all of the questions asked, without qualifiers.

Anonymous said...

Sass is a promotional effort on a regional platform that highlights the scenic attributes and uniqueness of the 1000 Islands. No more, no less. Why there is a need to be so negative and vehement in refusal to accept that premise is perhaps the root cause of a failed status quo policy in some of the river communities considering inclusion in a Sass designation. Parochialism advocated by a few well established interests do not serve the interests of the community as a whole. Make no mistake, the Regional economic development community and Department of state are watching a self serving few attempt to derail a regional approach for state wide promotion of the 1000 Islands.
The Sass designation potentially is a benefit for the entire community. The status quo is not.

Anonymous said...

Guess what? Jennifer can wear anything she wants, or nothing at all because SASS does not care about little things. However, if Jennifer wanted to build a 10-story distillery next to her river front home, then it might trigger a review and opinion related to impact on scenic resources. Again, the state would not say a thing about her appearance. If anything it would be local zoning law that might say Jennifer cannot paint her house chartreuse or wear scarlet skivvies. But, I haven't seen a local law yet that regulates personal attire.

Anonymous said...

Sadly but correctly the last several exchanges typify and expose the tactics, venom and lack of respect for facts of the anti-SASS movement. It is easy for the anti-SASSers to sit back and criticize ideas such as SASS and claim they are for development. But I ask what is your plan? so far you have basically said NO! and offered no alternative. How has SASS impacted the other SASS areas? Well, in a recent article in the Watertown Times points out that development $ have been flowing to SASS designated areas while money to the North Country has and continues to decline sharply. So I ask again, what is your plan. You mention Hammond and attack without respect the River folks. What would Hammond do with out the tax revenue (and other income opportunities)provided by the River folks? Look at the facts the River folks form the over whelming tax base for that town and receive what in return? All they have done is step forward with a plan to move forward. The comments in the prior exchanges by the obvious anti-SASS and modern tea party enthusiast raise some interesting questions. You sit back and critique SASS as an anti-development program while you offer no plan for development. Take Hammond for example. At this point it has no viable infrastructure to support development other than that related to the River, which SASS can only help to advance and you offer no plan. By your tone it sounds like you are part of the old guard ruling clans as one prior commenter has characterized you who criticizes government while you have no problem seeking and accepting every possible tax benefit, subsidy and grant program the government has to offer. I characterize you as modern tea party because the original tea who sought representation for their tax contributions would roll over at your adopting their noble purpose. I ask again, what is your plan? Again easy to take pot shots at progress especially when you are unconstrained by the facts and continue to use scare tactics such as linking SASS to other groups that have nothing to do with SASS because they may hold some of the same values. Shame, shame, shame. As for TILT, you espouse protection for land owners and freedom to do with what you will but complain that no one should be allowed to contribute their private property to that group because "it takes it off the tax role" yet you do not look at the actual value TILT held land and the relatively small decline in actual tax revenue or what these land provide to all residents. Meanwhile you never never ever compare what is lost in tax revenue to other subsides particularly farm subsides going to those who do not farm or intend to farm. Where's the parity? Shame, shame, shame. No, it seems to me as another commenter has written your just anti-change, anti-progress and without any alternative. Your behavior is designed to slam yet another door on towns and villages struggling to stay above water. Sad, you don't and don't want to get it. These folks are trying to benefit the community in the here and now and for future generations. Again, what is your plan? More of the same? If so those local folks with the subsides may survive for a while but the communities will die a slow death. You need the River folks and the local folks who support things like SASS they want to help the community. Step back and answer, what is your plan? If you want to separate yourself from these efforts fine. Then why not separate yourself from the River folks and their taxes and other income opportunities and go it alone?

Anonymous said...

10 story distilleries ? huh ?
Maybe what's needed is some legalized plantations.

Anonymous said...

To all the anti-SASS knuckle heads who complain about the heavy hand of big government, go to question #30 in Dept. of State's responses to Hammond planning board questions. From 2000 to 2014 there were 1,917 coastal consistency reviews for the Hudson Valley SASS area . Of that total only 4, or 0.2%, were a major issue, hardly the heavy hand of big government.

Furthermore, in question #3 it notes that SASS "does not impose any new permit or approval process." In other words those four reviews where SASS was a major issue went to another governmental agency that issues the permit and that agency decides the outcome.

I know it is difficult for anti-SASS knuckle heads to even read an explanation for something they've already decided to oppose and hate, but it is hard to discount and ignore facts. Before some knuckle head complains about the legal disclaimer for Dept of State's response, please look at what question #30 provides - facts. No legal opinion needed here and no amount of misleading blah, blah, blah can obfuscate the truth. Sorry Charlie, SASS ain't no 800 lb gorilla, it's only a one ounce miner's canary.

Anonymous said...

Pro-SASS representatives make it appear that they are somehow holding the "high ground" in this endeavor. They seek a claim as the only parties interested in both the economic development of our communities, and protection of our beautiful resources.
Hogwash ! Nothing could be further from the truth. both "pro" and "questioning" SASS have essentially the same interests at heart. They are just at odds over if a SASS designation will be the best avenue to bring about future development of our corridor, with prosperity for our citizens, while retaining maximum beauty and tranquility in our area.

We all know for sure it will do the later of the three. It's the other two that pose the dilemma.

One of the major stumbling blocks here is that each town has different levels of development along the shoreline, with different levels of building regulations that affect the development of those towns. Right now, most of that control is local and by community, but there is concern that this may not be the case under SASS, especially in communities who do not have an LWRP. Nobody cares if there is reasonable control over the land, what they/we are concerned about is that it STAYS LOCAL.

River residential sections are a blend of nouveau riche and old money. Cottages and mansions, farms and wetlands.

The business areas of the towns in the corridor are diverse, with some growing, while others are old and tired, or minimal at best.

A major issue at hand is: do a majority of stakeholders want to say that at this point in time, each areas type and scope of development is the basis that will be used as the "standard" which will substantially determine the future of each individual community sub-unit going forward?

I would suppose the answer is "yes" if most are interested in a responsible and reasonable status quo. After all it would seem advantageous to those already developed business areas to continue to build upon their success, and likewise pristine residential areas could hope to remain substantially as such.

But that's not what is being sold by Pro-SASS representatives. What is being sold is that "it makes no difference where you are, that SASS is merely a designation, and not a control. That this will bring equal prosperity to all, regardless of where you find yourself situate.

However "questioning-SASS" representatives believe that statement is perhaps incorrect and by questioning it they are ridiculed as being "anti-growth and anti-environmentally conscious".

Wouldn't it be better for all parties to just agree that there is an "intent" to maintain relative consistency with existing area uses, talk freely without harassment about the potential effect of that, and then move forward? Isn't it that very lack of open and honest dialogue, with its potential for dissent, that has been lacking from this process to being with ? There are some who say "it doesn't matter at this stage", but shouldn't there be a more open level of communication between a broader audience of "stakeholders' to see if even that assumption is correct? Even the DOS handbook for development of LWRP's clearly states that environmental and development issues should draw from a base of all stakeholders, pro, con, in-between and otherwise.

Quite frankly the bullying tactics of the "pro-SASS" camp are only making this issue worse, and are actually making it so divisive that SASS may not go through, which may actually be a bad thing.

SASS Steering needs to up its game, and stop berating people who equally care for this area, and the success of its citizens. SASS Steering needs to understand that "we" as a river corridor need to control our destiny, not turn that over to a state authority, just for a LOGO.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:00 PM The fact communities along the river have different levels of development is obvious. Future development for each municipality will vary as well. Yes, anti-Sass proponents for example can question a Sass designation for their area.

Anti-Sass efforts, however, have not been confined just to a single town (Hammond). They have taken their misleading message and misuse of facts on the road trying to influence not only other river communities, but the entire regional designation itself. Their battle cry has not been Sass is not right for our town, but Sass is not right for any town.

The most insidious part of their efforts to date are attempts to influence other communities to disengage and opt out of the process before the final report has been made available and before a public hearing has taken place. Quitting before all the information can be dispersed and digested by officials is irresponsible and makes little sense. Who would make a decision about a medical procedure before hearing all the facts and the doctors diagnosis?

In response to these efforts pro-Sass steering committee members and some elected municipal officials began visiting other towns advocating for them to follow the process through to completion before making any decision about Sass. There was no strong-arming, no bullying, just a respectful plea for them to become informed before making a decision. If you doubt this, read the T.I. Sun's reporting of the Town of Alexandria and Orleans recent board meetings.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:04, I thought the reason there was a cross community discussion by people questioning SASS was based on the concern that it could potentially be implemented by mere completion of the report without community imput ?

This was obviously a concern of many community leaders, because this blog has an email posted from Jan-15th between DOS and Town of Orleans officials specifically addressing that issue. That exchange seemed to alleviate the concern.

You really need to stop accusing people of doing something wrong, just because they are asking questions of SASS Steering and talking between themselves.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:34, there was never any suggestion that Sass would be designated without community input. Look at the meetings, the website, the survey of scenic assets. From day 1 the process entailed community involvement and input.

Anti-Sass proponents did do something wrong when they moved beyond asking questions and began to actively lobby to kill Sass before the information process was completed. I would never accuse anyone of wrong-doing for simply asking questions. Sorry, but this anti-Sass approach was not as innocuous and innocent as you suggest.

The Town of Orleans recently decided to send letters to all the other river communities requesting that they all remain on board with the Sass process until its completion before making a decision. I applaud their plea for due diligence as much as I condemn the anti-Sass approach of aborting the process before it was due.

Dave LaMora said...

This has been a lively discussion, but it seems to me most of the commenters are dancing around a vital part of the issue. The interest in seeking a SASS designation was born out the controversy over industrial wind development. Sure, the promoters of the idea will deny the intent was to inhibit the scope of wind development, but I for one would not hesitate to support it for that very reason.

To be candid, I have to agree with a previous commentor, that the control of development, and land use concerns, should preferably be dealt with at the local level. The New York State Home Rule Law is the basis for Comprehensive Planning and Zoning, and as such, gives municipalities the authority to preserve and protect the physical and scenic nature of their region. However,as we all know, our State government abrogated that right with the passage of The New York Power Act which established the Article X Provision for siting of energy projects. Our local laws have no ultimate authority when it comes to protecting our scenic quality from this particular threat. Since towns and counties across the State made no visible or audible protest over this theft of our right to self -govern we are stuck with negotiating the quality of life and environment with a bureaucratic advisory board who represents an overreaching state government intent on forwarding its energy policies. It seems to me a SASS designation could prove to be a valuable, effective tool to make those negotiations, or with any future potential developments that posed a similar threat to the scenic value of the region.

To say this is anti-progress or anti-development for the 1000 Islands area is missing the point. The scenic nature of this region is an integral factor in the economy, and general quality of life enjoyed by those who live , work, recreate, and do business here. If acquiring a SASS can protect and preserve those qualities, while at the same time serve as a possible catalyst for compatible development,- it has value. The intent and purpose of such a designation is not to micro-manage local zoning or planning as some fear, but to set some parammaters that define the scenic value from the State's perspective.

I prefer that we control our own destiny, by implementing our own guidelines for development that take into account preserving the precious resources we are blessed with. It has been continually, and unfortunately shown that greed and self-interest often overrule those principles, not only at the local level, but also , state and federal.

A SASS designation will not guarantee absolute protection of our scenic resources, much as the Endangered Species Act cannot protect our wildlife (eagles) when self-serving politics trump wise governance. Hell, even though a National Scenic Highway (the designation of which affords considerable protection of visual resources) runs through the heart of Cape Vincent, the new zoning law does not take advantage of it. Cynical though I may be, I still feel we would be better for having it (SASS)on the books.

In spite of my own protestations,local governments willingly rescinded their ability to determine their own fate by refusing to protest the implementation of ART.X . In the face of that, it certainly seems logical that we should seek to obtain a SASS designation.

Anonymous said...

Before accusing the "pro SASS" folks as you have dubbed themof making things worse you may want to re read or maybe read for the first time the rehteric offered by the other side. Questioning is one thing personal attacks and accusations of alterior and harmful motives of well meaning folks is another. Plus many of the anti-SASS comments continue to raise the same old tired questions that have been addressed over and over again apparently because they'd like answers that suit their own arguments. Their is nothing in SASS that threatens local control. Many but not all participating communities already have LWRPs, zoning and local ordinances that have regulatory powers and much of the SASS designated area lies within the costal boundaries regulated by DEC, Army Corp, Fieh and wildlife etc. these agencies can and do have regulatory power.. SASS does not. it affords opportunities to promote the area and open the door for new regional initiatives that can tap resources, $, that are currently flowing to other SASS areas as another commenter has pointed out. The wave of the future is clearly regional. Look at the applications and opportunities for funding. The almost all require a regional approach. Small towns particularly thiose with limited infrastructure and limited public access to the key resource in the region, the River, cannot compete in this environment. Going it alone will not lead to progress only more of the same, dying communities waiting for some miracle.

Anonymous said...

No one has ever said the the idea of SASS is wrong. What is being asked is if the potential designation may lend itself to varied outcomes, driven by varied interests, being decided upon from outside of the affected towns elected officials.

This because the designation is not exclusively a "development tool" . It's potentially an "anti-development" tool and a "development tool" depending on the actual implementation, and what one considers "development".

On one hand for example Alan Newell was recently quoted as quite elegantly saying something along the lines of: "Hammond is perfect for soft tourism". That's a great thought and completely different than for example Clayton's beautiful new hotel. No one is arguing with any of this. What is being questioned is simply: are regulations being put in place, intentionally or inadvertently that will lock in or out specific types of development that will occur in each area, without openly discussing that potential .

Here's an example question: in a CMP area that does not have an LWRP, SASS designated or otherwise , does DOS review all applicable permits that would normally be reviewed and decided upon by the "local LWRP" if one were to exist ? In other words, does the fact that a community has an LWRP, keep the permit approval local per that locally prepared LWRP, but if a community does not have an LWRP, said permits go direct to DOS for consistency review ?

If no, great.

If however yes, then the obvious follow up questions are: are the parameter of permitting requirements, and the consistency review therein different in a SASS, vs just a CMP, without SASS ?

Again, if no, great.

But if yes, then how and in what manner are those parameters different, especially by "sub-unit"?

If no, then great.

If yes, then let's all just talk about what that may mean. But to pretend that these questions are somehow inappropriate is what has held this process back, and is the reason why people are feeling that this may be something other than as it appears.

Anonymous said...

I guess you haven't read the post with the Department of States answers to Hammonds quesitons. Read it and you can find answers to your questions. Its really detailed. There is also a meeting coming up soon where you can ask more questions if you arent satisfied.

Anonymous said...

Please please please
Stop asking the same questions and read the responses already prepared
SASS is not a permitting agency
Anyone in the coastal boundries is subject to appropriate reviews as dictated in existing regulations eg DEC, Army Corp etc.
Asking the same questions and expecting different answers is indeed insanity
If you are planning a project requiring permitting you have many more hurtles to worry.