801. Statement of legislative findings and purposes. The Adirondack park is abundant in natural resources and open space unique to New York and the eastern United States. The wild forest, water, wildlife and aesthetic resources of the park, and its open space character, provide an outdoor recreational experience of national and international significance. Growing population, advancing technology and an expanding economy are focusing ever-increasing pressures on these priceless resources.
Our forefathers saw fit nearly a century ago to provide rigid constitutional safeguards for the public lands in the Adirondack park. Today forest preserve lands constitute approximately forty percent of the six million acres of land in the park. The people of the state of New York have consistently reiterated their support for this time-honored institution.
Continuing public concern, coupled with the vast acreages of forest preserve holdings, clearly establishes a substantial state interest in the preservation and development of the park area. The state of New York has an obligation to insure that contemporary and projected future pressures on the park resources are provided for within a land use control framework which recognizes not only matters of local concern but also those of regional and state concern.
In the past the Adirondack environment has been enhanced by the intermingling of public and private land. A unique pattern of private land use has developed which has not only complemented the forest preserve holdings but also has provided an outlet for development of supporting facilities necessary to the proper use and enjoyment of the unique wild forest atmosphere of the park. This fruitful relationship is now jeopardized by the threat of unregulated development on such private lands. Local governments in the Adirondack park find it increasingly difficult to cope with the unrelenting pressures for development being brought to bear on the area, and to exercise their discretionary powers to create an effective land use and development control framework.
The basic purpose of this article is to insure optimum overall conservation, protection, preservation, development and use of the unique scenic, aesthetic, wildlife, recreational, open space, historic, ecological and natural resources of the Adirondack park.
A further purpose of this article is to focus the responsibility for developing long-range park policy in a forum reflecting statewide concern. This policy shall recognize the major state interest in the conservation, use and development of the park's resources and the preservation of its open space character, and at the same time, provide a continuing role for local government.
The Adirondack park land use and development plan set forth in this article recognizes the complementary needs of all the people of the state for the preservation of the park's resources and open space character and of the park's permanent, seasonal and transient populations for growth and service areas, employment, and a strong economic base, as well. In support of the essential interdependence of these needs, the plan represents a sensibly balanced apportionment of land to each. Adoption of the land use and development plan and authorization for its administration and enforcement will complement and assist in the administration of the Adirondack park master plan for management of state land. Together, they are essential to the achievement of the policies and purposes of this article and will benefit all of the people of the state.
Accordingly, it is the further purpose of this article to adopt and implement the land use and development plan and to provide for the plan's maintenance, administration and enforcement in a continuing planning process that recognizes matters of local concern and those of regional and state concern, provides appropriate regulatory responsibilities for the agency and the local governments of the park and seeks to achieve sound local land use planning throughout the park.
Last modified: February 3, 2019