DEC issues permits for Belleayre Resort and Belleayre Mountain Ski Center upgrades

Above: A map of the Full Build-Out Alternative plan for the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Area, from the SEQR Findings Statement for the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Unit Management Plan.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wrapped up its role in the 16-year review process of the Belleayre Resort on Wednesday, Dec. 2 when it issued environmental permits for the resort and for upgrades to the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center next door.

The documents constitute the state’s sign-off for the two interlocking projects: a private developer will build the 739-acre Belleayre Resort in the Ulster County hamlet of Highmount, while the state will give the public ski center a facelift to accomodate the expected increase in use. The Belleayre Resort project was originally proposed in 1999, and has undergone extensive review by the DEC. 

The DEC issued pollution discharge permits to the resort’s developer, Crossroads Ventures LLC, and to the Olympic Regional Development Authority, which manages the state-owned ski mountain. The documents went live on the DEC’s website on Thursday, Dec. 3. Click here to see them.

The DEC also published State Environmental Quality Review Acr (SEQR) Findings Statements for both projects. In the findings statement for the Belleayre Resort, the DEC wrote that it “hereby approves the SPDES and Protection of Water permits.” 

In its findings statement for the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center’s Unit Management Plan Revision, the DEC wrote that the state would be upgrading the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center according to a plan called the “Full Build-Out Alternative.” 

That plan calls for expanding Belleayre Mountain Ski Center with “three new ski lifts; replacement of two existing ski lifts; addition of 16 new ski trails; construction of up to three additional parking areas; expansion of the existing Discovery Lodge and Sunset Lodge; construction of the following new structures: the Tomahawk Lodge, an Information Building, a salt storage building, an additional snowmaking pond, installation of snowmaking piping, a lower pumphouse, and a compressor facility; and modification of existing pumphouses,” the state agency wrote

Although this is the last step required by the state to sign off on the long-awaited resort project, the DEC’s involvement is not over. Last month, the Catskill Heritage Alliance announced that it was suing the DEC over its review of the Belleayre Resort. 

Previous coverage:

Catskill Heritage Alliance sues DEC over Belleayre Resort, November 12, 2015

Belleayre Resort gets DEC greenlight, July 10, 2015 

Neighbors may sue DEC over Belleayre Resort, Dec 19, 2014