Natural Resources Council of Maine * Maine Audubon
Today, the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Maine Audubon submitted a letter to Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission in support of the concept of Jim Confalone’s announced intention to revitalize the downhill ski resort he owns at Moose Mountain, overlooking Moosehead Lake.
Mr. Confalone has publicly announced development plans that include 200 new condominiums, upgrades to the existing hotel, base lodge and ski lifts, and the long-term transformation of the resort into a four-season attraction featuring hotels, recreation facilities, and conference center.
“Over the last three years, as we have spoken with residents of the Moosehead Lake region about potential development in the region, we have heard broad support for revitalizing the downhill ski resort,” said Cathy Johnson of NRCM. “We share that sentiment and, in general, we believe that this location is appropriate for this type of development, as the area is easily accessible from Greenville and portions of it are already zoned for development. We believe the revitalization and expansion of the existing ski area is a far better way to fulfill economic development needs in the Moosehead region than creating new development zones on the Lily Bay peninsula, the north shore of Long Pond and other special areas, as Plum Creek has proposed. We encourage you to consider our comments and to work with Mr. Confalone to shape his proposal.”
“As Mr. Confalone’s project moves forward, it will be important for his development team to do a natural resources inventory and to adopt sound land-use planning designs,” said Jody Jones of Maine Audubon. “With proper safeguards, and proper responses to site-specific concerns, we believe Mr. Confalone’s proposal could be the cornerstone of a long-range plan to attract tourists to the Moosehead Lake region. In order to facilitate this, we offer to work collaboratively in the planning phase to evaluate the natural resources inventory and develop solutions to any site specific concerns which may arise.”
In the report, “A Vision for the Moosehead Lake Region,” published by the Natural Resources Council of Maine in the spring of 2006, the ski area was identified as “one of the most significant recreational resources and economic development opportunities in the Moosehead Lake area.” The report noted that, “With proper planning, there may be opportunities to greatly increase the amount of development at the base of the mountain. Several hundred units of housing could be added (in the form of condominiums, homes, expanded hotel, inn, etc.) in an area already zoned for development. Revitalization of this ski area into a resort with four-season attractions should be a centerpiece of strategies to attract tourists to the Moosehead Lake Region.”
The full “Vision” publication is available at: www.nrcm.org/publication_alternative_vision.asp