Coos Planning Board And Balsams' Developers Out Of Step At Meeting

Apr 27, 2016

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A meeting Tuesday night between the Coos Planning Board and Balsams developers to discuss crucial plans to expand the resort's ski slopes didn’t go well, with each side frustrated.

The planning board  had a long list of items it is legally required to consider.

But many of those items weren’t in the document describing developer Les Otten’s plan to increase the Balsams' skiable area from 135 to 1,200 acres.

Burt Mills, a representative for Otten, said some of that information is still being developed, including the massive alteration-of-terrain application.

Planning Board Chairman John Scarinza said that puts the board in a tough position.

“Are we doing this review too soon?" he asked.

Mills said clearing and construction needs to get going immediately and the developer was hoping the board would allow some information to be provided later.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

“We’re not trying to escape complying with the rules," he said.

But board members said they legally must review all the information before giving approval. Failing to do so would make it easy for anyone to mount a legal challenge later and disrupt the whole project, they noted.

The meeting was continued until May 18th.