NOTHING TO SEE HERE, KEEP MOVING! IGNORE MY MULTIMILLION DOLLAR DEALS IN MILLINOCKET! IGNORE MY LOVE LETTERS TO QUIMBY! KEEP MOVING, NOTHING TO SEE HERE!!!!!
Public to sound off on Katahdin resort plan
By Nick Sambides Jr.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - Bangor Daily News
MILLINOCKET — By virtue of at least 14 written requests, the state Land Use Regulation Commission will hold a public hearing on businessman Matthew Polstein’s proposed $65 million upscale ecotourism resort in March or April.
The hearing, LURC Director Catherine Carroll said, will be held in Millinocket, probably at the Baxter State Park Authority offices on Balsam Drive because of available meeting space. Carroll hopes to discuss setting a hearing date with the commission when it meets on Feb. 7.
Exactly when the hearing will be set is uncertain because commission officials still are reviewing Polstein’s application in order to certify it complete and ready for review. Once that happens, a hearing can be held. Hearings require 30 days’ notice, Carroll said.
"This won’t go without some controversy and opposition, I am sure, but my observation is that Matt has been working diligently to address any issues or concerns that interested parties have regarding his project and to address those concerns prior to filing the application," Carroll said Friday.
Polstein said he welcomed a hearing. He had requested public hearings when he handed the zone change application and resort plan to LURC on Nov. 29, but was told by LURC staff to await other requests, he and Carroll said.
Polstein is a Millinocket town councilor who owns three businesses.
Sally Bouchard, Town Councilor David Cyr, John DiCentes, Kathy A. Gagnon and Alyce Maragus are among the signatories to the letters seeking a hearing, 12 of which were form letters.
All are political opponents of Polstein’s or contributors to the Magic City Morning Star Web site — magic-city-news.com — which Polstein blasted at a November Town Council meeting for reportedly conducting a smear campaign against him and his businesses, or they have opposed extensive expansion of town tourism businesses.
The Web site’s owners, Ken and Michele Anderson, have denied Polstein’s allegation.
Maragus said she wrote the LURC form letter and passed it out for the reasons the letter states.
LURC is not required to hold hearings on rezoning requests, but "Since this project will have a lasting [effect]on our area, I am hereby requesting that a public hearing be held in Millinocket so that the LURC staff can hear the opinions of those who will be most affected by this development," the letter states.
Polstein’s plan for Ktaadn Resorts calls for a community center, expanded Twin Pines camping ground, and a residential and mixed-use subdivision totaling 35 residential lots and 12 mixed-use town houses on 1,450 acres of Township 1 Range 8 along Millinocket Lake and Hammond Ridge.
He estimates it would create at least 100 full-time jobs, spur at least 60,000 visitor-days in the Katahdin region, or draw 17,000 tourists to his resort for about 3½ days each.
Some of the most interesting aspects of the proposed resort include agricultural centers, living and work space for artisans and other "creative economy" workers, and a traveler’s philanthropy program that encourages visitors to devote time, talent or money to the local economy.
If LURC approves the proposal, Polstein hopes to begin construction next fall. Total construction could take five to eight years, he has said.
Although she is skeptical of its viability, Maragus doesn’t necessarily oppose the project, but "any consideration that LURC will give to the natural beauty or the camps or camp owners up there should be given before that project gets off the ground floor," she said Tuesday.
Council Chairman David Nelson, who supports the project, agreed.
"My understanding of the process is that it works to ensure that all the voices are heard so that the people who are part of the LURC commission can make an informed decision on what’s best for that area and the region. So to have open hearings where people have a chance to speak on topic is important," he said. "As a member of the council, I plan to be there."
With Polstein abstaining and Councilor Jimmy Busque absent, the council voted 5-0 in October to support the project’s concept.
Carroll said the commission could have a decision in six months. Commissioners hope to finish reviewing Polstein’s project before they take on the much larger, and more controversial, Plum Creek development plan.[/b]