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Post date: November 9 2005

Court Halts Construction Of Adirondack Mansion

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a state judge in Herkimer County ordered an immediate stop to construction of a massive residence in the Town of Webb after ruling that the owner violated the building permit issued by the Adirondack Park Agency ("APA").

The Town of Webb lies within the Adirondack Park "Blue Line" where construction projects fall under the jurisdiction of the APA’s rules and regulations.

If built as planned, the partially completed home - - owned by Timothy J. Noonan - - would be 59 feet high and 19,000 square feet in area. Those dimensions far exceed the 35-foot height restriction and 2,500 square-foot size limit in Noonan’s APA building permit.

"The Adirondack Park Agency balances the needs of local residents with the century-old commitment of protecting the resources of the Park," said Attorney General Spitzer. "Builders must comply with Adirondack Park Agency rules and avoid damage to the scenic beauty and natural resources of the Adirondack Park. I applaud the Agency for this common sense enforcement action, an effort that has now been affirmed by the courts."

The APA issues permits with conditions to avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts. Permit conditions protect the open space character and scenic beauty of the Adirondack Park for all New Yorkers to enjoy. It is critical for the agency’s enforcement credibility that its rules and regulations are consistently applied and that its permit conditions are upheld.

The Noonan house, situated between Second and Third lakes in the Fulton chain of lakes, is in a 59-acre, 12-lot subdivision being developed by Noonan and a partner. The APA approved the subdivision, in 1989 with conditions that limit houses built on the lots to no more than 35 feet in height and 2,500 square feet in size. Construction on Noonan’s home began in 2003.

Noonan rebuffed efforts by the APA to settle this land use dispute in 2003 and 2004. The case was then referred to the Attorney General’s office for enforcement because Noonan refused to limit the height or overall size of his house, which would rise above surrounding trees and be visible from many vantage points, including nearby Bald Mountain.

As a result of today’s ruling by Judge Michael Daley in Herkimer, Noonan will have to comply with the terms of his APA building permit, including dismantling those sections of the house that exceed the size and height limits.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Susan Taylor, under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General John Sipos. Staff from the Adirondack Park Agency, including attorney Paul Van Cott, assisted with the case.