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Zoning Changes Advance Balsams Development Plan; Could Become Largest In East
New Hampshire's Coos County Commission and Coos County Delegation have approved three zoning amendments that are essential to the Balsams Resort’s proposed redevelopment.
Les Otten, who is leading the Balsams redevelopment team, said, “We are pleased the Commission and Delegation unanimously approved these critically important zoning amendments. We are very grateful for all of the time and effort these community leaders have put into the review thus far. This is a very significant milestone for the Balsams and another major step towards the rebirth of this majestic property.”
The first approved zoning amendment creates a new Resort District in the area of the former Balsams Resort and surrounding recreation areas, and encourages further patterns of compatible development.
The second removes “Planned Development” as a type of Subdistrict requiring County Commissioner and County Delegation approval for a zoning change, and creates instead a process whereby the Planning Board can issue a Conditional Use Permit for Planned Unit Developments.
The third amendment contains numerous changes to clarify existing wording and requirements, to remove inconsistencies from the Ordinance, and to update the Ordinance relative to changes in state law.
Other project milestones thus far include receiving a Water Quality Certificate (WQC) under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act. The certificate grants The Balsams permission to withdraw water from the Androscoggin River for snowmaking at what could become the largest ski resort in the northeastern United States.
In addition to receiving this critical permit, The Balsams recently surpassed more than 175 reservations from people wishing to purchase Balsams Century Club property when it becomes available.
Photos:Top -- The plan includes expanding The Balsams Wilderness Ski Area into the largest and most technically advanced ski resort on the East Coast. (Balsams Resort); Bottom -- The proposed Balsams Wilderness Lake Village. (Balsams Resort )