Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Mt Washington Master Plan Hearings

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    7,500

    Mt Washington Master Plan Hearings

    https://www.concordmonitor.com/Mount...-plan-47535961

    No doubt folks will attend to express their opinions. Interesting that the claim is the cog will agree to no additional development in writing. The Cog had been pushing that there can be no limit on visitors to the summit. They have been working towards running dual tracks top to bottom which will substantially increase potential for moving people to the summit. This development would be outside the 60 acres.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    257

  3. #3
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    3,273
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    https://www.concordmonitor.com/Mount...-plan-47535961

    No doubt folks will attend to express their opinions. Interesting that the claim is the cog will agree to no additional development in writing. The Cog had been pushing that there can be no limit on visitors to the summit. They have been working towards running dual tracks top to bottom which will substantially increase potential for moving people to the summit. This development would be outside the 60 acres.
    Please explain by what you are inferring as dual tracks. Not really seeing any support for that anywhere else.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    7,500
    The new Lizzie's station is configured with dual tracks and in a past meeting with the planning board it was casually mentioned by the Cog as a future possibility. Given the current limitations of the summit, the Cog has already exceeded the effective capacity of the summit with the diesel fleet, but as represented by the Cog, Lizzies station becomes a destination rather than the summit building so the Cog is no longer constrained as it will have its own water supply and rest rooms with a sanitary sewer line.

    Even though the Cog has substantially increased the number of guests they can move to the summit with the diesel cogs and the automated track switch, they are still limited by the single track on the majority of the mountain. If a dual track would happen in the future, it would require a Coos county planning board permit but importantly the expansion would be outside of the state control of the summit as the dual tracks and a switch will already be in place with the Lizzie's station buildout. The scant history of the Cog interactions with the planning board is this would be treated as an expansion of use which the board approved in the past versus a new use which will in theory be a first when Lizzies station goes before the board and the state would not need to be involved. Like a good chess player, a good business owner is looking out at future moves well in advance, the Cog would not be signing away summit rights and a limit on additional development at Lizzie's station.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    561
    Double track could lead to more operational flexibility and safety for all. I always wondered what would happen if equipment got stranded where a passing siding is not present, and you had a mountain full of visitors trapped above.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    7,500
    Some comments by an interested party https://indepthnh.org/2022/08/12/op-...ington-summit/

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    MWV NH
    Posts
    499
    New Hampshire Union Leading posted on FB that the Cog is moving ahead with state's blessing. I only briefly saw the post (I don't have FB myself). Maybe someone here can elaborate/correct as needed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    7,500
    I also do not have access to facebook. I checked a lot of different sources and have not seen anything recent in the news. Jamie Sayen's editorial for In Depth NH has been repeated in the Op Ed in the Berlin and Conway Papers. The state had already indicated they were a supporter and in some ways a "cheerleader" of the project at the one and only preliminary meeting before the Coos County Planning board. No dates are on the agenda yet for the board for the next phase. The big issue with the master plan is that the board feels that a major development like the proposed Cog project and the new summit master plan can go on without an upfront detailed environmental assessment and that the updated master plan does not set a carrying capacity for the summit.

    Jamie's editorial did make a comment that Howie Wemyss, the former long term manager and part owner of the autoroad (still very involved in the operation) and commission member supported an environmental assessment prior to a new master plan (in theory required before the Cog can proceed). This is somewhat contrary to news reports that the Autoroad enthusiastically supported the project. An assessment would take several seasons and I cannot envision that a truly independent assessment would come to the conclusion that the proposed Cog project will past muster, (they no doubt disagree). Other members support proceeding with the new plan without an assessment.

    The local Mt Washington master plan public meeting is Monday in North Conway so I expect the news cycle will crank up.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    561
    The facebook post did lead to a link for I assume a yesterday paper story. I don't subscribe to the MUL, so could not read. I speculated that it was saying since DNCR ("the state") is supportive of the project, the Cog is going ahead with the full process of approval. In 'the press', this often gives the impression that all hurdles have been satisfied and full speed ahead.

    Many towns are facing a similar impression with aspects of planning approval, where the planning, or zoning board approves an application as complete or accepted; but there are other permits or approvals needed, often from other government entities, that need approval and may carry more weight before a project can go forward. My town has a few glaring examples in the works.
    Last edited by Andrew; 08-18-2022 at 08:01 AM. Reason: spelling

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    7,500
    Okay, that makes sense. The Coos County planning board requires detailed plans to be submitted prior to going onto the actual public permitting stage and at least publicly they have not been submitted. IMO that is going to be costly issue to prepare the level of detail the board requires, far more than what has been made available to date. The board has indicated that actual plans with elevations and projections of how the project will fit in the surroundings would be needed. The board has fairly extensive list of required documents.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    7,500
    This clip or a slight variation is being shown on several regional stations https://www.wmur.com/article/committ...82322/40970912 usually with the lead that the hearings are for Lizzies Station project.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Posts
    8

    The Real Story

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    https://www.concordmonitor.com/Mount...-plan-47535961

    No doubt folks will attend to express their opinions. Interesting that the claim is the cog will agree to no additional development in writing. The Cog had been pushing that there can be no limit on visitors to the summit. They have been working towards running dual tracks top to bottom which will substantially increase potential for moving people to the summit. This development would be outside the 60 acres.
    The cog is not working toward running dual tracks from the top to the bottom of the mountain and has no current or future intentions to do so. There can be no limit placed on the number of visitors to the summit due to a condition in the deed from Dartmouth College to the State of New Hampshire executed in 1964. The deed expressly reserves to the public the passengers and guests of the Auto Road and the Cog Railway the right to access to the summit but not the buildings on the summit. Howie did endorse the project calling it a "fantastic plan" and offered to support it in front of the planning board. The environmental assessment to be done is for the State Park property only. We are preparing our own environmental assessments for the Lizzie's Station project which will look at the potential impacts to flora, fauna and nesting birds, butterflies and any other endangered or threatened species. Everyone on the Mt. Washington Commission, including myself, support having an environmental assessment of the property done, but it is an expensive process and money needs to be appropriated by the legislature to complete the assessment. An assessment of the condition of just one building, the Yankee building, was completed around two years ago at a cost of over $200,000. The recommendations of the assessment included replacing the building at a cost of something like $14,000,000. The master plan is very out of date and had not been updated in accordance with the timelines established by State Law. I believe this is why the Commission is working to get a new plan in place quickly, but the plan will undoubtedly be amended to reflect information obtained from the environmental site assessment when it is completed.

    Trying to limit capacity on the Summit is a very slippery slope. Where does this type of limitation end? Should we limit the number of people allowed to visit North Conway or the the State of New Hampshire in general. How do we limit the tremendous damage caused by the constant trampling of plant life on the mountain by the thousands of hikers who climb the mountain every week.

    In exchange for the State's support of the Lizzie's project the cog has agreed not to expand the foot print of its operations on the summit itself or within the boundaries of the State Park. The cog was granted property rights across the State Park's land that allows for expansion in a deed from Dartmouth College to the Cog Railway executed in 1962. The entire summit was owned by the Cog Railway for over 60 years and it was donated to Dartmouth College and turned into a state park by virtue of a gift of all the cog's property to Dartmouth by a previous owner of the Cog. This was a substantial gift to the public and not for profit entities which should be taken into consideration in these discussions. Without the previous benevolence of the Cog there would be no State Park on the Summit of Mt. Washington. it would still be completely privately owned.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bethlehem, NH
    Posts
    561
    After many years of working with recreational management in NH, I have to say I think Lizzie's Station is a brilliant plan.

    Hopefully the environmental assessments are focused on mitigating potential actual impacts. You would think that things are pretty well studied at the summit by now.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •