What is the Adirondack Park Agency ( APA ) ?

Probably 15 years ago I’m in Pennsylvania working a booth at an outdoor show – the BIG show in Harrisburg. I had a board in front of my booth that said something like ‘ 10 ac. Adirondack Park , guaranteed buildable’ . Over the course of a few days I had one guy after another tell me I was lying by saying it was “guaranteed buildable” because “everyone” knows you can’t build in the Adirondack Park. Let’s say I spent untold amounts of time trying to educate people who had no interest in learning about the Park and it’s history. So after all these years I’m going to put it in writing in hopes someone will want to understand what the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the Adirondack Park is all about. Let’s go ….

If you’re hoping I’m going to rip the APA you’re going to be disappointed so let’s get that out of the way. I’m only interested in discussing what the APA means to YOU and the basics of what you need to know if you want to buy property in the Park. 1st off let’s understand one thing : the Adirondack Park is NOT a national park like Yellowstone etc. It’s nothing more than a region that is defined by lines on a map. There is no gate you drive through when entering the Park , there’s no fee or permit needed to come to the Adirondacks. People LIVE in the Park , businesses are located in the Park. We’re talking about 6 million acres and half of it is privately owned. What we have is a huge area including some of the most beautiful places you can imagine and it’s OPEN to all. We have stores , restaurants , lakes , rivers , houses , camps we even have a couple amusement parks. We have it all and there’s a place for all so don’t listen to anyone telling you otherwise.

The APA is a NYS run agency that is basically a zoning authority. They review plans for development , building , state land acquisitions , pretty much everything that is proposed in the Park. It isn’t much different than what you experience at home. So you heard some horror stories about people trying to build in the Park ? I have too , I’ve seen a few , read about a lot of them and heard all the nonsense that goes with it. Over the years I’ve done quite a few subdivisions inside the Park and can tell you NOTHING is reviewed more carefully than a subdivision. My experience ? Pretty boring in that I have no horror stories to tell. I’ve met some really nice people from the APA over the years who’ve reviewed my applications and seen them through to completion. I’ve never been turned down on one project or asked to jump through hoops to make someone happy. I’ve been asked questions that matter , mostly questions that should be asked and someone like me better have answers for. I couldn’t tell you how many customers of mine are living happily in the Park or enjoying their free time at their cabin. It happens all the time. IF you buy land in the Park from me you can bet it’s buildable and I already have the permit for you. If you buy land from a private seller you’ll find many times they have already contacted the APA concerning the “buildibility” of their property , many times they have permits in place. Applying for and receiving your permit is not that big of a deal. Your best option is to hire a local engineer who will handle the permitting process for you. This is especially the best option if you live out of town. Typically the APA is going to review your proposed building location and where your well and septic will be located. If there isn’t a driveway in place they will take  look at your ideas and maybe have a suggestion if one is needed. They will probably request you leave as many trees in place as possible because no one wants to drive down  the road and look at your place. They should require this in my opinion and you should want the privacy this insures. Does this cost more that outside the Park? Of course it does , but it should because owning in the Park offers the value and stability of your investment you won’t find outside the Park. These are all the things I do ahead of time before I can ever put a property on the market in the Park. YOU can do this without experiencing what you may have been told to fear. For the most part you can assume one thing when it comes to the horror stories you’ve heard about in the Park. Most of the people who “experienced” this were trying to get away with something. It’s no different than anywhere else in life , the same people are always pushing it and trying to get something they shouldn’t be trying to get just because they love that kind of stuff. Sure there have been some stories that are legitimate complaints by people who didn’t have a very good experience with the APA. The real ones are few and far between. Just remember this : the good experiences people have with the APA are never publicized. We only like the bad stuff today because we love “victims”. There are countless  boring stories where people apply for their permit to build a home , a dock , a garage or diner and no one hears about it because they received their permit and no one complained.

My point is simple , the Adirondack Park is the most beautiful place in the East and you should have no fear in coming here to buy property. You can build here and enjoy this place like so many others. If you need proof then jump in the car and take a ride to see for yourself. Click here to learn more about the APA and all they do. By the way I have no applications in front of the APA right now so I’m not trying to kiss anyone’s ass. This is meant to simply give folks a little info and ease your mind if you have concerns about buying property here. As for buying some land you know where to go www.mooseriverland.com   Thanks for tuning in , I hope you found this a little bit helpful. Comments are always welcome , even the bad ones ! Share this with friends and SIGN UP below to get all the info about land ownership opportunities in NY and what you need to know when buying. See ya soon.  mj

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