Mt. Sunapee decision set for November

Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Sean O’Kane has set a November deadline for deciding whether to allow Mount Sunapee Resort to expand the ski area it leases from the state.

The expansion would allow the resort to build about 250 slopeside condos on land it privately owns in Goshen and to create a third base-to-summit chairlift and trail network.

In a statement, O’Kane said the resort had met a series of conditions, including holding local meetings and donating 100 acres to the state, that were laid out when the resort first proposed expanding as prerequisites to a DRED decision. A final public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 26.

According to the statement, the November deadline will follow a 60-day period for public comment and will take into account input from several state agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Services, as well as the Mount Sunapee Advisory Committee.

Several members of the committee, including the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the town of Newbury, have come out against the proposal.

Executive Director Tom Elliott of the Friends of Mount Sunapee, the largest opposition group to the project, said the timeline was rushed and would enable Gov. Craig Benson to decide on the project regardless of whether he is re-elected.

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