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The Jim Morris Story

"This is my very soul on the line" were Jim Morris's words as he prepared for his final Adirondack Park Agency hearing. The APA is an upstate New York environmental agency created by then Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Created in the quiet of night one November evening in 1973, this agency has been the subject of much concern by residents and landowners because of their tactics. On Scams-n-Scandals™, Jim shared his nightmare of financial and personal ruin. (button here for audio clip?)

It started when Jim and his family took a vacation to upstate New York in the Adirondacks. They decided to move there and raise their family. "I had a dream that my children and grandchildren would be living all around us. We looked at the property we wanted to buy, checked the zoning and all APA jurisdiction. I wanted everything to be OK to the full letter of the law to protect my children."
After everything checked out Jim Morris bought. That's when his nightmare began. First he was ordered by APA to submit a "cluster" design and subdivision layout. That cost him $20,000. Then there were the endless permit applications, rejections, soil samples and perc tests over and over again. Also, the Morrises had to endure the humiliation of appearing in front of APA hearings. On one occasion, APA Commissioner Anne LaBastille said into the microphone, "I hope you have birth certificates for all your children."
Then there was the town road which the Morrises were forced to repair, even though it didn't belong to them. The incredible legal fees: totaling over $50,000. They appealed in vain to all kinds of groups such as the New York Blue line Council and Senator Moynihan. After three years of hell they finally succeeded in getting on with their life. They found out that the APA never had legal jurisdiction over their property.
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