|By Doreen Hemlock, Sun
SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Sept. 20, 2012--SUNRISE -- Plans for a giant indoor ski resort on the edge of the Everglades drew both cheers and jeers Wednesday night at a meeting of a city environmental advisory board.
Sunrise Economic Development Director Lou Sandora praised the project for its potential to create 2,000 jobs and bring millions of dollars in revenues to the city yearly. Besides paying taxes, the glacier-like building would use natural gas supplied by the city, likely becoming the biggest customer for the city utility.
"Our utility guys were doing back-flips when I told them about the natural gas use" in the venture proposed to be built next to Sawgrass Mills mall, Sandora told the group.
But members of the advisory board raised environmental concerns, even though engineers showed plans aimed to earn the structure top certification from the U.S. Green Building Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
Concerns included the amount of water that would be drawn from an already strained aquifer, effective ventilation in the enclosed structure and traffic impacts in a place already congested at times.
Board member Hawk Arachy, an environmental scientist, also worried about potential light pollution that blocks the view of the stars. She suggested use of domed lights outside, a possibility accepted by representatives of the South Florida project developer, Pelion Sunrise.
Pelion wants to build a $300 million-plus complex with a winter-sports section chilled to 31 degrees Farenheit and other sections around 71 degrees that would include an amusement park, roughly 300-room hotel, plus areas for stores and restaurants.
(c)2012 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
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