Lake George Park Commission

Meeting #336

23 August 2005

Ticonderoga Town Center

Ticonderoga, NY


PRESIDING:                Bruce E. Young, Chair


COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT:    Joan A. Robertson
                        Margaret M. Stewart
                        John A. Pettica, Jr.
                        Thomas K. Conerty                
                        John C. McDonald, Jr.
                        Roger H. Phinney
                        Shauna DeSantis
                        (Denise Sheehan, DEC Commissioner)
                         Thomas W. Hall, representing


COMMISSION MEMBERS ABSENT:    None absent


COMMISSION STAFF PRESENT:    Michael P. White, Executive Director
                        Lt. Joseph H. Schneider, Director Law Enforcement
                        Roger Smith, Conservation Operations Supervisor I
                        J. Thomas Wardell, Director of Engineering    
                        Peggy Stevens, Principal Account Clerk
                        Michelle D. Way, Keyboard Specialist 1
                        Andrea L. Maranville, Director of Governmental &       Community Affairs


COMMISSION COUNSEL PRESENT:    Martin Auffredou

                
OTHERS PRESENT:

Anthony Hall                Walt Lender                Kim Bender
Bridget Paris            Jeanette Nadeau            Normand Nadeau       
Chris Navitsky            Lincoln Cathers            Judy Barcy           
Michael Barcy            Ellen Feick                Doug Feick       
Dan Marriott                Kyle Knickerbocker            Linda Stancliffe
Scott Lorey                Mary Louise Coleman        Jacqueline Phillips Murray
Tony Reale                Gayle A. Hall            Kenneth Engler
Linda Toner                Ray Freud                John Boltz           
Item #1 - Introductions, Roll Call, Minutes of Meeting

The 336th meeting of the Lake George Park Commission was called to order by Chairman Young at 10:00 a.m. and the roll was taken. 

Mr. Young said that the minutes of the previous meeting were distributed in advance of this meeting to Commission members for their review.  He said that the minutes of the previous meeting will not be accepted until the next Commission meeting due to some last minute amendments.

Item #2 - Project Review - Public Comments on Pending Applications: 
          Joan Robertson

The Chair explained Project Review procedures.  He said that the first portion of the Project Review is for people either for or against the project to express their comments.  He said that the second session is an open discussion among Commission members to arrive at a decision.  He said that normally the only time during the second portion where there would be public participation would be if there is a need for clarification or additional information on an issue. 

Bruce Young thanked Robert Dedrick for inviting the Lake George Park Commission to hold their Commission meeting in Ticonderoga.

Robert Dedrick said he was on the Marina Patrol for 10 years and he said that the Lake George Park Commission is one of the most professional agencies he has ever known.  He thanked the Lake George Park Commission  for coming to the Ticonderoga Town Center.

Matter of Stormwater Management Application, Town of Fort Ann, County of Washington – #5326-26-01

Jacqueline Phillips Murray, attorney for Nextel Partners and Randall and Cindy Hajeck spoke on behalf of the project.  She briefly described the project plans. She said that the project is to install a wireless communications facility that is intended to serve areas in the Town of Fort Ann along the eastern shore of Lake George as well as areas in Bolton Landing and Diamond Point along the western shore of Lake George.

She said the facility is very uniquely sited.  She said it is not on a ridge line and the site is a 9 ½  acre parcel that is heavily wooded.  She said there are numerous large white pine trees ranging from 100 feet to 114 feet.  She said the 104 foot simulated pine tree facility should fit in very well amongst the other trees.  Ms. Phillips Murray said there will be a vegetated foreground and background - there will not be a silhouette of the facility against the sky line.

Ms. Phillips Murray said that the project has already gone through a rigorous environmental review by the Adirondack Park Agency and a permit was issued on July 8, 2005.  She said during that review the Adirondack Park Agency concluded that the project will have no undue adverse impact on the Parks resources included.  In that review was a review of the Parks water resources and stormwater runoff.

Ms. Phillips Murray said the area of disturbance is less than 1 acre.  She said that this has been confirmed in the report and also confirmed  by their engineer using autocad, a software tool which is generally accepted in the industry.  She said the access driveway will be approximately 1100 feet long, none of which will be paved and only 250 feet of which will be permanent.  Ms. Phillips Murray said the balance of the access driveway will be re-seeded after construction so that it can re-vegetate and blend back into its natural surroundings.

Ms. Phillips Murray said in terms of impervious surfaces there will be one 9 foot by 12 foot concrete pad within a 1505 square foot fenced compound area and one 10 foot by 20 foot pad as well as a 7 foot diameter concrete foundation for the facility.  She said there will be no other impervious surfaces.

Linda Stancliffe, engineer for Nextel Partners, speaking on behalf of the project said this design manages the increased stormwater through infiltration in a series of swales, detention basins and ponds to meet or exceed the expectations of the Lake George Park Commission regulations and that of the Adirondack Park Agency.  It does this by taking the increased stormwater from the proposed development and collects it either through detention basins or conveys it through a swale into other detention basins and wet ponds and ultimately outlets it into existing wetlands that are on the site.  It follows through the wetlands and into a culvert which is then emptied into the Lake George Basin.

Bruce Young noted that John Pettica has recused himself from the subject application via letter which he had received earlier today.  Mr. Pettica excused himself from the table at this time.

Linda Stancliffe said that the disturbance is less than 1 acre and she said they meet or exceed the Lake George Park Commission stormwater regulations for a major project and that of the Adirondack Park Agency.

Chairman Young asked if anyone else wanted to speak for the project.  There was no response.  He asked if anyone wanted to speak against the project.

Bridget Paris spoke against the project.  She said that she is an adjacent property owner.  She said her family is appalled by this project.    She said she believes this project is for political reasons only.  She said her family has enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the land.

Ms. Paris said she is able to bike, hike and boat right in her yard.  She said she is afraid this project will destroy the land back there behind her home.  She said there is wetlands, wildlife and wilderness that make the backwoods their home and this project would only force them away so that future generations would never be able to experience this wonder.

Ms. Paris said she hopes that this side of the lake doesn’t start to look like the southern side of the lake.  Bridget Paris said too many times projects, both land and homes, go unsupervised.  “Where is the APA when we need them?”, said Bridget Paris.  She said she always thought they were supposed to protect our wilderness.

Michael Barcy spoke against the project.  He said that he and his wife, Judy Barcy, live across the street from the project area.  Michael and Judy Barcy said that they have concerns regarding the wetlands and how the water will flow.  Mr. Barcy is worried that sediment from the project area will run down onto his property and down into the lake.  Mr. Barcy presented photographs to the Commission.

Chris Navitsky, Lake George Waterkeeper, spoke against the project.  Mr. Navitsky said he submitted a letter of comment to the Commission which he will summarize and he said he has some additional comments to add.

Mr. Navitsky said the applicant isn’t using infiltration but they are using wet ponds which the Lake George Park Commission does not have any design standards or regulations for.  Mr. Navitsky said that these plans should be reviewed by DEC because they do have design standards for wet ponds.

Chris Navitsky also made mention that the area of disturbance looks like it is going to be over one acre which will then require Nextel to get a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Kim Bender spoke against the project and urged the Commission to take the advice and rely on the work that Chris Navitsky has done on the Nextel project.

Kim Bender spoke of a cell tower that was proposed in the same area a while back that had to be withdrawn because of the adverse effects on the wetlands.

Ms. Bender reported that Nextel has already brought in their construction equipment prematurely.  She said that they used private property and state land to get their equipment on site.

Ms. Bender made note that there are several other sites that would be suitable for this project.

Jeanette Nadeau spoke against the project.  Mrs. Nadeau referred to a letter while speaking against the project (attached).  She said that the construction of this new roadway will absolutely cause undue adverse impacts on adjoining land uses due to threats of flooding and ecological destruction.

Mrs. Nadeau spoke of the problems that will likely occur with the approval of this project such as the flow of water towards her home and into the stream behind her home and eventually in to Barber Bay.  She said the flow of water will most likely contain a large amount of sedimentation that will cause the bay to ultimately be in need of dredging.

Scott Lorey, Legislative Director for the Adirondack Council, spoke against the project.  Mr. Lorey said that this project should be denied based on the poor site location and the fact that the stormwater run off will affect adjacent property owners and will have an impact on the lake.

Gayle Hall, Fort Ann Town Supervisor, said the Town of Fort Ann remains stead-fast in its opposition to the placement of the cellular tower in Pilot Knob.  She said that the Town denied the Nextel application originally based on substantial evidence and stormwater issues which were of great concern for the Town.

Gayle Hall said that according to the evidence presented at the Adirondack Park Agency hearing the disturbance of land will be over one acre which in turn will require a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Gayle Hall mentioned alternative sites for the proposed cell tower.

Bruce Young asked if there were any further comments.  There was no response so Chairman Young asked Nextel if they had any further comments.

Jacqueline Phillips Murray said she would like to clarify a couple of things.  Ms. Phillips Murray said that she wanted to point out that at the APA hearing alternative sites were discussed and they found that there was no better site then this one.

Ms. Phillips Murray said that this project is smaller than many of the other single family homes that exist in this area.

Chairman Young asked the Commissioners if they had any questions for Nextel.

Maggie Stewart asked about ponds 2 and 3 she said they look as if they are 1/8 of an inch of overflowing.

Linda Stancliffe said that the ponds are designed for two purposes.  One of the purposes is to store the ten year volume and the other is to control the 25 year peak runoff.  Linda Stancliffe said that a storm event normally occurs over 24 hours and it peaks at a certain time, usually around the 12 hour mark.  Ms. Stancliffe said that the peak is portrayed in cubic feet per second.  In the case of stormwater management an area is created where the peak is controlled over time so that instead of peaking high at 15 it will peak at 12 when it flows out of the pond.

Joan asked about the area where the ponds will be.  She said that when she went on the site visit she actually saw the depressions where the wet ponds will be.  She asked if the ponds will be more extensive or deeper.  Joan asked if there will be a lot of excavation to make these ponds so they do carry the 25 year storm event.

Ms. Stancliffe said that yes there is excavation that will occur in order to create the ponds.  She said they have designed the stormwater management plan through swales and ponds.  She said they have done on site soil testing by digging deep test holes and performing perculation tests.  She said they have also done a geotechnical bore at the site of the proposed tower.  She said that bore went down 16 feet and they did not hit groundwater. 

She said the testing they did earlier with the back hoe indicated that they had groundwater at different elevations, she said the topography of the site changes.  She said all of the information is contained in the report that was submitted to the Lake George Park Commission.

Bruce Young asked about servicing the tower after it is complete.

Ms. Stancliffe said that the technician will service the site once a month, by foot.  They said this is the reason why there will be 250 feet of driveway so that there is a parking area for the technician.

Roger Phinney asked about the gravel road.

Ms. Stancliffe said that the stormwater modeling that was done has the road modeled as a gravel road not as being re-vegetated.

Joan Robertson asked the Nextel Representatives if the tower was to become obsolete would it be returned back to its natural state.

Jacqueline Phillips Murray said that yes it would be restored back to it’s natural state.  She said that Nextel also has a maintenance agreement with the Adirondack Park Agency as well as the Lake George Park Commission.

A discussion regarding the maintenance plan between the Lake George Park Commission and Nextel Partners continued among the Commission members.

Michael P. White, Executive Director of the Commission, said “what we are suggesting, if the Commission approves a permit, that there be an agreement between the Commission and Nextel that governs this long-term maintenance activity, that the agreement be incorporated into the permit which will have a construction-like cycle and that those documents be filed with the County Clerk records for the property so that any subsequent owners coming in would be aware of that.”  “But we would have an agreement with the partners in this application that would govern that schedule of activity” said Michael White.

Martin Auffredou said that the agreement would also call for financial security to be in place to assure that the maintenance does take place.

Jacqueline Phillips Murray said that the Adirondack Park Agency has also required that Nextel to provide a maintenance agreement to them.  She said there are actually two agencies who will oversee the project (the Lake George Park Commission and the Adirondack Park Agency).

Martin asked how long Nextel expects the construction phase to last.

Jacqueline Phillips Murray said she expects the construction phase to last roughly 6 to 8 weeks.  She said the project is relatively straight forward and all of the pieces are prefabricated.  There will be no blasting involved in the project.

Thomas Hall asked why Nextel chose not to use an infiltration system.

Linda Stancliffe said they chose not to use an infiltration system because the soil is type D soil.  She said that type D soils have the worst infiltration rate.  She said they do provide infiltration in part of the basin but they do have groundwater that was evident during the on-site investigation which was close to grade elevation so they used wet ponds as part of their design. 

There was a question regarding the need for additional permitting from the Department of Environmental Conservation because the disturbance may exceed one acre.

Tom Wardell said that the our standards require that the volume of run off following development and the pollution from that run off shall not exceed that which existed prior to development so his agreement and recommendation for approval of the project plans is that the amount of run off after its controlled in its structures and devices will be equal to or impact according to the model slightly less than the amount leaving the site today.  He said this is really the summary of what the Lake George Park Commission regulations require besides all the technical details.

Tom Wardell said he sent a memo to the Commissioners discussing the comments received.  “He said the issue of the amount of disturbance could be an issue with the Department of Environmental Conservation but would have no effect on our standards or our approval process.”

Tom Wardell said that many of the iterations were done at the Lake George Park Commissions’s recommendation and the Adirondack Park Agency recommendation for improvements.  Tom Wardell said that by designing the plan using the wet ponds, it has actually caused less disturbance which was their ultimate goal.

Mr. Wardell said that this project is much smaller than many one family homes in this area.

Item #3 - Fiscal Actions Reports

Chairman Young said that the July Fiscal Actions Report was submitted, everyone should have received a copy.  He asked if there were any questions on the report.  There were none.

Thomas K. Conerty moved to approve the Fiscal Actions Report.  The report was seconded by Roger Phinney and all members present voting affirmatively.

Item #4 - Project Review:  Resolutions

Resolution 2005- Project Review Report

Maggie Stewart read and moved to approve Resolution 2005-55 which directs that the Project Review Report be incorporated in full in the minutes of the full Commission meeting.  The motion was seconded by Joan Robertson and all members present voted affirmatively.

The Chair explained that there are usually two resolutions for each project, one to approve and one to deny.  The reading of one does not necessarily mean that will be the resolution voted upon, he said.

Resolution 2005- 56 - G. Randall & Cindy Hajeck, Nextel Partners

Chairman Young polled each of the Commission members and asked their opinion of the project.

Tom Hall said that there is a question about the disturbance area being over one acre and if in fact, it is over one acre than they would need a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation.  He said there is sufficient information to vote today.  Tom Hall said he recommends the approval of the permit application.

Shauna DeSantis said she is not an expert at this and wasn’t sure how to decide.  She said she doesn’t know much about groundwater and wasn’t sure if it had changed since the rainfall in the spring.

Martin Auffredou suggested that she consider the advice of Tom Wardell on this subject and listen to all of the information that has been given to her.

Thomas Conerty said he has visited the site and he believes the disturbance to be less than one acre.

John McDonald said that he agreed with Tom Hall and Tom Conerty.  He said he was ready to approve the project.

Roger Phinney said that he feels the same as John McDonald and he believes we have enough information to make a determination today.

Maggie Stewart said she is in favor of the project.  She said “I think we need the cell tower for the people who live, work and recreate on Lake George.”

Joan Robertson said Tom Wardell did a great job and has worked hard on the project.  She said she is in favor of the project.

Bruce Young said he agrees with Joan.  He said the main issue in his opinion is whether or not this project will satisfy the run off requirements.  He said that Tom Wardell has a pretty good idea that this project will meet the requirements.

Tom Hall asked Tom Wardell if there is anything about this project that makes it unique or different from the typical single family home construction from a stormwater perspective.

Tom Wardell said that this project is different or unique because there is less disturbance than there would be with a single family home.

Chairman Young asked if there was any further discussion.  With there being no response a motion was entertained to approve the stormwater permit application.

Thomas K. Conerty read and moved to approve resolution 2005-56 which was seconded by Maggie Stewart.

Resolution 2005-56

WHEREAS    the Commission has received an application from G. Randall & Cindy Hajeck, Nextel Partners, Inc. and Independent Wireless One, Inc. for a stormwater management permit pursuant to 6NYCRR 646-4 to construct a roadway, utility building, cell phone tower and related stormwater control measures, and

WHEREAS    the application was deemed complete on January 29, 2002 and additional information was received on July 16, 2002, October 22, 2004 and August 1, 2005, and

WHEREAS    the application has been the subject of public notice and public comments have been received and reviewed by the Commission, and

WHEREAS    the project is an exempt action pursuant to Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law (SEQRA), and

WHEREAS    the Commission has reviewed a determination by its engineer that the stormwater control measures that are part of the project comply with the design specifications and standards contained in 6NYCRR 646-4, and

WHEREAS    the Commission has also reviewed a draft permit, project plans, a draft performance and maintenance agreement; and a draft Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and

WHEREAS    in consideration of the foregoing

BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission hereby adopts the attached Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and approves the Hajeck/Nextel Partner, Inc./IWO, Inc. application in accordance with the attached draft permit, project plans and performance and maintenance agreement subject to the conditions and limitations expressed therein, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Executive Director is authorized to issue a stormwater management permit pursuant to 6NYCRR 646-4 for the project and is also authorized to execute a maintenance and performance agreement on behalf of the Commission consistent with these findings and conclusions.
   
Ayes:    (8) Young, Conerty, Stewart, Robertson, McDonald, Phinney, DeSantis, Hall
Nays:    (0)
Abstentions:    (1) John Pettica had to recuse himself from the discussion and the vote.

Tom Wardell added that any changes made to the plan should be submitted to the Lake George Park Commission.

Martin Auffredou said that, like with any application, if there are some minor technical issues that Tom has identified that need some fine tuning, that wouldn’t necessarily warrant Commission review again.  Mr. Auffredou said the project applicant should be making and submitting those changes to Tom Wardell at his request. 

Item #5 - Law Enforcement: Thomas K. Conerty

Mr. Conerty said that there was a Law Enforcement Committee meeting this a.m. and called upon Lt. Schneider for his report.  Tom Conerty said the boat count was given to him today.

Lt. Schneider said that a number of enforcement issues were discussed this morning including on-going deliberations and the continuing problems with the Black Mountain repeater. He said he would research an alternative approach to improve repeater areas and maintenance.  He said Black Mountain affords the Marine Patrol very good coverage of the lake but whenever maintenance is needed it becomes a huge issue because of the location on Black Mountain.

Lt. Schneider discussed the Park Attendant Program and the inspection of vessels.  He said that this program is on-going and a significant number of boats have been checked.  He said that this program is widely accepted and people are stating that they know of the problems and are happy to know that information is getting out.

Lt. Schneider said that the 2005 boat count is done and they will be able to hand out copies to the public once the meeting is over.

Tom Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2005-57 which accepts the report of the Law Enforcement Committee.  The motion was seconded by Tom Hall and all Commission members present voted affirmatively.

RESOLUTION 2005-57


WHEREAS    the Law Enforcement Committee met August 23, 2005 to review matters pertaining to the Lake George Park Commission’s Marine Patrol and the Commission's Law Enforcement Program, and

WHEREAS    active Law Enforcement cases and their status were reviewed in Executive Session, and

WHEREAS    the Law Enforcement Committee has reported on the results of that committee meeting at this full Commission meeting, and

WHEREAS    the Law Enforcement Committee recommends acceptance of this month's Law Enforcement Report.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission accepts the report of the Law Enforcement Committee.

Item #6 - Water Quality Programs Report: J. Thomas Wardell

Tom Wardell said that the stormwater permits have picked up.  He spoke of several system failures.  One of the failures was found at a residence in Huletts Landing.  A couple of other failures were found at the Lake Crest and Marine Village Motels.

Lake Level

Mr. Wardell said that the lake level at Rogers Rock is 3.35.  He said it is a little low for this time of year.

Item #10 - Public Comments

The Lake George Association

Walt Lender, Executive Director of the Lake George Association, submitted written comments and declined to speak.  

The FUND for Lake George, Inc.

Chris Navitsky, Lake George Water keeper said he had no further comments to make.

Doug Feick, resident of Ticonderoga, spoke about concerns of activists groups pressing for a PWC ban.  Mr. Feick referred to several articles while speaking.  He said that the activists claims about PWC’s are no longer valid because noise is no longer a situation because the technology has vastly improved regarding two-cycle and four-cycle technology.

Mr. Feick spoke of some instances when PWC’s have been able to make it to a bad situation quicker than a boat.  He spoke of a fire on a boat and he said the people who got them off the boat were on PWC’s.  He referred to another article from Maine where they are proposing to ban kayaks because people can’t get out of them properly.

He said he wanted to congratulate the Lake George Park Commission on a good 2005 report.  He said he has also done a small report which was passed out to all Commission members (attached).

Mr. Feick referred to the Lake George Park Commission Marine Patrol report.  He said the Marine Patrol report shows that PWC’s account for almost 53% of the tickets given.  He said while that is true, PWC’s do not have the same set of rules as boaters such as, safety certificates.  He said if you take away the three laws that apply to PWC’s only than you can drop that percent down to about 21%.  He said he believes that a gray area exists with the 5 mph within 500 feet of shore rule.

Item #10 - Adjournment

There being no further business, on the motion of Tom Conerty, seconded by Joan Robertson, all Commission members present voting affirmatively, the meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.


                   
                        Respecfully submitted,




                        Michelle D. Way                                        Keyboard Specialist 1


Secretary’s Note:    The next Commission meeting is scheduled for TUESDAY, September 20, 2005, 10:00 a.m. at the Hague Town Hall, Route 8, Hague, NY.