Lake George Park Commission

Lake George Park Commission

Meeting #358

28 August 2007

Hague Town Hall

Hague, NY


 

Presiding: Bruce E. Young, Chair

Commission Members Present: Thomas K. Conerty Thomas J. Morhouse

Kenneth W. Parker Roger H. Phinney Thomas W. Hall John C. McDonald, Jr. John A. Pettica Shauna M. DeSantis James T. Kneeshaw

Commission Members Absent: None

Commission Staff Present: Michael P. White, Executive Director

Roger R. Smith, Conservation Operations Supervisor II

Molly Gallagher, Environmental Analyst II

Michelle D. Way, Keyboard Specialist 1

Peggy Stevens, Principal Account Clerk

Keith Fish, Operation’s Director

 

Commission Counsel Present: Martin Auffredou

 

Others Present:

Dolores Kunker Camille Howard Dave Floyd Buzz Lamb

Bob Condit Bob Ball John Caffry Robert Ball

Rees Pritchett Claire Pritchett Carole Wentz William Johnson

Lynn Munger Wayne Williams Jeffrey Meyer Arlene Bruder

Mike Bruder Tony Reale Mark Randles Robert McNally

Betsy Lowe Paul Stolarsky Tim Gianfreda Rosalie Gianfreda

Lou Ruggiero Chris Navitsky

 

 

 

 

 

Item #1 - Introductions, Roll Call, Minutes of Previous Meeting: Bruce E. Young

The 358th meeting of the Lake George Park Commission was called to order by Chairman Young at 10:00 a.m. and the roll was taken.

Chairman Young introduced Betsy Lowe who is the new Regional Director of Region 5 of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Chairman Young said that the minutes of the April 24, 2007 meeting were in front of the members once again for approval for additional comments that were not in the previously approved minutes. Roger Phinney made a motion to approve the revised minutes which was seconded by John McDonald and all Commission members present voted affirmatively.

Chairman Young said that the minutes of the previous meeting were distributed in advance of this meeting to Commission members for their review. He asked if there were any corrections or submissions. There were none.

On the motion of Thomas Conerty, seconded by Thomas Morhouse, all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.

Item #2 — Fiscal Actions Report: Peggy Stevens

Chairman Young said that the July Fiscal Actions Report was distributed with the meeting package to all of the Commission members for their review. He asked if there were any questions on the report. There were none.

On the motion of Thomas Conerty, seconded by Roger Phinney, all members present voting affirmatively, the July Fiscal Actions Report was approved as submitted.

Item #3 — Project Review — Public Comments on Pending Applications and Project Review

Resolutions: Molly Gallagher

Molly Gallagher read from a prepared statement (attached) regarding Project Review procedures.

Commissioner Young spoke about the Project Review portion of the meeting.

Resolution 2007- 58 — Acceptance of Project Review Actions Report

Thomas Morhouse read and moved to approve resolution 2007-58 which was seconded by James

Kneeshaw and all members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.

WHEREAS the Commission has received and reviewed the Project Review Actions Report prepared by staff and dated August 10, 2007.

WHEREAS the Project Review Committee recommends acceptance of this month’s Project Review Report.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission directs that the Project Review Report be incorporated in

full in the minutes of the full Commission meeting.

 

 

 

New Dock Construction submitted by Ijam Limited Partnership, Town of Bolton, County of

Warren

Molly Gallagher introduced the project and said that the property is co-owned by Ijam limited

Partnership and Dolores Kunker. She said that they are proposing to construct a 40' long, 6' wide

straight pier that is crib supported.

Molly Gallagher said that this project was before the Commission members at the July meeting. She

said that the applicant is asking that the Commission reconsider the 1981 existing registration.

Molly Gallagher said that she has not received any further documentation regarding the 1981

registration and said that a larger dock would require a variance.

Chairman Young asked if anyone was present to speak on behalf of the applicant.

Dolores Kunker spoke on behalf of the project and said that she is the person that would be using the

dock. She said that she was given use of the south side of the dock and she emphasized the fact that

no one else would be using the dock.

Dolores Kunker said that the Dock Doctors went out into the lake and measured the crib. She said

that the drawing shows that the crib is 40 feet in length.

Ms. Kunker said that the first 14' of the dock is unuseable because it is in 2 feet of water. She said

that the largest boat that could fit at the dock is a 26' boat. Ms. Kunker said that her 21' long,7'3" wide

boat will be the only boat at the dock.

Ms. Kunker continued to discuss the original crib dock. She said that this crib dock was approximately

6-7 feet wide.

Thomas Morhouse asked Ms. Kunker if the Town of Bolton has approved this project yet. Ms. Kunker

said that the Town of Bolton approved rebuilding the dock back to its original size.

Lynn Munger spoke against the project. He said that he is the owner south of the Kunker

property. He said that he visited the Park Commission office to review the files in preparation for this

meeting.

Mr. Munger spoke about the original cribbing and dock structure. He said that the only credible

information relating to the size of the dock is a letter from Fran Fernandez to Karl Parker that sates

that the dock structure is 4' wide and 30' long and then a second letter from Mr. Fernandez that says

that he incorrectly stated the length as 30' but instead should have been 35' in length. Mr. Munger

said that there is also a letter in the file from Karl Parker to Fran Fernandez which is contained in the

Commission’s file. He said that Karl Parker states in the letter that the dock structure is 4.5' wide but

he is unable to confirm the length of the dock.

Mr. Munger said that each time someone wants to build there the dock structure keeps growing.

Dolores Kunker spoke about the drawings that were done by the Dock Doctors in 2003. She said that

she has two separate drawings that show that the dock is longer than it depicts in the file. She said that

the Dock Doctors measured the dock 40' from the mean/low water mark.

Thomas Hall said that he is confused on what would be permitted. A discussion followed.

Martin Auffredou, Commission Counsel, spoke about the letter from Karl Parker and asked when the

dock structure became 4.5' x 35' instead of the 4.5' x 30' dock as stated in the letter.

A discussion followed.

James Kneeshaw said that extensive review has already been done and he is reluctant to do a

"do-over" and approve this project. He said that he does not think that the Park Commission should be

involved until the Town of Bolton Planning Board has approved the project.

Thomas Conerty said that he agrees with James Kneeshaw.

Martin Auffredou said that he is concerned about the competency of what is before them — should the

Commission rely on the letters in the file. Martin Auffredou said that he is also concerned about the

liability of the Commission.

Shauna DeSantis said that she agrees with what Martin said and she concurs with James Kneeshaw

and Thomas Conerty.

John Pettica said that there is an issue with reliability. He also said that he doesn’t see a hardship and

is at a loss to make a positive decision.

Kenneth Parker said that he is not sure that he is smarter than the Commission members that were

present here in 2003 when they made their previous decision.

John McDonald said that the Commission should not change the decision of the members in 2003.

Roger Phinney said that he agrees with what everyone has said.

Thomas Morhouse said that he also agrees with what has been said.

Thomas Hall said that he agrees with Ken Parker and would not change the decision that was made in

2003. He said that anything larger then 4.5' wide and 35' long would require a variance and he does

not see enough evidence to grant a variance.

Thomas Hall asked if there was a basis to reconsider.

Thomas Morhouse read and moved to approve Resolution 2007-59 which was seconded by Shauna

DeSantis and all Commission members voted affirmatively to deny the applicant’s request.

WHEREAS the applicants have applied for a permit for construction of a 40' long, 6' wide straight crib supported pier based on their assertion that Existing Wharf Registration #1746 registered a 6' x 40' dock; and

WHEREAS the Lake George Park Commission has reviewed the applications, supporting documents, comments received and other information which appears in the record; and

WHEREAS the Commission has made a determination pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-3.6 and the State Environmental Quality Review Act 6NYCRR 617.5 that the project is a Type II action and does not require further review of potential environmental impacts pursuant to this act; and

WHEREAS the action is considered to be a Minor project pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-5.3 and public notice has been published and distributed; and

WHEREAS the Commission finds that there is no basis to reconsider the registration of the existing wharf that was previously granted;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

The Lake George Park Commission hereby finds no basis to reconsider the Existing Wharf Registration #1746.

Chairman Young said that the applicant has the right to request that the 2003 permit be renewed as

well as the right to request a variance and if the variance is denied they then have the right to request

that a hearing be held.

Modification of an Existing Dock submitted by Darcy Harding, Town of Queensbury, County of

Warren

Molly Gallagher introduced the application. She said that the applicant has 10' of lake frontage and is

looking to remove a pre-existing, non-conforming straight pier dock that is 5' wide and 25.4' long.

Molly Gallagher said that this is another hold over from the previous Commission meeting.

Bob McNally spoke on behalf of Darcy Harding. He said that his client is asking for a variance to lessen

the impact on Lake George.

Mr. McNally said that Darcy Harding has a 8 x 10 dock section at the shoreline and a crib dock that

extends from that section. He said that Darcy Harding is proposing to remove the wharf and replace it

with a free standing boat lift that is 12.5' long with the feet underwater to get rid of the encroachment on

the adjacent property.

Mr. McNally said that there is no possible way to reconstruct or modify the dock to meet the set back

requirements because Ms. Harding only has 10 feet of lake frontage.

Bob McNally said that there is no intention to place the boat lift on anyone else’s property. He said that

the lift will not go out of the ten feet.

A discussion continued regarding the width and length of the boat lift.

Bob McNally said that this is a unique property because of the fact that Darcy Harding only has 10' of

lake frontage and has an existing non-conforming dock.

Bob McNally said that the existence of a dock has a substantial value when it comes to a return on a

sale. He said that this is a reasonable solution.

John Pettica asked Bob McNally if the legs of the boat lift can be modified to stay within the boundaries.

Mr. McNally said that they can be modified to stay within the 10 feet.

A discussion continued.

Mark Randles spoke against the project. He said that his family has owned the property to the south

for the last 39 years. He said that he has objections on many different levels.

He said that Ms. Harding knew when she purchased the property that the dock was never used to keep

a boat. He said that the dock was always used for sunbathing, fishing and swimming.

Mr. Randles said that there has never consistently been a boat moored at this dock. He said that there

are serious safety hazards and some of those concerns are that many children swim off of his dock and

a boat lift would be a danger to those children who may jump or fall off of the dock onto apparatus that

is only inches from our dock.

Mr. Randles said that another concern he has is that Ms. Harding’s boat will cause more boat traffic

because her boat was never used at the dock — it was kept elsewhere for the last five years.

Mr. Randles also said that Ms. Harding’s property is for sale for $459,000. He said that she only paid

$129,000 and that is because it does not have a dock that is used to berth a boat.

Mr. Randles said that the dock was originally registered as a swim platform.

Chairman Young asked if anyone else was present to speak. There was no response.

Martin Auffredou, Commission Counsel, said that the issue before the Commission is whether or not

there is enough evidence to support the need for a variance.

Thomas Hall said that he doesn’t believe that the test for a variance has been met and would not

approve.

Thomas Morhouse asked Molly Gallagher if a dock permit had ever been issued. Molly Gallagher said

that a dock permit had never been issued. She said that the dock was registered but not as a useable

dock.

Thomas Morhouse said that he agrees with Thomas Hall regarding the variance criteria. He said that

he would vote against the project.

James Kneeshaw asked what the term "grandfathered" actually means. A discussion followed.

Thomas Morhouse read and moved to approve Resolution 2007-60 to deny the variance for wharf

modification which was seconded by James Kneeshaw.

WHEREAS the applicants have applied for a permit to remove a 5' x 24' crib dock and 10' x 8' platform and install an uncanopied boatlift and 12' x 8' platform; and

WHEREAS the Lake George Park Commission has reviewed the applications, supporting documents, comments received and other information which appears in the record; and

WHEREAS the Commission has made a determination pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-3.6 and the State Environmental Quality Review Act 6NYCRR 617.5 that the project is a Type II action and does not require further review of potential environmental impacts pursuant to this act; and

WHEREAS the action is considered to be a Minor project pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-5.3 and public notice has been published and distributed; and

WHEREAS the applicant has requested variance from 6 NYCRR 646-1.1(c)(11) Every dock or wharf constructed shall have a minimum setback of twenty feet from the adjacent property line extended into the lake on the same axis as the property line runs onshore where it meets the lake, or at a right angle to the mean high-water mark, whichever results in the greater setback. This provision shall control over the provisions of section 646-1.6 (k) of this Subpart.; and

WHEREAS the applicant has not demonstrated that strict conformance with the regulations will cause unnecessary hardship due to unique and peculiar circumstances which impose substantial financial, technical and safety burdens.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

The Lake George Park Commission hereby denies the request for variance and directs staff to offer the applicant an opportunity to request a public hearing.

Chairman Young called for a roll call vote.

Ayes: Young, Conerty, Pettica, Morhouse, Kneeshaw, McDonald, Phinney, DeSantis, Hall

Nays: Parker

Modification of an Existing Dock submitted by Barbara Johnson, Town of Hague, County of

Warren

Molly Gallagher introduced the project. She said that the applicant’s proposed dock meets all design

limitations and was brought before the Commission due to the comments received.

William Johnson spoke on behalf of his mother, Barbara Johnson. He said that he is here to answer

any questions the members may have.

Thomas Morhouse asked if they ever considered moving the dock further to the south.

Mr. Johnson said that they did consider moving the dock but decided that they would like to keep the

dock where it is being proposed because this is the location they have always used for swimming.

Bob Ball spoke against the proposed project. He said that he is an adjoining neighbor. He said that he

has serious concerns regarding the dock and visual impacts. He said that his porch overlooks the

Johnson’s property and dock.

John Caffry spoke on behalf of the Ball family. He said that they have been neighbors for many, many

years and have no animosity towards each other.

Mr. Caffry said that the Ball’s understand why the Johnson’s would like a larger dock. He said that the

Johnson’s have 500 feet of lake frontage and they are proposing to place the dock in the worse place

possible.

John Caffry said that the Commission has taken steps in the past to protect this bay and they are hoping

that it will be protected once again.

A discussion continued regarding the protection of the bay and the dimensions of the proposed dock.

John Caffry said that this dock structure would directly affect the character of the bay. He said that

currently the view is unspoiled and this will be the beginning of larger docks in the area.

Mr. Caffry said that he would recommend that the application be denied and an alternative solution

sought.

A discussion followed regarding the requirements, design limitations and visual impacts.

Thomas Morhouse made a motion to table the application pending further information which was

seconded by John Pettica and all Commission members present voted affirmatively.

Modification of an Existing Dock submitted by Kenny & Dittrich, Town of Lake George, County

of Warren

Molly Gallagher said that this project does not need Commission approval and suggested that the

Commission members remand this application back to staff for approval.

The application was remanded back to staff for approval.

Installation of Four Boat Lifts submitted by Hague Commons, Inc., Town of Hague, County of

Warren

Molly Gallagher introduced the project. She said that these parcels have undergone some very

extensive review. She said that the reason they are looking to install boat lifts is because it is very

difficult to berth boats because of the delta from Hague Brook.

Bob Condit said that he is representing four families from Hague Commons. He said that three out of the

four families are present today.

Mr. Condit said that he has been working with Molly Gallagher for quite some time on this project. He

said that when he measured the water a month ago there was 3 ft. of water and when he measured the

water a few days ago there was 15 inches.

A discussion followed regarding visual impacts of the boat lifts.

Mr. Condit said that no matter what is done in this location mitigation of the circumstances at this

location must be done.

Mr. Condit continued by saying that he is somewhat of an expert because he has grown up on Lake

George, was a ship master and owned and operated a marina on Lake George for over ten years.

Kenneth Parker asked Mr. Condit about the water depths from a month ago and the water depths from

today. A discussion followed regarding the type and size of boats that will be berthed at the boat lifts,

visual impacts and the fact that the problem with the sand bar has been building for many years.

James Kneeshaw asked Chairman Young if he could read a statement that he had been preparing for

quite some time.

James Kneeshaw read from a prepared statement (attached).

Chairman Young said that the prepared statement that was read was from Commissioner James

Kneeshaw and is in no way the words of the Lake George Park Commission.

After a continuing discussion regarding the lifts and docks at Hague Commons Thomas Morhouse read

and moved to approve Resolution 2007-63.

WHEREAS the applicant has applied for a permit for the installation of four boat lifts; and

WHEREAS the Lake George Park Commission has reviewed the application, supporting documents, comments received and other information which appears in the record; and

WHEREAS the Commission has made a determination pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-3.6 and the State Environmental Quality Review Act 6NYCRR 617.5 that the project is a Type II action and does not require further review of potential environmental impacts pursuant to this act; and

WHEREAS the action is considered to be a Minor project pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-5.3 and public notice has been published and distributed; and

WHEREAS the applicant has requested variance from 6 NYCRR 646-1.1(c)(2)(iii) No dock, wharf or mooring shall be constructed or placed so as to extend offshore more than 100 feet from the mean high water mark; and

WHEREAS the applicant has demonstrated that strict conformance with the regulations will cause unnecessary hardship due to the following unique and peculiar circumstances which impose the following substantial financial, technical and safety burdens:

1. Shallowness of the water caused by the substantial Hague Brook delta.

2. There is sufficient frontage for up to three wharfs and three moorings, but a severely limited area which can accommodate boats.

3. The frontage is shared by four owners, each with deeded access to a dock space.

4. Dredging is not a viable option at this point but is a foreseeable solution; and

WHEREAS the Commission finds that there is no reasonable possibility that the applicant's property will bring a reasonable return following conformance with the regulations; and

WHEREAS the Commission finds that the project will have no adverse impact on the health, safety or welfare of the public, the environment or the resources of the Park; will not alter the essential character of the area in which it is proposed; will not lead to congestion in the Park and will not have an undue visual, cultural or audible impact on the neighborhood or the Park.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

The Lake George Park Commission hereby approves the above application with the same special conditions placed on the previous permit:

32. The dock and lifts shall be installed no earlier than Memorial Day weekend and removed by Columbus Day weekend.

33. The permittee shall not interfere with or abridge free access of anglers to the shallow waters below the mean high water mark.

34. A permanent light shall be maintained at the end of the dock.

35. Should dredging of Hague Brook be accomplished which relieves the shallow water problem, the dock shall be returned to its original 100 foot length.

The resolution was seconded by James Kneeshaw and all Commission members present voted

affirmatively to approve the resolution with the following change:

32) Docks and lifts are to be removed by the end of the Columbus Day weekend.

Item #4 — Stormwater Management Report: Michael P. White

Michael White said that he would like to defer the stormwater report until September at the following

Commission meeting.

Item #5Public Comments

Lake George Association

Not present.

The FUND for Lake George, Inc.

Not present.

Lake George Waterkeeper

Christopher Navitsky said that he had a question on milfoil mitigation activities.

Michael White said that approximately 150 sites have been visited where milfoil has been found.

Mr. White said that hand harvesting is done as well as installing benthic barrier material on beds with a

density that is greater than 50%.

Lake George Watershed Conference

Not present.

Item #6 — Adjournment

There being no further business, on the motion of Thomas Conerty, seconded by Roger Phinney the

meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Michelle D. Way

Keyboard Specialist

 

 

 

Secretary’s Note: The next Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 10:00 a.m. at the Canoe Island Lodge, Diamond Point, NY.