Lake George Park Commission
21 December 2004
Fort William Henry Conference Center
Lake George, NY
PRESIDING: Bruce E. Young, Chair
COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Margaret M. Stewart
Anthony P. Reale
Joan A. Robertson
John C. McDonald, Jr.
John Pettica, Jr.
Shauna M. DeSantis
(Erin M. Crotty, DEC Commissioner)
Thomas W. Hall, representing
COMMISSION MEMBERS ABSENT: Roger H. Phinney
Thomas K. Conerty
COMMISSION COUNSEL: Martin D. Auffredou
COMMISSION STAFF PRESENT: Michael P. White, Executive Director
Kathleen Ledingham, Secretary II
Roger Smith, Conservation Operations Supervisor I
Molly Gallagher, Environmental Analyst I
Keith G. Fish, Operations Director
J. Thomas Wardell, Senior Sanitary Engineer
DEC STAFF PRESENT: Ron Montesi
Philip Farbaniec Mary Alice Leary Chris Gabriels
Thom Randall Chris Navitsky Susan Young
Dave Decker Sharon Borgos
Item #1 - Introductions, Roll Call, Minutes of Meeting
The 329th meeting of the Lake George Park Commission was called to order by Chairman Young at 10:15 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 asked if there were any corrections or discussion.
Upon the motion of Maggie Stewart, seconded by Joan Robertson, all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the minutes of Meeting #328 as submitted.
Item #2 - Project Review - Public Comments on Pending Applications:
Matter of Wharf Modification submitted by Philip & Cynthia Farbaniec, Town of Bolton, County of Warren - #5220-44-04
Molly Gallagher introduced this project submitted by Philip & Cynthia Farbaniec dba Bluebird Cottages. The property is located in Huddle Bay in the Town of Bolton Landing and there is 250 feet of lakefrontage.
Ms. Gallagher said that the proposed project is to rearrange the existing commercial docks. She said that presently there are six piers. Two piers are located on one side of the property and four piers on the opposite side. The applicants propose to move one of the four piers which would result in three piers located on each side of the property. She referred to a table of calculations which compare what the applicants are looking for with what the regulations allow. She referred to an analysis that staff prepared which shows that the proposed change to the docks does not increase the non-conformity. She said that the proposal would make the docks more conforming as it would achieve a 20 foot setback on each side of the property.
Ms. Gallagher said that what is being presented by staff today is an option to Commission members to approve the project without the requirement of a variance.
Bruce Young said that staff previously discussed a serious erosion problem with the applicant which was discovered during the Project Review site visit. He said that while this permit does not necessarily include stormwater issues, the Commission’s primary responsibility is to protect the water quality of Lake George. He said that with the concurrence of all Commissioners, he has made an executive decision to hear the presentation today but that a decision on this application will not be entertained until the erosion problem has been alleviated. He said that with the current 45-50 degree weather, it would be nice if the erosion problems could be taken care of within the next couple of days.
Chris Gabriels, representing the applicant, proposed that the Commission approve the permit today pending satisfaction of the stormwater recommendations.
The Chair said that he understands that the applicant would like a conditional permit today but that the Commission will not either approve or disapprove a permit until the issue is taken care of.
Phil Farbaniac, the applicant, said that he will, through his contractor, take any steps that the Commission feels is necessary and asked for recommendations.
Mr. Young directed staff to make recommendations to Mr. Farbaniac.
The Chair said that a break is not needed at this time and that the meeting would continue on with the second portion of the Project Review.
Item #4 - Project Review: Resolutions
Matter of Philip and Cynthia Fabaniec
Maggie Stewart and Joan Robertson continued the conversation on the proposed wharf modification. They both referred to a large gully located on the property which demonstrates that a very serious erosion problem exists. Further discussion followed on subdivision of the property, number of houses proposed to be constructed, overall length and total square footage of the docks and erosion.
Maggie Stewart read a special condition proposed for the permit that stated that construction shall not commence on this project until Commission staff has inspected and approved the location of stakes depicting the proposed dock locations.
Mr. Young said that when final instructions are given to staff today, the special condition will be part of the condition of the permit.
The Chair said that the direction to staff today is to issue the permit pending staff’s approval of measures taken to alleviate the erosion problems.
Martin Auffredou suggested formalizing the Commission’s decision on this project.
Mr. Young asked for a resolution as follows:
The permit decision is remanded to staff with the proviso that staff is satisfied that all stormwater problems have been alleviated. The following special condition is to be included in the permit:
The permit shall not be effective and construction shall not commence until Commission staff has inspected and approved the location of stakes placed by a licensed land surveyor in accordance with the attached sketch in order to establish the location and orientation of the docks approved herein and depicted on the project plans attached as Schedule A and made part of this permit.
Secretary’s Note: Resolution number 2004-68 is assigned to this project.
Tom Hall made a motion to approve the resolution which was seconded by Maggie Stewart. All Commission members present voted affirmatively.
Resolution 2004-67 Project Review Report
Maggie Stewart read and moved to approve Resolution 2004-67 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.
Item #3 - Fiscal Actions Report: Peggy Sturtevant
Mr. Young referred to a memorandum from Peggy Sturtevant which stated that the November fiscal actions report will be delayed one month.
Item #5 - Planning Initiatives: Stream Corridor Management and Tree Clearing: Michael P. White
Michael White said that last month the Commission accepted a proposal by the Chazen Company to prepare a strategic plan to evaluate the Commission’s program of stream corridor management and tree clearing.
Mr. White welcomed and introduced Mr. Chris Round of the Chazen Company.
Mr. Chris Round said that he is a lifelong resident of the area. He said that there has been a lot of work done to date on stream corridor and tree clearing initiatives. He said that the scope of work that he has prepared is to assist the Commission in the planning process to bring everybody along with a common understanding of what the issues are and to help the community define what is to be accomplished. He said that the Lake George Watershed Conference, the Commission and the advocacy groups around the lake have a very clear understanding of what the problems and issues are when it comes to land development activities and non-point source pollution. “I think many of us already have a solution defined as far as a regulatory program or an educational program, but it’s important with any good planning process that we not jump ahead to the answers before we make sure that everyone has a common understanding,” he said.
Mr. Round referred to a handout which he previously distributed to Commission members. Specifically the planner would: 1) work with the Commission members and Executive Director to develop a final scope of work; 2) establish contacts and gather information from local planning/zoning officials in accordance with the methodology agreed upon in the final scope; 3) conduct an efficient literature review of example studies, programs and ordinances; 4) gather information and opinions from Lake George Watershed Conference members; and 5) prepare a written report including an assessment of needs, opportunities and strategic action alternatives for Commission consideration. A discussion followed.
Item #6 - Law Enforcement: Bruce Young
Bruce Young said that there was a Law Enforcement Committee meeting this a.m. and called upon Lt. Schneider for his report.
Lt. Schneider said that discussion this morning included plans and progress on Log Bay. He said that a tentative meeting with DEC is planned on this subject to discuss mutual jurisdictions. He said that there was a brief discussion on the 2004 Marine Patrol Report which he said will be released at the January 2005 Commission meeting.
Lt. Schneider said that there was an Executive Session where on-going enforcement cases were discussed. No votes were taken in Executive Session.
John Pettica read and moved to approve Resolution 2004-69 which accepts the report of the Law Enforcement Committee. The motion was seconded by Tony Reale and all Commission members present voted affirmatively.
Item #7 - Zebra Mussel Report: Michael P. White
Michael White said that the Zebra Mussel Prevention Program Report was distributed today. He spoke about the key features of the report (attached).
Item #7 - Water Quality Programs Report: J. Thomas Wardell
Tom Wardell said that several stormwater cases were discussed in the Executive Session portion of the Law Enforcement meeting. He said that the requirement of a contractor’s meeting either at the Commission office or on-site before construction is started and the requirement of inspection and approval of the erosion controls was discussed. He said that there are currently a few cases where this type of program would have really helped.
Mr. Wardell said that two inquiries were received on the stormwater contractual program inspector. He said that he is hopeful that it will be up and going in the next two weeks.
Mr. Wardell said that last Thursday, Mr. White, a few of the Commission members and himself met with the residents in Ticonderoga that were concerned about the low water levels and freeze-ups of their water intakes. “What was interesting was that the meeting was instigated based on low water levels but a couple of residents made a point to go to the meeting to caution against high water levels,” he said. He said that it is a balancing act and that presently the water level is right about on target which is 3.44.
Item #9 - Public Comments
The FUND for Lake George, Inc.
Chris Navitsky, Lake George Waterkeeper, made several comments on stormwater management. He referred to a project in Bolton Landing previously discussed and said that the zoning officer can be contacted for problems that arise. He said that the subdivision did get approval through the Town and that there was a stormwater plan that was approved. He said that the one thing that many people, including planning boards, do not follow through on is that a DEC permit is required when a project disturbs more than one acre.
Mr. Navitsky said that he is encouraged by what Mr. Wardell is doing regarding stormwater permits. He reported on an on-going stormwater problem in the Town of Lake George. He said that the Lake George Forum basin has been failing since May or June. “They are violating the Town’s requirements. Although the Town has an approved plan, I am encouraging the Park Commission to take an interest in that,” he said.
A discussion followed on zebra mussels.
Lake George Watershed Conference
David Decker reported on a stormwater improvement project that is contemplated in the West Brook drainage basin which involves the old Gaslight Village property. He said that last night the Village and Town Boards both met separately and passed a joint resolution in which they have agreed to enter into an option/purchase contract for the property.
Mr. Decker reported on several on-going projects. He also said that the meeting dates for the Watershed Conference for the next two months are January 12th and February 9th.
Mr. White said that he would like to report on some on-going items. He said that there was an organizational meeting on December 20th with the contractor on the water-based recreation study and Commission staff. He said that the first step in the process of the preparation of a final scope of work was discussed. “It comes as no surprise and it’s part of the design to try to employ the Watershed Conference as part of our public participation effort,” he said. He said that survey and data gathering will occur during the winter. He said that the survey experts from Cornell indicated that summer is not a good time to do a mail survey. He said that the best time according to Cornell is right after Labor Day when people begin to settle down in their routines. He said that this would push the schedule back a little bit. He said that it is recommended that the end date will be after the summer of 2006 to have a chance for summer people to comment on the draft. He said that this would not change the contract amount, but it would extend the project.
Mr. White said that Margaret Stevens has been appointed to replace Peggy Sturtevant who is retiring in March. He said that Ms. Stevens is scheduled to start in early January 2005.
Item #10 - Adjournment
On the motion of Tony Reale, seconded by Joan Robertson, all present voting affirmatively, the meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.
Secretary’s Note: The meeting was reconvened at the Olde Log Inn in Lake George.
Bruce Young read Resolution 2004-70:
WHEREAS The Lake George Park Commission finds that it is altogether appropriate to make an occasion to acknowledge the significant contribution of Richard J. Bartlett as a volunteer member of the Commission’s official family and by extension to the larger effort to preserve and protect the magnificent natural resources of Lake George, and
WHEREAS Richard J. Bartlett has been and continues to be an essential member of the Commission organization, volunteering countless hours and endless energy to improve the quality of the organization and its effectiveness in its broad and important public mission, and
WHEREAS Richard J. Bartlett was instrumental in the inception and formulation of the modern Commission lending his support for its legislation in Albany, but more importantly, has attended to the daily work of crafting the working policies of the Commission and advising on its decisions so that the best precepts of fair government be brought through from the Commission’s mission to its regulatory values, and
WHEREAS in the ensuing years, he has remained an extremely active contributor to further the organization’s purposes as represented in his unfailing readiness to accept and solve problems, often expended personal political capital for organizational gain, and
WHEREAS the examples of Dick’s service are too numerous to list but certainly he was instrumental in the development of the initial regulations of the Commission, represented the Commission in Albany during the stormy revisions to stormwater regulations, lent tremendous support for the Commission’s aquatic plant management initiatives and represent the Commission in numerous legal matters the successful resolution of which were critical to the survival of the organization,
WHEREAS through these representations of the Commission and by his personal prestige and recognition for extensive accomplishments in any number of other fine organizations at the State and national levels, Richard J. Bartlett has helped to advance the acceptance of the Commission’s purposes by promoting and being a guardian within the organization of the highest of values including honesty, reasonableness and fair treatment for all, and
WHEREAS throughout this contribution and over those years he has never submitted a bill for services as is his right under our agreement operating as a volunteer in himself and the through his office and support staff, and
WHEREAS such contribution represents the best values of people, to give willingly of one’s time and energy, in the service of the public, for the common good without compensation of money, recognition or prestige but as a genuine unrequited gift, and
WHEREAS all the while Claire has provided her love and support to him and they have raised and nurtured their children Amy and Michael in the same noble traditions, and
WHEREAS for the reasons so stated above and for his friendship to us and his good and gracious manner we want to take this opportunity to thank him and to express our gratitude lest he not become disgruntled and resign, and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Lake George Park Commission paused today in its deliberations to recognize the significant and continuing contribution of Richard J. Bartlett to the Lake George Park Commission and to the broader movement of preserving and protecting Lake George, and
BE IT KNOWN that the Commission members and staff express their appreciation to you, Dick for all that you have done to make a better organization, a better government and a better society. You have done well to make the most of yourself and to turn your considerable talents to the betterment of the lake you love and through your deeds in this regard have represented the best characteristics of moral conviction and citizenship.
NOW SAY WE All in favor Aye
The motion was seconded and approved by all!
Secretary’s Note: The next Commission meeting is scheduled for TUESDAY, January 25, 2004 at the Fort William Henry Conference Center, Canada Street, Lake George, NY.