Lake George Park Commission
20 December 2005
Fort William Henry
Lake George, NY
COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Joan A.
Sheehan, DEC Commissioner)
COMMISSION MEMBERS ABSENT: None Absent
COMMISSION STAFF PRESENT: Michael P. White, Executive
Gallagher, Environmental Analyst 2
Lt. Joseph H.
Schneider, Director of Law Enforcement
Wardell, Director of Engineering
Principal Account Clerk
Way, Keyboard Specialist 1
Maranville, Director of Governmental
& Community Affairs
COMMISSION COUNSEL PRESENT: Martin Auffredou
Mary Alice Leary
Robert Birchenough David
Rafael Tony Hall
Sylke Chesterfield John T.
Chairman Young introduced two new Commission
members Mr. James Kneeshaw of Queensbury and Mr. Thomas Morhouse
of Ticonderoga who were confirmed by the Senate on November 29, 2005.
Item #1 - Introductions, Roll Call, Minutes of Meeting
The 340th 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. On the motion of Thomas Conerty, seconded by Joan
Robertson, all Commission members present voting affirmatively;
The minutes of meeting # 339 were approved as submitted.
Item #2 - Project Review - Public Comments on Pending
Molly Gallagher read a prepared statement explaining the role of the
Project Review Committee and the application process (attached).
The Chair explained the format of the meeting in regard to Project
Review matters. 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 a 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.
Variance Request submitted by Lawrence Spraragen, Town of Fort Ann,
County of Washington – #5226-18-05 & #5226-19-05
Molly Gallagher introduced this project. She said that the
applicant proposes to construct an open sided boat cover/sun
deck. She said that the reason the project is before the
Commission is because this project requires a variance.
Chairman Young asked if anyone was here to speak for the project.
There was no reply.
Item #3 - Fiscal Actions Report: Peggy Stevens
Chairman Young said that the November Fiscal Actions Report was
distributed with the meeting package to all of the members.
Everyone should have received a copy, he said. He asked if there
were any questions on the report. There were none.
On the motion of John McDonald, seconded by Roger Phinney, all members
present voting affirmatively, the November Fiscal Actions Report was
approved as submitted.
Item #4 - Lake George Park Commission Accounting Program Software
Update: Keith G. Fish
Keith Fish addressed the Commission members. He asked the
Commission members to approve Resolution 2005-83 which authorizes the
Commission to purchase new accounting software.
Keith Fish said that the software that is currently in use was
purchased in 1999 and it has become technologically obsolete. He
said that the support for the program has practically dwindled to
Mr. Fish said that the staff members of the Lake George Park
Commission have done an extensive review of several different software
programs. He said that the staff members have rated each firm
based on three different criteria. They are as follows;
usability, support and cost.
He said that Commission staff have decided to go with a company called
Cougar Mountain who are based out of Idaho but maintain a small office
in Albany, New York.
Thomas Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2005-83 which was
seconded by Joan Robertson and all Commission members present voted
WHEREAS, the Commission is
required to collect fees, accept grants and other payments in order to
fund its programs, and
WHEREAS, the collection,
administration and dispersal of these funds must be accurately tracked
and reported, and
WHEREAS, the current accounting
system has been in use for 6 years and has become technologically
WHEREAS, staff has performed an
extensive review of accounting applications and support options
currently available, and
WHEREAS, staff has selected an
accounting software package and support provider that provides the best
value to fulfills the needs of the Commission based on the price,
features and quality of support,
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved
that the Chairman is hereby authorized to approve an expenditure not to
exceed $14,405.53 for accounting system software, installation and
training, consistent with State Finance Law and the Office of the State
Item #5 - Project Review: Resolutions
Resolution 2005 - 81 — Project Review Report
Joan Robertson read and moved to approve Resolution 2005-81 which
directs that the Project Review Report be incorporated in full in the
minutes of the full Commission meeting. The motion was seconded
by Shauna DeSantis and all members present voted affirmatively.
WHEREAS the Commission has received and reviewed the
Project Review Actions Reports prepared by staff and dated December 6,
WHEREAS the Project Review Committee recommends
acceptance of these Project Review Reports.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission
directs that the Project Review Report
be incorporated in the minutes of the full Commission meeting.
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 approved, he said.
Resolution 2005 - 82 — Lawrence Spraragen
Molly Gallagher introduced this project. She said that she had
the opportunity to visit this site on Monday. She said that the
boat cover/sun deck that is being proposed is similar to what the other
Martin Auffredou addressed the Commission members and said that he
wasn’t as concerned about the financial hardship as he was about the
unique and peculiar circumstances. He said in order to grant a
variance we must have these findings. He recommended that the
Commission members have a discussion about the unique and peculiar
circumstances and then move on to the financial hardship analysis.
Chairman Young discussed his concerns in regards to the two letters
from the realtor with his fellow Commission members.
Mr. Young acknowledged Mr. Lincoln Cathers and allowed him
to address the Commission members.
Mr. Cathers addressed the Commission members and said that he is
a neighbor to the south of this project. He said that he will not
be affected in any way by this project. He said that he would
like to get a copy of the plans and make sure that they are followed
exactly as described in the permit.
Mr. Cathers read a letter that was written to Molly Gallagher
regarding the Spraragen project. He also addressed concerns for a
neighbor to the north of the project who he feels will have a
significant visual impact.
A discussion continued among the Commission members and Mr. Cathers
about the size and length of the boat cover/sun deck being
proposed. The discussion also included the unique and peculiar
circumstances of this project.
When questioned directly, Mr. Cathers indicated that it was built
to approved plans. Also, that the neighbor to the north, may be
impacted and he didn’t know if that neighbor had been properly
noticed. The Commission members discussed the notification of the
neighbor to the north. Ms. Gallagher explained that the
notice had been sent to the address the Commission has on file for dock
registration and it was not returned. She indicated that the
method with the Commission’s regular procedures for notice to adjacent
The Chair polled the Commission members. Thomas Morhouse said
that “the property line extension is at a very acute angle to the
shoreline in this situation resulting in an extreme set back. The
cost to relocate the existing crib dock so that the current situation
could be built at a conforming location is the hardship”, he
said. He said such an extreme would be disproportionate to any
benefit or improvement gained and would cause unwanted disturbance to
the lake bottom.
A lengthy discussion followed among the Commission members specifically
on the topic of unique and peculiar circumstances until it was clear
that a consensus had formed for approval.
Shauna DeSantis capsulized the view that the applicant had demonstrated
conditions for a set back variance consistent with Commission findings
in a number of similar cases, that the boat cover was minimal, and that
allowing, it on the existing dock minimizes disturbances to the
lake. Several members agreed specifically with these comments.
Joan Robertson introduced Resolution 2005-82 inserting that the acute
angle of the property line to the shoreline, the cost to relocate the
dock to a conforming location and the disturbance to the lake that this
relocation would otherwise cover are unusual and peculiar circumstances
that result in a hardship consistent with the Commission’s findings in
several similar set back variance applications.
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 applied for a permit for
wharf modification to construct an open-sided boatcover/sundeck over an
existing wharf; 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; 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:
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
represents the minimum necessary variance required to alleviate the
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 that the Lake George Park Commission
hereby approves the request for variance and approves the above
application as proposed.
A roll call vote was taken with the following result.
AYES: Robertson, DeSantis, Phinney, McDonald,
Pettica, Young, Conerty, Kneeshaw, Hall, Morhouse
Resolution 2005-82 was approved with noted revisions.
Item #6 - Invasive Species Prevention Program Update: Andrea Maranville
Andrea Maranville addressed the Commission members and discussed the
need for some new educational materials on aquatic invasive
species. Andrea said she is requesting funding to purchase 500
posters and 20,000 rack cards to strengthen the program.
Andrea said that other items such as book marks, stickers and outdoor
signs are being explored as other ways to educate the public on the
threat that aquatic invasive species pose on Lake George.
Andrea Maranville said that she has received half of the post season
surveys back from the Zebra Mussel participating businesses. She
said that at the next meeting she hopes to have received the majority
of the surveys back.
Andrea Maranville also spoke about the Lake George Park Commission
insert that was included with the December issue of the Lake George
Chairman Young said that he saw the insert that was included in the
newspaper and he said that he has heard many favorable comments on the
Joan Robertson read and moved to approve resolution 2005-85 which was
seconded by Shauna DeSantis and all Commission members present voted
WHEREAS the Lake George Park
Commission is established pursuant to Article 43 of the
Environmental Conservation Law
(ECL) to provide a means for people to preserve, protect and enhance
the unique natural and scenic resources of Lake George, and
WHEREAS the Commission has a specific regulation
stating that “No person shall launch a
vessel into or remove a vessel
from the waters of the park without inspecting the vessel and its
trailer, if any, to ensure the detection of marine growth, including
macrophytes (weeds), or any other hull contamination, and removing said
growth and disposing of it so as to ensure that it is not discharged
into the waters of the park,” and
WHEREAS the Lake George Park
Commission implements an Invasive Species Prevention
Program providing education,
prevention and management programs, and
WHEREAS during 2001, the Commission established the
Invasive Species Prevention Participating Business Program and
thereafter approximately 40 businesses joined in a public information
and prevention network, and
WHEREAS Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) which can
displace native animals, foul boats, docks, and consume the lake bottom
thereby causing extensive economic and ecological damage, and
WHEREAS the Commission has acknowledged that Aquatic
Nuisance Species (ANS) still pose a significant threat to the
ecological health of Lake George and its use for recreation and
WHEREAS the Commission is committed to
educating the public and informing those who live on, recreate on, and
visit Lake George that the threat of Aquatic Invasive Species (ANS) is
still a matter of significant public concern warranting immediate and
concerted action, and
WHEREAS the Commission desires to provide posters and
handouts informing the public of ANS for use at ANS Participating
Businesses, by the marine patrol and by the Commission marine
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Lake George Park Commission
hereby authorizes $1,660.00 for the purchase of 20,000 rack cards and
500 posters from Brown Printing Company, who submitted the low quote
for the printing in response to the Commission’s invitation for quotes,
and that the Commission also authorizes $1,090.00 to Mark Lange Design
for the design and layout of these materials, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission authorizes the Executive
Director to issue a purchase order for the posters and rack cards and
thereafter approve payment when the order is satisfactorily fulfilled
in accordance with the specifications (attached).
Item #7 -Law Enforcement Committee Report: Thomas K. Conerty
Thomas Conerty said that they did, in fact, have a Law Enforcement
Committee meeting this morning and he turned to Lt. Schneider to give
Lt. Schneider said there was a Law Enforcement Committee meeting this
morning and discussed the fact that he is the only staff member not
asking for funding today. He said that he has been assigned by
his Captain to attend all meetings pertaining to the Winter Carnival.
Lt. Schneider said that active and on-going enforcement cases were also
discussed. He said that the Annual Marine Patrol Report will be
available at the next Commission meeting.
Thomas Conerty read and moved to approve resolution 2005-84 which was
seconded by Joan Robertson and all Commission members present voted
WHEREAS the Law Enforcement Committee met December
20, 2005 to review matters pertaining to the Lake George Park
Commission’s Marine Patrol and the Commission's Law Enforcement
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,
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 #8 - Water Quality Programs Report: J. Thomas Wardell
Thomas Wardell said that he sent out a report to all Commission members
which everyone should have received.
Mr. Wardell said that he has been working on the Forest Bay
stabilization project with grant commitment from the Lake George
Association. He said that the LGA has committed $4,000 with a
$4,000 match from the Town of Hague. This project is expected to
be completed in the spring of 2006.
Tom Wardell said that the Town of Bolton was interested in building a
500 ton salt storage area that is estimated at $100,000. He said
that there is a DEC grant for $50,000 to $80,000 left over from Finkle
Brook that could possibly be used towards this project which must be
completed by March or April 2006.
Mr. Wardell also spoke of some projects he has been working on with
Chris Navitsky, the Lake George Waterkeeper such as the Black Point
Road sewer system and the Westbrook project.
Mr. Wardell said that the lake level at Rogers Rock is 3.36.
Item #9 - Work Plan on Tree Cutting and Stream Corridor Protection
Approval: Michael P. White
Michael White said that he had sent a memo on tree cutting and stream
corridor management that included the very specific tasks that are
ahead in order to advance this important initiative.
John Pettica read and moved to approve resolution 2005-86 as follows:
WHEREAS the Commission is empowered pursuant to
Article 43 of the Environmental Conservation Law to preserve, protect
and enhance the unique, natural and scenic resources of Lake George and
in furthermore of these purposes, to promulgate rules and regulations
governing tree cutting and stream corridor protection in the Lake
George Park, and
WHEREAS during 2005, the Commission retained a
consulting planner to assess the need for new standards and methods to
protect the resources of the Lake George Watershed relative to stream
corridor protection and tree clearing and the Commission has received
and reviewed the report by the Chazen Company dated June 2005, and
WHEREAS the Commission has also consulted with local
elected officials and members of the planning and zoning boards active
in the communities along the lake, and
WHEREAS in August 2005, the Commission acknowledged
the need and opportunity to advance the environmental protection of the
lake’s watershed lands through a cooperative effort with local
government and to develop a consensus-based program of new standards,
methods and technology and allocated $100,000 toward this program, and
WHEREAS on November 9, 2005 the Commission, in
cooperation with the Lake George Watershed Conference, held a public
meeting on these topics to solicit comments and discussion on the
objectives and work elements of an initiative to develop such a
WHEREAS the Commission, having consulted with others
and given consideration to the views and opinions of it’s constituents,
wants to adopt a flexible work plan that sets forth the objective to
undertake a consensus-based process that is based on good science and
which invites the broadest possible public participation.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission adopts the attached
work plan for watershed protection measures governing tree-cutting and
stream corridor protection initiatives, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Executive Director is authorized to
accept comments on the work plan and report progress to the Commission
On the motion of John Pettica, seconded by Joan Robertson all
Commission members present voted affirmatively, the resolution was
Item #10 - FUND For Lake George, Inc. — Presentation of Upland
Carol Collins, Chair for the FUND for Lake George, Inc. Introduced
David Rafael of Landworks, a firm based in Middlebury, Vermont for a
presentation on a Upland Protection Program.
Mr. Rafael’s presentation was a power point presentation of his
analysis of factors affecting the visual and aesthetic character of the
lake’s shoreline and upland. He also presented representations of
potential mitigation techniques that could limit the impact of
development projects. The presentation included a photo
simulation of a build-out analysis for one hillside overlooking the
Item #11 - Public Comments
There were no public comments.
Item #12 - 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 12:30 p.m.
Keyboard Specialist 1
Secretary’s Note: The next Commission meeting is
scheduled for TUESDAY, January 24, 2006, 10:00 a.m. at the Fort William
Henry, Canada Street, Lake George, NY.