Lake George Park Commission
28 February 2006
The Holiday Inn
Lake George, NY
PRESIDING: Thomas K. Conerty, Chair
COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Joan A. Robertson
John A. Pettica, Jr.
(Denise Sheehan, DEC Commissioner)
*Thomas W. Hall, representing
John C. McDonald, Jr.
James T. Kneeshaw
COMMISSION MEMBERS ABSENT: Shauna DeSantis
COMMISSION STAFF PRESENT: Michael P. White, Executive Director
Molly Gallagher, Environmental Analyst 2
Lt. Joseph H. Schneider, Director of Law Enforcement
J. Thomas Wardell, Director of Engineering
Roger Smith, Conservation Operations Supervisor 1
Peggy Stevens, Principal Account Clerk
Andrea L. Maranville, Director of Governmental &
COMMISSION COUNSEL PRESENT: Martin Auffredou
Sylke Chesterfield Christopher Navitsky Anthony Hall
Michael Beneduce Casey Beneduce John H. Hess
Jo Ellen Hess Mike Hill Jeff Reale
Ron Montesi Matt Finley Scott Miller
Catherine “Cappy” Dillingham Laura Bibler David W. Knight
Marian N. Knight Ken Parker Ralph Reale
Item #1 - Introductions, Roll Call, Minutes of Meeting
The 342nd meeting of the Lake George Park Commission was called to order by
Vice-Chairman Conerty at 10:00 a.m. and the roll was taken.
Mr. Conerty 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 Joan Robertson, seconded by John McDonald, all Commission members present voting affirmatively; the minutes of meeting # 341 were approved as submitted.
Item #2 - Project Review - Public Comments on Pending Applications:
Vice-Chair Conerty explained the Project Review portion of the meeting. He said that the first portion is an information gathering session for the Commission members. He said anyone that has anything to say (pro or con) regarding the projects, this is the time to say it. He said that the second portion of Project Review is the Commission’s chance to discuss the application and no public in attendance will be taking part in this session unless they are asked to clarify a point they had previously made.
Molly Gallagher read a prepared statement explaining the role of the Project Review Committee and the application process (attached).
New Wharf Construction submitted by Patricia Portela, Town of Dresden, County of Washington # 5324-11-03
Molly Gallagher introduced the project. She said that Patricia Portela is before the Commission for construction of a new stake pier which will be 40 feet long and 4 feet wide. Molly Gallagher said that she is requesting a variance from the lakefrontage and the required property line set back.
Molly Gallagher said that the property is located on Foster Brook. She said that this application was submitted in 2003 and a lot of work has been done to determine what amount of lake frontage Ms. Portela has. Molly Gallagher said that it has been determined that Ms. Portela has 32 feet of lake frontage, the regulations requires 45 feet.
Molly Gallagher said that she received a comment from the Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries Department via e -mail stating that they didn’t have any objections to this project. Molly passed around photos to the Commission members.
Mike Hill, attorney for Patricia Portela, said that the applicants have a sail boat that they would like to dock at their property. Mr. Hill said the dock that they are proposing is a very simple, straight forward pier dock. He said that the dock is seasonal and it will be removed in October of each season and would be placed in the water in May, approximately Memorial Day.
Mr. Hill said that the dock is a single straight pier dock that doesn’t have any fingers or any protrusions. He said it is not elaborate. Mr. Hill said that Patricia Portela’s application was originally submitted in July of 2003 and after conversations with Park Commission staff questions were raised as to the amount of shore frontage Ms. Portela had. He said that as a result of that a surveyor was contacted and ultimately surveyed the property and an amended application was submitted to the Park Commission.
Mr. Hill passed out copies of a map, which was submitted to the Lake George Park Commission along with the application, to the Commission members. Mr. Hill said that he asked his surveyor to measure the shore front in front of the property using the mean high water line and tracking the mean high water line. The surveyor traced out the shoreline and found that it is at the point where the yellow meets the green. Mr. Hill was referring to the map he had in hand. Mr. Hill said that from this map and measurements taken Patricia Portela has 46 feet of frontage which means that a variance is not required.
Mr. Hill said that subsequent to the submission of this drawing the OGS opined that they would measure the shore front by measuring from the head land to head land and then they would go from the point of intersection between the Portela property and the adjoining Hess property. He said that under this interpretation they have 32 feet of frontage and would need a variance of 13 feet of relief. He said that their suggestion to the Commission is that they have 46 feet of frontage and hope that the Commission will agree with their interpretation. He said that Patricia Portela does meet the 20 foot setback on the NW side but on the SE side they have a projection of 15 ½ feet which would require a 4 ½ feet variance from the set back.
Mr. Hill continued to speak about the financial aspects with regard to the construction of the dock and any safety concerns. He said that the dock would help ease the damage to canoes and kayaks. Mr. Hill also spoke of the economic impacts of having a dock versus not having a dock, adverse impacts and the character of the area.
Mr. Hill said that they asked an appraiser to help them develop an idea of what the economic impacts would be versus having a dock and not having a dock. The appraiser concluded that for this property it makes a difference of about $130,000 which is almost a 30% difference in the value of the property. Mr. Hill said that he believes that this has satisfied the no reasonable return condition.
Mr. Hill said that they believe that there would be no adverse impacts on the health, safety and welfare of the public and he reiterated the fact that the dock would be a seasonal dock only that would come out in late October and would not be present at the time while Foster Brook is running with the heavy silt and sediment load from the winter months. He said that the dock would also not be in the lake at the time when the fish would be spawning.
Mr. Hill said that the fourth factor that is looked at by the Park Commission would be the character of the area. He said that you can conclude that the character of this are is predominately developed. He said the vast majority of properties in the bay have docks.
James Kneeshaw asked how they came up with 46 feet of lake frontage when the original survey map only showed 15 feet of lake frontage and they have a tax map that shows 20 feet. Mr. Kneeshaw asked what amount of frontage they are paying taxes on.
Mr. Hill didn’t know the answer to the question but said that he could find out and advise Molly.
Mr. Kneeshaw asked what the rate of accretion was each year.
Mr. Hill said that the accretion has been going on for quite some time. He said that he has some photos of the accretion as it occurred in the past. He said that the rate of accretion was very substantial in 1997.
John Pettica asked Mr. Hill how long the dock would be placed in the water. Mr. Hill said that the dock would be placed in the water in late May and retrieved from the water in mid to late October.
Thomas Morhouse asked Mr. Hill if the center line is the line that was used to determine the property line.
Martin Auffredou, Commission counsel, asked if the property line was what the surveyor came up with. Mr. Hill said that yes, the appraiser did come up with the property line.
Jo Ellen Hess introduced herself. She said that she resides in Huletts Landing and in Hampton, New Hampshire. She said that she has met with Molly Gallagher, Mr. Hill and Joan Robertson to discuss the application submitted on behalf of Patricia Portela.
Jo Ellen Hess asked Molly Gallagher if she was entitled to get a copy of the recent information that was submitted to the Commission. Molly Gallagher said yes, she is entitled and proceeded to give Jo Ellen Hess a copy of the information.
Mrs. Hess said that she would like to thank all of the Park Commission staff and Commission members who came to the site. Mrs. Hess said that the map she has is her first area of contention. She said that 15 feet of lake frontage grew to 20 feet which then grew to 46 feet. She said that she can guarantee that they are only paying taxes on 15 feet of lake frontage.
Mrs. Hess said that she and her husband, John, bought their cottage in 1997 and have since renovated the cottage and have made it in to a year-round home. She said that from looking at her deeds and maps, Patricia Portela only has 15 feet of lake frontage. She said that she and her husband’s deed clearly express that they have 32 feet of water front which connects them to the Hudson side and the Gorman side. She said that this is on their tax bill.
Mrs. Hess said that the executive offices of the Office of General Services made a determination on October 27, 2004 regarding lake front measurements. She said that OGS had taken a good, hard look and did a lot of research on this property. Mrs. Hess said that OGS determined that the stream is not part of Lake George and that the lake front measurement should be made along the mean high water mark to the point where it meets headland to headland. Mrs. Hess said that even if the headland were to change then the property would still belong to them because the property is deeded to them.
A discussion continued regarding the fact that the side set back of 20 feet in either direction would not be met because the Hess’s own both sides of the property. Mrs. Hess continued by passing around a picture taken on 11/23/2002 to the Commission members showing that there was no sediment build up at that time.
John Pettica asked Mrs. Hess how the Portella’s get to their property because it is land locked.
Mrs. Hess said that when the property was purchased from the Kapusinski family, they got an easement because this was the last piece of property sold.
Mrs. Hess said that the property was purchased for $134,000 to $135,000 and is now appraised at $310,000. Mrs. Hess asked how is this a hardship if they have already tripled their money?
Jo Ellen Hess said that “we live by a government whether it is the Federal Government or the State Government, a Municipal Government and things like that and that is what rules are for and that is what you are here to enforce.” She said that when they built their new house and their new pier dock they went exactly by the rules. They wanted to get an “L” shaped dock but were short by 2 feet and they accepted the fact that they were denied an “L” shaped dock.
Mrs. Hess said that if this dock is built it will knock down their fair market value and block their view of Burgess Island.
Mrs. Hess said that the Bolon and Weaver families are the only ones who abut the property and everyone else who sent in letters are friends of the applicants. She said that these letters should not be considered. Mrs. Hess said that she would like the opportunity to write to these people about it.
Mrs. Hess also said that this area is very congested once everyone has their docks in place. She asked that if the map is being considered please reconsider until after the first of June.
The Commission members asked several questions and Mrs. Hess also spoke regarding the view, public health and safety. She also spoke of neighbors that have come before the Commission and have been denied who have more lake frontage then Patricia Portela.
Mr. John Hess said that he was looking at the map that Mr. Hill provided to them and he spoke of a stake that was placed on his property and as now disappeared.
Application for New Class A Marina submitted by Carole Reale, Town of Lake George, County of Warren # 5222-8-05
Molly Gallagher introduced the project. She said that the applicant, Carol Reale, submitted an application for a permit for a Class A Marina offering berthing for up to 3 vessels not belonging to the owner. Molly Gallagher said that this application has been before the Park Commission a couple of times and that they currently are a Class B Marina offering one berthing space not belonging to the owner.
Molly Gallagher said that all of the Commission members should be familiar with the history of this application. She said that the Commission looked at this project last year and found an enforcement problem. Molly Gallagher said that they have gone through the enforcement process and have rebuilt their dock. Molly said that the dock has been inspected by the Commission and now they are before the Commission looking for a Marina Permit. Molly said that when the property was inspected they did find all of the required services present (garbage disposal, parking, and restrooms).
Vice-Chair Conerty asked if anyone was present to speak for the project.
Jeff Reale thanked the Commission for reviewing the application. Mr. Reale said that his father had assumed that because they had a commercial dock they were legal when they rented berthing spaces but they found out in 2002 that they were, in fact, illegal.
Mr. Reale said that he and his family have learned a lot about what can and can not be done in Lake George and on Lake George. He said that he would like to think that they have crossed all of their t’s and dotted all of their i’s. Mr. Reale said that he does not believe that they will cause any traffic impact in Green Harbour. He pointed out that several neighbors have sent letters in favor of the project.
Joan Robertson asked Mr. Reale if they would be using the mooring. Mr. Reale said that the mooring was already taken out.
Vice-Chair Conerty asked if there was anyone else here to speak for or against the project. There was no response.
Application for Stormwater Management submitted by Lake George, LLC, Town of Hague, County of Warren # 5226-22-05
Molly Gallagher introduced the project. She said that this is also an application that has been before the Commission. She said that this application is for an 11 lot subdivision on Dodd Hill Road in the Town of Hague. She said that these lots do not have any lake front. Molly Gallagher said that Tom Wardell has looked at and approved their plans for stormwater management and erosion controls during construction.
Molly Gallagher said that there were still a couple of other issues that needed to be looked at during the review. She said that the Chazen Companies took a look at the applicants visual impacts analysis and determined that there would not be a visual impact on the lake or state owned properties across the lake. She said that they will be well screened by trees. Molly said that Lake George, LLC has foot prints for the houses laid out and limits on tree clearing are in place. Molly Gallagher said that the way the stormwater permit would work is when a homeowner purchases a lot they would be subject to all of the limitations set in the permit as long as they stay within the foot print that is shown on the plan. She said that if a homeowner wants to make any changes they must come in to the office and apply for an individual stormwater permit.
Molly Gallagher said that a SEQRA review had to be done and the Lake George Park Commission was the Lead Agency for that review and they also had to look at historic preservation concerns because that is located in archaeologically sensitive area. Molly said that the advice given from the Office of Historic Preservation was followed and required a Phase I Archaeological Study which was a literature review and they dug about 350 holes on this property to make sure that they were not going to find any important artifacts. Molly Gallagher said that at the last minute they received an approval from the Office of Parks and Rec that they are satisfied with that depth of review. Molly said that she has a negative declaration drafted for the project and she asked if there was anyone here to speak on the project.
Scott Miller of CLA Site, said he is representing the applicant, Michael Beneduce. He said he doesn’t have too much more to add. He said that he was here presenting the project in November of last year.
Mr. Miller mentioned the fact that there were a couple of outstanding issues, one of which was the archaeological study. The second issue was deed language which their surveyor has worked up and has been forwarded to our attorney for review.
Thomas Morhouse asked if we needed the language for the deeds before a vote can be made.
Martin Auffredou said that we already have the language for the deed and that the way the resolution reads that the language is subject to his approval.
Application for New Wharf Construction submitted by Mitchell Perdue, Town of Dresden, County of Washington # 5324-1-06
Molly Gallagher introduced a project for new wharf construction submitted by Mitchell Perdue. She said that he owns Meadow Point and has approximately 620 feet of lake front. There is an existing “L” shaped dock which he wants to remove and replace with a three dock complex in the bay and a “T” shape articulating dock on the point. Molly Gallagher said that she had some pictures and passed them around to Commission members for their review.
Molly Gallagher said that when they went to review the site they had a few surprises. She said that one thing that she noted is that the dock that is there was a little deceptive because it measures out to be 31 feet and was originally permitted at 40 feet so they had to visualize what the new dock was going to look like at 40 feet. She said that the dock across the bay turned out to be much larger than we expected. Molly said that she put together a new compilation of surveys that better represents this bay.
Molly Gallagher said that there are still a lot of outstanding issues on this project. She said that the Dock Doctors are representing the applicant but couldn’t be here today. They have asked that we discuss the project, take comments and do not make a decision today. They said that they would like to hear if there are any suggested modifications or concerns.
Molly Gallagher said that a variance request is not needed because he has enough lake frontage. She said that the only concerns are navigational and visual. Molly said that there are a number of neighbors here to speak on the project.
Laura Bibler spoke against the project. She said that she lives across the bay and that this project will have a substantial impact on congestion, safety, health and visibility. She said that this is a huge dock for such a small piece of property. She said that this is a family owned bay. She said that Mitch is new to the area so they are a little concerned on what his plans are for such a gigantic project in such a small bay
Thomas Conerty asked Ms. Bibler about navigation in the bay to and from her docks under windy conditions.
Laura Bibler said that this subject is addressed in one of the letters sent to the Park Commission. She said that it is very difficult to navigate a motor boat and many times you end up against his shore because you can’t increase the speed quick enough in such a small area. She also said that there is an underwater stone wall and a large rock in the water.
John Pettica asked where the large rock in the water is located. Ms. Bibler pointed out on the map where the rock is located.
David Knight spoke against the project. He said that the bay is very congested and he explained where the rock is located and he also spoke of the way he and his family acquired their property.
Laura Bibler requested a copy of a new survey that was submitted to the Park Commission. She said that apparently Molly has cleared up the discrepancies with the survey. She said that the lake frontage is at odds with the county tax map. She said that the tax map is smaller than the lake frontage that was provided to the Commission.
Catherine Knight Dillingham spoke against the project. She said that she owns a parcel in Huletts Landing. She said that she would like to read from her letter that was sent to the Commission opposing the project. She said that her property is located at the south side of Meadow Point and “Boathouse Bay”, but frequently boats in this area to visit or pick up her daughter, friends and relatives. She said that she knows this property very well and has been summering in her home since 1960.
She said the bay in which the proposed dock and boathouse would be located is a favorite swimming spot just as it was as the days her grandparents used it. She that this is the area where her daughter, Laura Bibler, docks her boat and where her cousin, David Knight’s renters moor their boats. She also said that this area is a favorite swimming place for families with young children because it is shallow. Ms. Dillingham said that she has trouble now navigating through the bay, she can’t imagine a dock complex that supports four more boats and their passengers in this bay.
Catherine Knight Dillingham said that the application cites that the use is residential but this raises the concern that this dock will one day be put to use as a commercial dock. She said that she hopes that the Lake George Park Commission and the Adirondack Park Agency regulations would forbid commercial activity in their neck of the woods.
Catherine Knight Dillingham said that either three or four houses use that bay for drinking water which adds a whole other obvious concern.
Thomas Morhouse asked Laura Bibler if there is a drawing of a dock that used to be on that island.
Mr. Knight said that they have a picture in his home that shows a dock on the island and he said that there was a small dock where Laura’s dock is located now. He said that it was about 1912, not any time recently.
Mr. Knight spoke of the changes that the docks have undergone over the years.
John Pettica asked if anyone had any comments on the articulating dock.
Laura Bibler said that she wouldn’t want the landscape to be marred but there are many docks that jut out into the lake like that. She said that she doesn’t believe it will last the winters. She said that she definitely thinks the articulating dock will look ugly.
John Pettica asked Laura Bibler if she sees and danger from that being out there on the point.
Laura Bibler said that she can’t honestly answer that question because she doesn’t know what the turning radius is going to be like. She said that it is a very shallow area at that point and there are many rocks in the water and she can go over them with her kayak but that is it.
David Knight said that the articulating dock will look terrible because of the simple fact that it is right out in the middle of everything. He said that this is the only real objection to this dock because you would not run into it because it is right on the point.
Mr. Knight said that he believes Mr. Perdue has over done the entire project.
A discussion continued among the Commission members regarding the submerged dock. Molly Gallagher said that the Dock Doctors told her that they were planning on moving the submerged rock and Molly informed them that they would need a permit but she hasn’t heard anything back from them yet regarding that.
Laura Bibler asked if they, the Dock Doctors, were referring to just the large rock being removed or the underwater stone wall.
Molly Gallagher said that she believes mention was only made about the large rock. Molly asked Laura Bibler to point out where the stone wall is located.
Tom Hall explained Laura Bibler that a permit would need to be obtained from the Department of Environmental Conservation to move the large rock.
Laura Bibler asked if she would be notified for public comment. Tom Hall said that she wouldn’t necessarily be notified. He said that generally, if the project is minor it doesn’t get sent out for public comment. He said that if this is something that she is interested in she should contact DEC in Warrensburg.
Mr. Knight had a discussion with the Commission members regarding the rock.
Miriam Knight said that the financial impact that she sees with this project is that it will have an impact on the pollution of the water. She said that many of the people who live there drink the water and have never had a problem but they would have to dig wells and this would be a huge financial burden.
New Wharf Construction submitted by Patricia Portela — Continued
Mike Hill, attorney for Patricia Portela thanked the Commission for giving him an opportunity to speak again. He said that the first thing he would like to address is the accretion that has occurred on his clients property. He said that the sediments carried down from Foster Brook have caused this to occur over several years. He said that Foster Brook has carried down a very heavy sediment load.
Mr. Hill mentioned the letter that Mrs. Hess referred to from OGS. He said that the letter states that the upland owner of property where accretion has occurred gets the benefit of the accretion. He said that this means that the area that has accreted, accreted to the Portela property. He said that this property is owned by Portela and Gorman.
Mr. Hill spoke of the mentioned OGS regulations and laws regarding head land to head land and shoreline measurements.
Mr. Hill also spoke of an iron pipe that his surveyor had looked for but could not find. He said that the surveyor also took a sensing device that senses metal but still couldn’t find the pipe. He also said that this device can find pipes that are buried down 24"-30". He said that a diligent attempt was made to find the pipe but it was not located. Mr. Hill said that regardless of whether there is an iron pipe there or not the accretion that has occurred supercedes the iron pipe survey marker or any other marker that might be there.
Mr. Hill said again that the accretion that has occurred is the property of the Portela’s.
A discussion continued among the Commission members and Mr. Hill, attorney for Patricia Portela, regarding a picture taken in 1997, accretion that had occurred before the property was purchased, and the type of dock that is being proposed.
Mr. Hill also made mention of the possibility of dredging in the future. He said that the Portela’s have no plans on applying for a crib dock.
Mrs. Hess spoke again, very briefly, stating that the map that was referred to was made 6 months after they purchased their property. She said that their pipe was in the ground at that time. She said with allowed time she can get that map for the Commission. She said that the pipe was there when her land was purchased.
Mrs. Hess said that Patrick Gorman built a jetty and a complaint was filed 2 years later when someone finally had the courage to turn him in. Mrs. Hess said that the jetty was built for his advantage to change the flow of the water. This caused further accretion on their property.
Mrs. Hess said that she has many pictures of Patrick Gorman moving the rocks and she has pictures of him with a wheel barrow filled with rocks that he has moved away from the lake.
Mr. Hill said that the photo demonstrates the fact that the accretion had already occurred at that time.
Mr. Hill said that he doesn’t know anything about the complaints brought against Patrick Gorman. He said that he is here representing the applicants only on the dock application. He said that he would be happy to answer any more questions the Commission members may have.
Item #3 - Fiscal Actions Report: Peggy Stevens
Vice-Chairman Conerty said that the January 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 Joan Robertson, all members present voting affirmatively, the Fiscal Actions Report was approved as submitted.
Resolution 2006-09 — Replacement Motor for Marine Patrol
John McDonald read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-09 for a replacement motor for the Marine Patrol. The motion was seconded by Thomas Morhouse and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the Lake George Park Commission’s Enforcement Committee has reviewed the status of the Marine Patrol equipment for the 2006 season, and
WHEREAS the Committee has identified the need for a one (1) 200 horsepower replacement outboard engine, and
WHEREAS the mission of the Commission requires the continued operation of the Marine Patrol, and this outboard engine is essential to that operation at its present level, and
WHEREAS Commission staff has prepared a purchase requisition and single source justification for a replacement outboard engine.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission is hereby authorized to allocate funds not exceeding ten thousand six hundred fifty three dollars ($10,653.) in total for the purchase of a replacement outboard engine, and
FURTHER RESOLVES that the Executive Director is authorized to execute a purchase order for such replacement outboard engine consistent with the findings and requirements of the State Finance Law and the Office of General Services Procurement Guidelines.
Resolution 2006-17 — Additional Postage — Pitney Bowes
John Pettica read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-17 which was seconded by Joan Robertson and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the Lake George Park Commission sends out Applications to Annually register Docks, Moorings and Boats, and
WHEREAS over 10,000 applications will be mailed, and
WHEREAS to process the mailings of these notices additional postage is needed, and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Chairman is hereby authorized to approve the payment not to exceed $5,000 for Pitney Bowes for additional postage to process and mail Annual Applications for the 2006 season.
Item #4 - Adoption and Implementation of An Updated Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Plan: Michael P. White
Michael White said that it has occurred to him recently that it has been twenty years since Eurasian Watermilfoil control had first been undertaken on Lake George. He said that the Lake George Park Commission has continuously operated the program for eleven seasons now. He said that the plan that we followed, up to this point, is in need for some updating. He said that the draft plan was released for public comment for a period of 60 days, we only received one comment letter.
Michael White said that having a plan puts us in a better position to pursue grant funding that is becoming available through a couple of different sources so we want to make sure that we have an updated plan and a good budget for what that would cost where our methods are well reasoned and explained and to also have considered the potential environmental impacts of going ahead in that away.
Michael White said that the Park Commission has distributed and reviewed the plan and the public comments, prepared an evaluation under the State Environmental Quality Review Act and the adoption of the plan.
Michael White said that the adoption of the negative declaration under SEQRA is a matter of resolution that the Commission members have.
Resolution 2006-10 — Updated Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Plan
Thomas Conerty asked Joan to read the resolution. Joan read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-10 which was seconded by Thomas Morhouse and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the Commission has entered into a delegation agreement with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for authority to manage invasive aquatic species in Lake George including Eurasian Watermilfoil, and
WHEREAS the Commission has been engaged since 1986 in Eurasian Watermilfoil Management activities and has provided for a regular program against milfoil continuously since 1995, and
WHEREAS the Commission adopted a Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Plan in 1996 and has followed the plan so much as possible allowing for limitations of available funds, and
WHEREAS the plan needs to be updated to reflect current conditions and available methods and the Commission desires that it’s actions going forward are in accordance with a well reasoned set of objectives and logical sequence of steps, and
WHEREAS the Commission retained Dr. Kenneth Wagner of ENSR International who prepared a draft Updated Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Plan, and
WHEREAS the Commission has provided an opportunity for public comment and discussions of the plan, and
WHEREAS the Commission has given notice of this action to involved agencies pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and is the Lead Agency pursuant to SEQRA, and
WHEREAS the Commission has reviewed a draft Negative Declaration
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission adopts the Updated Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Plan (attached) and determines that this action will not have a significant effect on the environment, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission directs that the Negative Declaration be notice in accordance with 6 NYCRR 617 and that the final Updated Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Plan be made available to the public.
AYES 8 NAYS 0 ABSTENTIONS 0
DATE ADOPTED February 28, 2006
1. Joan Robertson
2. Thomas Morhouse
All Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve resolution.
Item #5 - Law Enforcement Committee Report: Thomas K. Conerty
Vice-Chairman Conerty said that there was an enforcement meeting and he called upon Lt. Schneider to give the report.
Lt. Schneider discussed the 2005 Annual Marine Patrol Report. He said they also discussed their on-going radio repeater problems, navigation law school and intoxicated boater recognition program which one of his officers was able to attend and was certified in.
Lt. Schneider said that they did have an executive session where they spoke about on-going, active enforcement cases.
Thomas Conerty commended Lt. Schneider on a job well done on the 2005 Annual Marine Patrol Report.
Resolution 2006-16 — Law Enforcement Report
John McDonald read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-16 which was seconded by Thomas Hall and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the Law Enforcement Committee met February 28, 2006 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.
Resolution 2006-18 — Acceptance the 2005 Annual Marine Patrol Report
John McDonald read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-18 which was seconded by James Kneeshaw and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the primary mission of the Lake George Park Commission’s Marine Patrol is to ensure the safety of all users of Lake George and to protect the lake’s bountiful resources, and
WHEREAS the Director of Law Enforcement has submitted the Lake George Park Commission Annual Marine Patrol Report for the 2005 year, and
WHEREAS the Law Enforcement Committee recommends acceptance of this report.
NOW THEREFORE BE IS RESOLVED
that the Commission accepts the report of the Annual Marine Patrol Report for 2005.
Item #6 - Project Review Resolutions: Joan A. Robertson
Resolution 2006-11 — Acceptance of the Project Review Report
Joan Robertson read and moved to approve the Project Review Report which was seconded by Thomas Hall. All Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
Resolution 2006-12 — Patricia Portela
Molly Gallagher said that she would like the Commission to hear from counsel on this application. Molly said when a variance is required we always want to hear from, Martin Auffredou, Commission counsel.
Molly Gallagher said that if the Commission members are leaning towards approval of the Portela application she would like to recommend that they require more information. She said that we need a copy of the deeds of both Portela and Hess and a survey of the Hess property if it is available. Molly said once we receive these items a copy should be forwarded to OGS. She said they are very good at figuring these things out and they could offer their opinion on who owns the property in question.
Molly Gallagher said that she has provided both an resolution to deny and a resolution to approve the application.
Martin Auffredou, Commission counsel, said that he agrees with Molly on the issue with accretion. He said that it would be a good idea to forward the information we have to OGS. He said that he also thinks that their letter is very helpful in what they provide. He said that when he looks at this, what he is looking for is the rational basis position, what is the Commission able to defend by rational basis. Martin said that he thinks the OGS position on this and how we conclude the 32 feet through OGS is clearly a rational basis and he is comfortable with saying this. He said this doesn’t mean this is in concert with the deed or the tax map. He said he can only conclude based upon the appraisal that it is very likely that the tax bill says 20 feet. He said that the reason he says this is because in two (2) locations the appraiser indicated that there is 20 feet of lake frontage in her appraisal. He said in his experience appraisers typically review tax records and assessment records. He said although she doesn’t indicate where she discovered this information his guess is that the assessment is based upon 20 feet of lake frontage. He said that this doesn’t mean that the Commission can’t determine that they have 32 feet of lake frontage or 46 feet of lake frontage.
John McDonald asked if the Commission has ever used accretion as a means of allowing lake front in the past.
Martin Auffredou said that he doesn’t know that answer. Molly Gallagher said that this is the first time she has encountered it. Martin said that OGS recognizes it as an available methodology.
Martin Auffredou said that he would have to agree with Attorney Hill’s understanding of the law regarding the upland issue. Martin also said that in his view they do need a variance.
Martin said the real question here is, is there enough room on this property for a dock?
Martin continued a discussion with the Commission members regarding financial, unique and peculiar circumstances.
Tom Conerty said that he believes the property is too small. He said it just doesn’t seem to be a fit.
Joan Robertson concurred with Tom and said that she also believes that there is not enough space on the property for a dock. She said there is not enough room for a side set back and that not everyone can have a dock.
Thomas Hall agreed with Joan about the size of the lot and it’s ability to accommodate a dock. He also said that he looked at the use of the dock which would be to keep a 14 foot sailboat. He said that the sailboat can easily be pulled up on shore and that this should be adequate. He said that a 40 foot dock does not make sense for a 14 ½ foot sail boat. He also said that the financial hardship case hasn’t been made.
Roger Phinney said that there are several pieces of property on the lake that have docks with only 30 feet of lake frontage. He said that he thought these docks were all grandfathered. Roger said that it does seem to be a very shallow and unusual spot to put a dock. He said it appears to be one of those spots that you can’t put a dock, especially a dock that is 40 feet long.
John McDonald said that he agrees with what everyone else has said and that Patricia Portela knew what the property was and the hardships that came with it when they purchased it and it seems to him that if it was a need rather than a want then they would have come before the Commission years ago.
John Pettica said that putting in a dock to satisfy a want is not valid in this case. John referred to a picture of several small camps that appear to have more frontage and don’t have a dock either. He said that sometimes when you buy a smaller camp you just can’t have a dock.
James Kneeshaw asked Molly about the many docks on the lake that have a very small amount of lake frontage but have docks. He asked Molly if they were grandfathered before the regulatory process of the Commission.
Molly Gallagher said yes, if they were constructed prior to the adoption of the Commission’s regulation. A discussion continued involving under-sized parcels on the lake and the concept of accretion.
Thomas Morhouse said that he is against this project for all of the reasons previously stated by fellow Commission members. He asked Molly Gallagher if the Lake George Association had plans to dredge this area. He said if they do have plans to dredge does the homeowner have to give consent for the dredging to be done and is the whole accretion formula readjusted.
Michael P. White said that dredging in the generic sense is the subject of an Environmental Impact Statement for which the Commission is a Lead Agency and sponsored by the LGA with State funds. He noted that other groups are involved as well.
He said that the approach taken by the drafters of that impact statement was to look at certain stream mouths on a specific basis to develop conceptual plans but also to explain how these techniques can be used virtually anywhere on the lake where there is a need.
Michael White said that Foster Brook was one that was identified in that impact statement as proposed for dredging. He said that there is a second phase of review that is going on in terms of the evaluation of the actual physical and chemical content of the materials and that it is important to understand in determining how they would be dealt with in terms of their removal and processing and handling after that. He said in these conceptual designs, limits are shown and typically the limit would be of the area of private land, upland of the mean-low water mark and the down slope side of the mean-low water mark would be the State land and something with the appropriate permits, the town or another government organization could get permission to remove without the owners permission, however, it is expected that there will be an opportunity to invite participation by willing owners who will benefit, if they so desire, from removal from material from along their docks or frontage that has accumulated.
He said that he doesn’t have a date on when or if this will actually happen, it is very much up in the air.
Resolution 2006-12 — Patricia Portela
Joan Robertson read the resolution and made a motion to deny the permit which was seconded by Thomas Morhouse and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the applicant has applied for a permit to construct a new 40' long, 4' wide straight, stake supported dock; 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 that the project is an unlisted action pursuant to 6NYCRR 617.5 and has made a determination that the project will have no significant impact on the environment; and
WHEREAS the action is considered to be a Major project pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-5.3 and public notice has been published and distributed as required; and
WHEREAS the applicant has requested variance from 6 NYCRR 646-1.1(c):
(7) The maximum number of docks, wharfs or moorings permitted per lakefront lot or parcel shall be limited as follows: (i) Forty-five to sixty-five feet of lakefront - one dock or wharf constructed as a straight pier (a minimum of forty-five feet is required for the construction of a wharf); and
(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; and
WHEREAS the Commission finds that the application is deficient of facts and circumstances that would support a conclusion that there would be no reasonable return on the applicant’s investment in the property following conformance with the regulations; and
WHEREAS the Commission has inspected the proposed location of the dock and found that the construction of a new dock on this narrow parcel would result in congestion of the area; and
WHEREAS the variance requested is substantial and the practice of authorizing docks on such a limited frontage is contrary to the goal of the dock permit program to reduce congestion and overcrowding.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Lake George Park Commission hereby
directs staff to issue a notice of intent to deny the request for variance and to offer the applicant an opportunity to request a public hearing.
Resolution 2006-13 — Carole Reale
Joan Robertson read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-13 which was seconded
by Thomas Morhouse and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
Before Resolution 2006-13 was passed, the Commission members added the following two conditions; that the mooring will be removed and will not be replaced and no more than 5 vessels regardless of ownership shall be kept at the docking facility.
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 that the project is an Unlisted action pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act 6NYCRR 617.5 and, as Lead Agency for the purposes of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, has made a determination that the project will have no significant impact on the environment; and
WHEREAS the action is considered to be a Major project pursuant to 6 NYCRR 645-5.3 and public notice has been published and distributed as required; and
WHEREAS the applicant has applied for a permit to operate a Class A Marina offering up to 3 berthing spaces; and
WHEREAS the applicant has demonstrated that the facility complies with the Class A Marina requirements of 6 NYCRR 646-1.2; 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 resolves to approve the above application, with the following conditions:
No more than five vessels regardless of ownership shall be kept on the dock at this facility.
The existing mooring that has been removed shall not be replaced.
Resolution 2006-14 — Lake George, LLC
Joan Robertson read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-14 which was seconded by James Kneeshaw and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the applicant has applied for a permit for stormwater management; 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 that the project is an unlisted action pursuant to 6NYCRR 617.5 and as Lead Agency has made a determination that the project will have no significant impact on the environment; and
WHEREAS the action is considered to be a Major project pursuant to 6NYCRR 645-5.3 and public notice has been published and distributed as required; and
WHEREAS the Commission finds that the project meets the design requirements and performance standards set forth in ECL Section 43-0112, 6NYCRR 646-4.17(b); and
WHEREAS the Commission finds that the project will not have an undue adverse impact on the health, safety and welfare of the public or on the resources of the Lake George Park and will not lead to a diminution of water quality, an increase in erosion, or an increase in stormwater runoff from the site either during or following construction; and
WHEREAS the Commission finds that the stormwater control measures proposed for the proposed project will function as designed and that such measures represent the best possible methods and procedures for controlling stormwater runoff that is feasible and practicable at the particular project site; and
WHEREAS the Commission finds that adequate and sufficient measures have been taken to ensure accountability and responsibility over the life of the project should the stormwater control measures not function as intended, fail, or suffer from inadequate maintenance to ensure its proper functioning; and
WHEREAS the Commission finds that the proposed project will not contribute to flooding, siltation or streambank erosion and will not result in any increase, directly or indirectly, in pollution to Lake George or its tributaries from stormwater runoff.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
The Lake George Park Commission hereby approves the above application as proposed with the following conditions:
1. Individual Stormwater Management permits will be required for individual lots where site plans deviate from the approved plans.
2. The permittee shall keep this permit active until all lots have been sold.
3. Deed language for individual lots as approved by Commission Counsel must be incorporated into individual deeds as lots are sold.
Prior to issuance of the permit the applicant will be required to file the following with the Warren County Clerk's offices:
A "Declaration of Restrictions" for lot 11 relative to development of the parcel and maintenance of the stormwater control structures, as approved by counsel.
Martin Auffredou said that if there is anything that comes up in the restrictions that requires the attention of the Commission members he will bring them up at the next Commission meeting.
Thomas Morhouse asked Molly Gallagher how significant the comments were that came into the office regarding traffic impacts in the area.
Molly Gallagher said that the Commission acted as Lead Agency for this project and had to take into consideration all of the potential impacts which includes traffic impacts as well as impacts on the stream. She said that impacts to the stream would be minimal because there is a 100 foot buffer and the traffic impact would also be minimal. Molly added that the tree clearing is also very minimal. She said she would not be surprised if the homeowners come back and ask for a permit to remove more trees because the trees will be close to their homes.
Resolution 2006-15 — Mitchell Perdue
Joan Robertson said that after looking at the maps she thought the property was larger but when she went to the site she realized that it was not a large piece of property at all. She said that the 16' high dock would not be too prominent but at the same time the dock that was presented is much too large and should be cut in half. Joan said that the dock presented is just overpowering. She said that the potentially illegal docks must also be taken care of first.
Thomas Hall said that he is basically along the same lines as Joan. He said that looking at the pictures and at the drawings, the bay will not support the number of docks and the size of the structure that is proposed. Mr. Hall said that he appreciates the fact that Mr. Perdue has asked for the Commission’s feedback but his feedback to Mr. Perdue would be to propose something smaller on the order of 50%.
Roger Phinney said that he had nothing new to add to the comments.
John McDonald said that he also agreed with all of the comments and had nothing further to add except for concerns of congestion.
John Pettica said that he has a real issue of the massive size of the dock complex compared to the size of the bay. He said that he doesn’t believe that the articulating dock on the point is very fitting for the surroundings and the environment.
Thomas Conerty said that a scaled back project would be necessary. He said that it is quite deceiving because the amount of lake frontage is tremendous and the size of the parcel is very small.
James Kneeshaw said that he concurred with all of the comments presented so far and had nothing further to add.
Thomas Morhouse said that it is very congested and there is a real safety issue. He also asked Thomas Hall about removing rocks from the bay as part of an application.
Thomas Hall said that the issue about riparian ownership would have to be worked out and to remove the rock from the water or to move the rock to a different location in the water would require a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation. He said that the method of rock removal would be up to the applicant. He said that the preferred option would be to leave the rock in the water.
Joan Robertson read Resolution 2006-15 to table the application pending further information and review which was seconded by Roger Phinney and all Commission members present voted affirmatively.
WHEREAS the Project Review Committee has reviewed the application, supporting documents, comments received and other information which appears in the record; and
WHEREAS the applicant has requested that the application be tabled to allow an opportunity to provide additional information or revised plans;
Therefore, The Lake George Park Commission hereby resolves to table this application until the April meeting.
Item # 7 - Water Quality Programs Report: J. Thomas Wardell
Tom Wardell said that the Lake George Park Commission received the Hydro money.
He said we received about 2 ½%.
Tom Wardell also discussed the fact that we haven’t had any snow for quite some time.
He said that with all of the rainfall there have been a lot of erosion problems.
Mr. Wardell also said that several enforcement cases have been completed and are
now closed. He also spoke about the Highway Training project he is working on with Chris Navitsky.
Mr. Wardell said that the lake level at Rogers Rock is 3.37.
Item #8 - Invasive Species Prevention Program Update: Andrea Maranville
Andrea Maranville said that she sent a packet to the Commission members which included a summary of invasive species including Alewife which has been detected in
Northern Lake Champlain. She said that it is very interesting because it is in such a close proximity to us and has a close connection with Lake George. She said that she would like to discuss this fish with the members in the near future and possibly discuss outreach to the public.
Andrea Maranville said that if anyone has any questions that she would be happy to answer them.
Item #9 - Adoption of Final Scope — Westbrook Stormwater Management Facility: Michael P. White
Michael P. White introduced the staff involved in this project. He said that the staff team involved is Andrea Maranville, Molly Gallagher, and Tom Wardell.
Mr. White said that the Commission is a Lead Agency for what was originally a project to acquire the Charles Wood Foundation property. He said that last month he asked the Commission for an appropriation to retain a consulting company, ENSR, to get help defining the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement to refine our work plan and bid documents so that we would have a much more pointed and less costly EIS to prepare.
Mr. White also discussed some changes that have occurred with the background of the project, overall. He also spoke of the purchase of the Charles Wood Foundation property.
Mr. White recommended that the Commission members adopt the Final Scope for the Westbrook project.
Thomas Morhouse read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-19 which was seconded by John McDonald and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the Commission is the Lead Agency for the West Brook Stormwater Facility project pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act; and
WHEREAS on July 26, 2005 the Commission issued a Positive Declaration for the project; and
WHEREAS On November 22, 2005 the Commission distributed a draft EIS scope for public comments with a comment due date of December 14, 2005; and
WHEREAS a final scope has been prepared;
Therefore be it resolved that the Lake George Park Commission hereby resolves to adopt the attached Final EIS Scoping Document for the West Brook Stormwater Facility.
Item #10 - Authorization of Display at Lake George Village Visitor Center: Michael P. White
Michael White said that the Park Commission was approached a couple of weeks ago by Mayor Blais who invited them to walk through the Lake George Village Visitor Center. Mr. White said that Mayor Blais has asked the Commission if they would like to participate in the program and said that he made some wall space available for the Lake George Park Commission to familiarize the public with Commission programs.
Roger Phinney read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-20 which was seconded by Joan Robertson and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the Lake George Village Visitor Center will incorporate a series of community and organizational displays to orient the public to our region, its values and its offerings, and
WHEREAS the Commission has been afforded an opportunity by the Village to participate by having a permanent display to familiarize the public with the Commission and its programs, and
WHEREAS the display will be an opportunity to better inform the public about such matters as invasive species, water recreation safety, water quality and other program interest areas.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission authorizes up to $3,000 for Shannon-Rose Design for the design of display images and text, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chair is authorized to enter into an agreement with the Village of Lake George to secure the display location and to make reimbursement to the Village for the cost of production and construction of the display, bonded over a five year period at a prevailing interest rate or upon such terms as the Village may prescribe for an annual expenditure not to exceed $2,000.
Ayes 8 Nays 0 Abstentions 0
Date adopted: February 28, 2006
1. Roger Phinney
2. Joan Robertson
All Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve Resolution 2006-20.
Item #11 - Public Comments
Matt Finley addressed the Commission members. He said that he wanted to commend the Commission staff on being so courteous. He also thanked the Marine Patrol for patrolling Basin Bay and said that they have enforced the 200 feet limit with regards to mooring.
Mr. Finley spoke about an application that will be submitted by Nate’s Bayshore Cottages. He said that the Park Commission should receive the application in April. He is asking that the Commission treat this application as a new application because the Finley family never had a chance to comment on the original application because his family never received the information.
Mr. Finley also commented on some of the issues he has with Nate’s Bayshore Cottages. He has questions regarding encroachment. He said that he has come into the office on two different occasions and has received two different answers as to what constitutes encroachment. Mr. Finley has recommended that the Lake George Park Commission develop a methodology on perpendicular lines.
Item #12 - Adjournment
There being no further business, on the motion of James Kneeshaw, seconded by
Roger Phinney, all Commission members present voting affirmatively, the meeting
was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.
Michelle D. Way Keyboard Specialist 1
Secretary’s Note: The next Commission meeting is scheduled for TUESDAY, April 25, 2006, 10:00 a.m. at the Holiday Inn, Canada Street, Lake George, NY.