Lake George Park Commission

Meeting #350

28 November 2006

Holiday Inn

Lake George, NY

Presiding:                    Bruce E. Young, Chair

Commission Members Present:    James T. Kneeshaw
                        Kenneth W. Parker
                        John A. Pettica, Jr.
                        Ronald S. Montesi
                        Thomas J. Morhouse
                        Thomas K. Conerty
                        Shauna M. DeSantis
                        Roger H. Phinney
                        John McDonald

Commission Members Absent:    Thomas Hall

Commission Staff Present:    Michael P. White, Executive Director
                        Joseph Schneider, Law Enforcement Director
                        Roger Smith, Conservation Operations Supervisor 1
                        Molly Gallagher, Environmental Analyst II
                        Michelle Way, Keyboard Specialist 1
                        Keith Fish, Director of Operations
                        Andrea L. Maranville, Director of Governmental & Community Affairs

Commission Counsel Present:    Martin Auffredou

Others Present:

Jeannette Nadeau        Normand Nadeau        Kim Bender            Barbara J. Ahern   
John Boltz            Madeline Farbman        Kathy Bozony        Chris Navitsky   
Stu Buchanan        Emily DeBolt        Walter Lender        Aaron Castelo
Joan Robertson        Maggie Stewart        David Cederstrom        Donna Passaretti
Timothy Holmes        Jen Miner            Sean Quirk            Mike Dier

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

The 350th meeting of the Lake George Park Commission was called to order by Chairman Young at 10:10 a.m. and the roll was taken.

Chairman 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 Shauna DeSantis, seconded by James Kneeshaw, all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.

Item #2 - Project Review — Public Comments On Pending Applications:  Molly Gallagher

Molly Gallagher read a prepared statement regarding the Project review Committee.  She then proceeded to introduce the application submitted by Donna Passaretti.

Molly Gallagher said that the Passaretti project is in the Town of Bolton at Hemlock Point.  She said that Donna Passaretti would like to extend her current dock by 10 feet to result in a 21' wide, 51' long wharf and said that a variance is required.

Chairman Young asked if anyone was present to speak for or against this project.  No one responded.

Item #3 — Fiscal Actions Report:  Peggy Stevens

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

On the motion of John McDonald, seconded by Thomas Morhouse, all members present voting affirmatively, the October Fiscal Actions Report was approved as submitted.

Item #4 — Project Review Resolutions

Resolution 2006-74 — Acceptance of the Project Review Report

Thomas Morhouse read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-74 which was seconded by Roger Phinney and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.

WHEREAS    the Commission has received and reviewed the Project Review Actions Report prepared by staff and dated November 13, 2006, and;

WHEREAS    the Project Review Committee recommends acceptance of the Project Review Actions Report.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission directs that the Project Review Actions Report be incorporated in the minutes of the full Commission meeting.

Resolution 2006-75 — Donna Passaretti

Chairman Young asked Molly Gallagher if the applicant, Donna Passaretti, had received approval from the Town of Bolton for a variance.

Molly Gallagher said that the Town of Bolton has not given approval for the variance at this time.
Martin Auffredou, Commission Counsel, said that it is not necessary for the applicant to have the approval from the Town of Bolton in order for the Commission to make their decision but he said that the Commission should be sure to let the applicant know that other permits may be needed from other agencies including local zoning.

Ronald Montesi said that their have been no complaints from any of the neighbors.  He said that this is a bay where the sand continually washes up making it impossible for the applicant to dock their boat without hitting bottom.

Mr. Montesi said that the applicant is seeking a 10 foot extension to their dock.  He said that it would only be a dock extension not an extension of the cover.

The Commission members continued to discuss concerns on how to justify this in terms of hardship.  They discussed the sand build up and wondered if that could be considered a unique and peculiar circumstance.

Donna Passaretti entered the meeting and asked if it would be appropriate for her to speak on behalf of her application.  She said that the water level is a little higher now than usual and that under normal circumstances her boat is on the lake bottom.

Ms. Passaretti discussed the fact that her dock was built in 1980 or 1981.  She said that she would be grateful for anything the Commission can do for her.  She also said that a portable dock extension would solve her problem.

Roger Phinney said that after reviewing some of the aerial photos he couldn’t help but notice that Ms. Passaretti’s dock is the shortest dock in the bay.

The Commission members continued to discuss the length of docks in the bay, depth of water in the bay and the implications of moving the dock to the center of the property.

The Commissioners decided that if would be a considerable financial hardship to have to move the dock.  They discussed the cost to move the dock, dredging concerns and the continual shallow water conditions.

Chairman Young asked Ms. Passaretti if she would be happy with a removable dock extension.  She responded by simply stating that she would be very happy with a removable dock.

The members continued to discuss the unique and peculiar conditions.  Thomas Morhouse addressed concerns he had with the resolution and asked to change some of the verbiage.

Chairman Young allowed for the change in the resolution and said that they would proceed with the next item on the agenda until the resolution was ready to be read.

Item #5 — Law Enforcement Committee Report:  Lieutenant Joseph Schneider

Thomas K. Conerty reported that there was an enforcement meeting and called upon Lieutenant Schneider to give his report.

Lt. Schneider said that he distributed a draft Annual Marine Patrol report and that they discussed the radio repeater upgrade.  He also said that the last patrol boat was removed from the water and that they have others that can be used if needed for an emergency.
Lt. Schneider said that there was an executive session where active enforcement cases were discussed.

Resolution 2006-76 — Law Enforcement Report

Thomas K. Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-76 which was seconded by James Kneeshaw and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.

WHEREAS    the Law Enforcement Committee met November 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.

Item #6 — Fiscal Year 2005-2006 Financial Statement Review: Michael P. White 

Thomas K. Conerty read resolution 2006-73.  Ron Montesi moved to approve Resolution 2006-73 which was then seconded by Thomas Conerty and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.

WHEREAS    the Lake George Park Commission has established an Internal Control Program, one component of which is an annual review that includes: an evaluation of internal controls; testing for adherence to those controls; and a review of the financial statements provided to management and the public, and

WHEREAS    the Commission desires to complete the review for the twelve month period ending March 31, 2006, and

WHEREAS    the Commission has examined the proposal by Loftus, Ross + Company, P.C. for price reasonableness and has acknowledged that retaining a provider with prior experience with the Commission provides continuity of the control program, cost savings and strengthens the quality of the review results, and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Lake George Park Commission authorizes the Executive Director to retain Loftus, Ross + Company, P.C. to perform a review of financial statements and review of internal controls in accordance with the attached engagement letter for an amount not to exceed $3,280.
Item #7 — Invasive Species Prevention Program Report:  Andrea L. Maranville

Andrea Maranville addressed the Commission members and said that she has draft post-season survey results pending comments for the Participating Business Program.  She said that these results will be distributed next month.

Andrea Maranville discussed a special newsletter that will be in the December issue of the Lake George Mirror.  She also discussed the Adirondack Park ANS Management Plan Steering Committee and asked anyone who is interested in learning more to please let her.

Chairman Young called for a short break and said that the meeting would reconvene starting with Project Review.
Project Review Continued

Thomas Morhouse read resolution 2006-75 and moved to approve which was seconded by James Kneeshaw and all Commission members present voting affirmatively to approve the resolution.

WHEREAS    the applicant has applied for a permit to extend the piers of an existing U-shaped wharf by 10'; and

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

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

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

WHEREAS    the applicant has requested variance from 6 NYCRR 646-1.1(c)(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:

        This is a legally constructed dock that is unuseable.  Moving the dock would be a financial burden and would be environmentally disruptive due to the extremely shallow water conditions in the area and would result in a more obtrusive dock.
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 financial, technological and safety burdens of conformance with the regulations are significant and the burden imposed on the applicant and the public are not proportionate to any public purpose served by strict compliance with the rules and, the strict application of the rules would result in an inequity which creates an unnecessary financial hardship to the applicant; and

WHEREAS    the Commission finds that the project represents the minimum necessary variance required to alleviate the hardship; and in addition there is no feasible access for dredging.  It is this combination of factors that leads to a unique and peculiar circumstance and would result in a hardship.

WHEREAS    the Commission finds that the proposed project is reasonable and necessary and will not cause unreasonable, uncontrolled, or unnecessary damage to the natural resources of the state, including soils, forests, water, fish, shellfish, crustaceans and aquatic and land-related environment; 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.

        The Lake George Park Commission hereby approves the request for variance and approves the above application, as proposed with the following modifications:
            Extension is to be stake supported.

Item #8 — Final Water-Based Recreation Study Plan Report:  Holmes & Associates

Timothy Holmes of Holmes & Associates presented a report on the Draft Final Water-based Recreation Study Plan.  He said that the report can be found on his website at  He said that he hopes that the report will be finalized by Christmas.

Mr. Holmes said that much of the work done was heavily driven by the stakeholder comments and the public comments received.

Mr. Holmes said that the number one issue is water quality.  He also stated that there is a need for more public information to be posted on the Commission website.

Mr. Holmes continued to discuss numerous aspects of the report which can be found on the Holmes & Associates website.  Some of the issues discussed were congestion on the lake particularly how much acreage each boat should be allowed, public launches and boater noise.

Item #9 — Public Comments

Lake George Association

No comments.

Lake George Watershed Conference

Not present.

The FUND for Lake George, Inc.

Not Present.

Lake George Waterkeeper

Christopher Navitsky addressed the Commission members and spoke about a stormwater report he sent to the members in regards to the Nextel Stormwater Facility.  Mr. Navitsky said that he believes that the stormwater control measures were not built in accordance with the permit plans.  He said that the control measures were built undersized.

Mr. Navitsky also spoke of a meeting he attended in Bolton Landing regarding the definition of disturbance.  Mr. Navitsky said that a public hearing was held in regards to what disturbance is.  He said that Bolton in considering taking out the term vegetative removal and he said that he would hate to see the Town lessen the impact of the regulations.


Aaron Costello of the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA) addressed the Commission members and said that PWIA represent the manufacturers of PWC’s.  He spoke about the many new safety initiatives with regard to PWC’s and the reason that most of the newer models are quieter than they were originally, they are made heavier so that they sit in the water more.

Mr. Costello went on to offer their Association as a resource to the Park Commission.

Item #8 — Adjournment

There being no further business, on the motion of Thomas Conerty, seconded by James Kneeshaw, all Commission members present voting affirmatively, the meeting was adjourned.

                        Respectfully submitted,

                        Michelle D. Way
                        Keyboard Specialist 1

Secretary’s Note:    The next Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 19, 2006, 10:00 a.m. at the Fort William Henry Conference Center, Lake George, NY.