Presiding: Bruce E. Young, Chair
Commission Members Present: Thomas K. Conerty Thomas J. Morhouse Roger H. Phinney Thomas W. Hall John A. Pettica, Jr. Kenneth W. Parker Shauna M. DeSantis James T. Kneeshaw
Commission Members Absent: John C. McDonald, Jr.
Commission Staff Present: Michael P. White, Executive Director Roger R. Smith, Conservation Operations Supervisor II Molly Gallagher, Environmental Analyst II Michelle D. Way, Keyboard Specialist 1 Keith Fish, Operation’s Director
Commission Counsel Present: Martin Auffredou
Jeffrey Meyer Mary Alice Leary Tony Hall Carole Wentz Tamara Chomiak E. T. Flood Kathy Bozony Melissa Lescault John Caffry Bob Ball David Ball Robert Ball Rick Gage Jason Saris Richard Bell Andrea Maranville Dan Behan Frank Parillo Edward Carey Michael Stafford Ann Pearson
Item #1 - Introductions, Roll Call, Minutes of Previous Meeting: Bruce E. Young
The 360th 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. He asked if there were any corrections or submissions. There were none.
On the motion of Roger Phinney, seconded by Thomas Morhouse, all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.
Item #2 — Fiscal Actions Report: Peggy Stevens
Chairman Young said that the September Fiscal Actions Report was distributed with the meeting package to all of the Commission members for their review. He asked if there were any questions on the report. There were none.
On the motion of Thomas Conerty, seconded by Roger Phinney, all members present voting affirmatively, the September Fiscal Actions Report was approved as submitted.
Item #3 — Project Review — Public Comments on Pending Applications and Project Review Resolutions: Molly Gallagher
Molly Gallagher read from a prepared statement (attached) regarding Project Review procedures. Commissioner Young spoke about the Project Review portion of the meeting.
Resolution 2007- 69 — Acceptance of Project Review Actions Report
Thomas Morhouse read and moved to approve resolution 2007-69 which was seconded by Roger Phinney and all members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the Commission has received and reviewed the Project Review Actions Report prepared by staff and dated October 5, 2007.
WHEREAS the Project Review Committee recommends acceptance of this month’s Project Review Report.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission directs that the Project Review Report be incorporated in full in the minutes of the full Commission meeting.
Modification of an Existing Wharf submitted by Barbara Johnson, Town of Hague, County of Warren
Molly Gallagher introduced the project. She said that this project was looked at, at a past meeting.
Molly Gallagher said that the applicant is seeking a permit for a 30' long, 22'4" wide, U-shaped articulating dock. She said that the project meets all design requirements but was brought to the Commission for approval based on visual impact concerns brought up by a neighbor.
Chairman Young asked if anyone was present to speak on behalf of the project.
Gene Flood spoke on behalf of the project. He said that he is Barbara Johnson’s son-in-law. He said that he has prepared some notes from a letter that was sent to the office on October 14, 2007.
Gene Flood spoke about the access to the water, he also spoke about the size and shape of the dock and the number of people that will be using the dock. He said that they were originally proposing to place the dock on the southern side but it is very mucky and is not suitable for swimming.
Mr. Flood submitted photos of Bass Bay to the Commission members which show that there are a number of dock structures that are consistent with the dock structure they are proposing. He said that during the winter months there are not many full time residents and it is not a fisherman’s paradise.
Mr. Flood said that the dock structure that they have chosen is actually quite beautiful. He said that it is well made, it is of great quality and will be placed in the water by a professional.
Thomas Morhouse asked Mr. Flood about some of the large rocks that are depicted in the panoramic photo.
A discussion continued regarding water depth, dock usage and stake docks versus articulating docks.
John Pettica asked Mr. Flood why they did not choose to go with a stake dock. Mr. Flood said that they could use a stake dock but the work involved with taking it down and re-building it each year is really unnecessary.
A discussion followed.
John Caffry spoke against the project on behalf of the Ball family. Mr. Caffry said that photos were filed with the Commission.
Mr. Caffry spoke about and referred to the photos of the many docks in the area. Mr. Caffry said that there are alternatives that have not been looked into. He spoke about the old cribbing that is present.
Mr. Caffry said that he was hoping that there were going to be more changes from the Johnson’s since the last meeting. Mr. Caffry said that as it is currently proposed the project does not follow Commission regulations and guidelines.
David Ball spoke against the project. He thanked the Commission for the opportunity to speak and for going over the project. He said that he and his family still remain open to compromise.
David Ball said that he and his family believe that there is a significant adverse visual impact with the articulating dock.
Mr. Ball said that he has invited Barbara Johnson to sit on their porch with his family so that she can see the area from their point of view.
Mr. Ball spoke about the fact that there are several homes in Bass Bay that are set up for winter use and many that are used during the winter months.
Roger Phinney asked Mr. Ball when the visual impact is the greatest. Mr. Ball said that the dock would directly impact them the most in the summer months.
A discussion regarding photo K continued. Photo K was taken just south of Gull Bay on the east side of the lake - near Arcady on September 30, 2007.
Chairman Young asked if anyone else is present to speak on the project. There was no response.
Thomas Hall said that he is influenced by the fact that the project is in full conformance with Commission regulations. He also said that he does not see any undue visual impacts when the dock is in the down position. He added that the only concern that he does have is the articulating dock in the up position during the winter months.
Thomas Hall said that overall the impact on the structure is not enough for him to deny.
James Kneeshaw said that the view from the Ball property is absolutely beautiful. He said that he does not see any visual impacts and believes that the application is in order.
Thomas Conerty said that he is not particularly fond of articulating docks but he is in favor of this project.
John Pettica said that he has a problem with the articulation of the dock. He said that he would vote it down because it will change the character of the bay.
Shauna DeSantis said that she agrees with John Pettica.
Roger Phinney spoke about the Dock Doctor’s cantilever dock system or the possibility of using floaters on the dock. He also said that Barbara Johnson has a right to put in a larger dock.
Kenneth Parker said that he would support the project because it is allowed but he is not fond of the articulating docks.
Thomas Morhouse said that we would all like a pristine view but that is just not possible. He said that he would vote in favor of the project.
Bruce Young spoke about the grandfathering of dock structures and said that he would vote in favor of the project.
Chairman Young asked Martin Auffredou, “If we focus on the articulation of the dock what does this do to the future?”
Martin Auffredou said that each dock will have to be looked at separately and individually.
A discussion followed among the Commission members, John Caffry, Gene Flood and the Ball family. They discussed the appeals process and dock configurations.
John Pettica made a motion to table the application which was seconded by Shauna DeSantis. A roll call vote was taken.
Ayes: (6) T. Hall, J. Pettica, S. DeSantis, R. Phinney, K. Parker, and B. Young Nays: (3) T. Morhouse, J. Kneeshaw, and T. Conerty
The motion to table the application has been passed.
Chairman Young said that the reason the application was tabled was to give the applicant the opportunity to come up with alternative solutions.
John Pettica said that from his stand point with all of the technological abilities out there, there should be a way to place the dock in such a way that it would be less intrusive and more pleasing.
Shauna DeSantis agrees with John Pettica.
Roger Phinney said that he does not want things to be misconstrued. “Articulating docks are allowed.”
Kenneth Parker said that everyone said it well.
Chairman Young said that he does not think that the alternatives were explored.
Modification of an Existing Class A Marina submitted by McNulty, Sprague and Russell, Town of Bolton, County of Warren
Molly Gallagher introduced the project. She said that the Park Commission coordinated Lead Agency with the Town of Bolton.
Don Russell spoke on behalf of the project. He said that his wife and her family own the subject property. He said that the Town of Bolton did a thorough review and declared this project as a negative declaration. He said that he would be happy to answer any questions the members may have.
Jeffrey Meyer spoke against the project. He said that he was present at the Town Board meeting. Mr. Meyer said that he is completely surprised with the lack of review that this application has undergone at the Town level.
Jeffrey Meyer said that he has filed to receive a copy of the Town Board minutes and resolutions but had yet to receive the documents.
Mr. Meyer said that he reviewed Molly Gallagher’s letter regarding what questions the Commission are looking to have answered. He said that the Town Board failed to answer many of the inaccuracies.
Mr. Meyer said that Lake George is a Critical Environmental Area and many of the issues were dismissed and were completely unaddressed. Some of the items that were not discussed were the health concerns, safety concerns and the character of the existing community. Mr. Meyer said that there was no visual EAF performed.
Mr. Meyer said that he would like the Lake George Park Commission to have the applicant answer many of the unanswered questions.
Mr. Meyer said that the application should be denied based on the fact that the bay has been crowded and is very congested, many stormwater issues and parking issues. He said that this lot is undersized and has already reached its carrying capacity.
Chairman Young asked Martin Auffredou to speak regarding the matters just presented.
Martin Auffredou said that the Commission should not be making any determinations on this project until they receive the documents from the Town of Bolton.
A discussion followed.
Thomas Morhouse made a motion to table the application which was seconded by John Pettica and all members present voted affirmatively.
The motion to table the application has been passed.
Modification of an Existing Class A Marina submitted by Performance Marine Services, Inc.
Molly Gallagher introduced the project. She said that the owners Jason Saris and Richard Gage would like to construct an 85' x 45' storage building to cover an area where boats are already kept.
Jason Saris said that he and his partner are the owners and operators of the marina. He said that they would like to construct this building so that boats would be under cover to keep them from snow and ice damage during the winter months and to keep them under cover from the sun during the summer months.
Mr. Saris said that the project did go through the site plan review and was approved by the Town of Bolton.
A discussion followed regarding the history of the marina and stormwater permits and deep pit tests that were performed.
Ann Pearson spoke on behalf of the project. She said that she lives adjacent to the marina and is concerned that the stormwater management facilities are not going to be adequate. She said that she wants to make sure that her property is not adversely affected.
Thomas Morhouse said that he does not see why this project can not be approved.
Kenneth Parker said that this is a good addition to a good marina and he would vote to approve it.
Roger Phinney agrees with Kenneth Parker.
Shauna DeSantis said that she would vote to approve the project.
John Pettica said that he would vote to approve based on staff review of the stormwater plans.
Thomas Conerty, James Kneeshaw, Thomas Hall and Bruce Young would all vote to approve the project based on staff review of the stormwater plans.
Thomas Morhouse read and moved to approve the resolution which was seconded by Roger Phinney and all Commission members present voted affirmatively.
WHEREAS the applicant has applied for a permit to modify an existing Class A Marina by constructing an 85' x 45' boat storage building; 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 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 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 as proposed.
Item #4 — Law Enforcement Committee Report: Michael P. White
Michael White said that the Law Enforcement Committee met today and discussed active law enforcement cases. Michael White said that the Lieutenant position will be filled by Thomas Caifa who has had over ten years of experience as an Environmental Conservation Officer.
Thomas Conerty read and moved to approve the Law Enforcement report which was seconded by James Kneeshaw and all Commission members voted affirmatively.
WHEREAS the Law Enforcement Committee met October 23, 2007 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 #5 — Stormwater Management Report: Michael P. White
Michael White said that the stormwater activities report was sent to the Commission members and also spoke about the contractual engineers hired by the Commission. He said that the contractual engineers have been a real asset to the Commission.
Item #6 — Adoption of Lake George Park Commission Budget: Michael P. White
Thomas Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2007-74 which was seconded by James Kneeshaw and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.
WHEREAS the Lake George Park Commission members have received and reviewed the Budget Request for the 2008-2009 State Fiscal Year, and
WHEREAS the Commission members concur that the Budget is suitable for submission as the basis for the Commission’s requested Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2008-2009.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission accepts and adopts the Fiscal Year 2008-2009 Budget Request (attached), and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission authorizes the Executive Director to submit the request to the Division of Budget and to take such other steps he deems necessary to establish appropriations for the upcoming fiscal year.
Item #7 — Public Comments
Lake George Association
Kathy Bozony spoke about the Critical Environmental area’s in the Town of Queensbury and the Town of Ticonderoga. She said that she is unsure if the Critical Environmental area’s will match the Park Commission’s 500 feet from shore.
Ms. Bozony also spoke about the fact that houses are being built and tree cutting is occurring without the proper permits. She said that she is also glad to hear that inspections are taking place.
The FUND for Lake George, Inc.
Lake George Waterkeeper
Lake George Watershed Conference
Michael Stafford said that he is present to speak on a matter relative to an enforcement issue. He said that Ben-Yishay is the name of a homeowner in the Town of Fort Ann and Kevin Maschewski are respondents in this case involving the reconstruction of a single family home.
Mr. Stafford said that Kevin Maschewski should have received a permit from the Lake George Park Commission and admits that he did not do so.
Mr. Stafford said that he spoke with Captain Schneider from the “get go” and negotiated an Order on Consent — a $7500. fine with $2500. due and $5000. suspended. He said that the cooperation has been there since the beginning. He provided a brief description of the matter.
Mr. Stafford said that he does not know how we got to the point of a $40,000. fine with $20,000. due and $20,000. suspended. He said that he is objecting to the fine amount.
Martin Auffredou said that after a site inspection in December of last year an amended complaint was issued based on new information about the extent of the violation. We withdrew our offer to settle in writing, he said. He said that the respondents declined to accept the Commission’s original offer to settle at the $2,500./$7,500. level.
Martin Auffredou said that the reason the amount has increased is because of the amount of time that has gone by, legal fees, engineering fees and all of the work that has gone along with pursuing the violation since the original offer was declined.
A discussion continued among Mr. Stafford, Commission members and Martin Auffredou regarding the fees associated with this issue.
Michael Stafford said that Kevin Maschewski has complied with everything and he doesn’t think that the punishment fits what has occurred in this situation.
Richard Bell spoke about the Hollenbeck Marina permit that was issued by the Lake George Park Commission.
Mr. Bell said that he owns property at 3701 Route 9L in Lake George. He said that he and a number of other families have deeded access to the lake along with beach rights on this 35' x 25' strip where Mr. Hollenbeck keeps two boats.
Mr. Bell discussed the grandfathering of Mr. Hollenebeck’s dock and said that the Lake George Park Commission granted Mr. Hollenbeck permission to change his residential dock to a commercial dock and he has since added an additional boat to the other side of the dock. In Mr. Bell’s opinion this additional boat is over the line and decreases the area that is used for swimming.
Mr. Bell asked that the Commission please look into this matter.
Michael Stafford asked if he could speak on this matter because he is familiar with it.
Mr. Stafford said that this was an issue about two years ago. He said that Mr. Hollenbeck received permission from the neighbor to the north who is the property owner.
Item #7 — Adjournment
There being no further business, on the motion of Thomas Conerty, seconded by Thomas Morhouse the meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.
Michelle D. Way Keyboard Specialist
Secretary’s Note: The next Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 27, 2007, 10:00 a.m. at the Fort William Henry, Lake George, NY.