Lake George Park Commission

Meeting #337

  20 September 2005

Hague Town Center

Hague, NY

PRESIDING:                Bruce E. Young, Chair

                        Margaret M. Stewart
                        Thomas K. Conerty               
                        Roger H. Phinney
                        Shauna DeSantis
                        (Denise Sheehan, DEC Commissioner)
                         Thomas W. Hall, representing

                        John C. McDonald

COMMISSION STAFF PRESENT:    Michael P. White, Executive Director
                        Lt. Joseph H. Schneider, Director Law Enforcement
                        Roger Smith, Conservation Operations Supervisor I
                        J. Thomas Wardell, Director of Engineering   
                        Keith Fish, Operation’s Director
                        Peggy Stevens, Principal Account Clerk
                        Michelle D. Way, Keyboard Specialist 1
                                                            Andrea L. Maranville, Director of Governmental &     
                              Community Affairs

                              COMMISSION COUNSEL PRESENT:   Martin Auffredou


                                                            Anthony Hall                  Walt Lender                   Leone Gipstein
                                                       Barry Gipstein           Mary-Alice Leary              Dan Belden
                                                  Dave Decker              John Windbush            Jim Kneeshaw
                                                       Pres McKeown             Ron Montesi                   John Mero
                                                  Sylvia Chesterfield                               Item #1 - Introductions, Roll Call, Minutes of Meeting

The 337th meeting of the Lake George Park Commission was called to order by
Chairman Young at 10:00 a.m. and the roll was taken. 

Mr. Young said that the minutes of the previous meeting were distributed in advance of
this meeting to Commission members for their review.  On the motion of Maggie
Stewart, seconded by Tom Conerty, all Commission members present voting
affirmatively.  The minutes of meeting # 336 were approved as submitted.

Chairman Young said that the meeting minutes of 335 had not been previously
accepted because of last minute amendments.  On the motion of Tom Conerty,
seconded by Joan Robertson, all Commission members present voting affirmatively,
the revised minutes of meeting # 335 were approved.

Item #2 - John Windbush - Darrin Freshwater Institute

John Windbush, of the Darrin Freshwater Institute gave a presentation on the Institute’s
efforts to track, remove and understand Zebra Mussels in Lake George.  Mr. Windbush
spoke about Zebra Mussel colonies that have been found in several areas of the lake.
He said that over the last year they have found zebra mussels in three locations around
the lake.  He said that zebra mussel colonies have been found near King Neptune’s.
This past fall he said they got 66 mussels out and they went back in the spring and
found 46 more mussels.  He said they are pretty low numbers but this brings the total
over the past 5 years to about 21,000 found there.  Mr. Windbush spoke of other
findings of zebra mussels in two other locations and about efforts to sample the lake
water for veligers.

Thomas Hall asked Mr. Windbush how old a zebra mussel has to be before it is
reproductive.  Mr. Windbush said that they are usually in their second year of life, over
12 millimeters in length (size usually relates to age).

Thomas Conerty asked what the life span of a zebra mussel is.  Mr. Windbush said that
the life span of a mussel is about 7 to 8 years and he said this varies on the conditions
of the environment.

Michael White asked about the findings of the veligers and what that tells us.  Mr.
Windbush said that the veligers came from boats and he said the places they choose to
monitor for the mussels are varied.  He said they choose shallow sites, deep sites,
marinas, fishing places, etc.  He said the veligers could have come from bait bucket
water or maybe they were attached to a boat or in the bilge. 

A discussion followed.
Bruce Young introduced Dan Belden, Supervisor of the Town of Hague and thanked
the Town for hosting the meeting.

Supervisor Dan Belden thanked the Lake George Park Commission for using the facility
at the Hague Town Center.  He said that the Lake George Park Commission is
welcome to hold a meeting here anytime.

Item #3 - Project Review - Public Comments on Pending Applications: 
         Maggie Stewart

The Chair explained Project Review procedures.  He said that the first portion of the
Project Review is for people either for or against the project to express their comments.
He said that the second session is an open discussion among Commission members to
arrive at a decision.  He said that normally the only time during the second portion
where there would be public participation would be if there is a need for clarification or
additional information on an issue. 

Matter of Variance Request submitted by Thomas Keating, Town of Dresden,
County of Washington – #5326-26-01

Maggie Stewart introduced the project.  She said the project is located in the Town of

Molly Gallagher said that a site inspection was not done this month so she added 3
more pages of information for the Commission members review as part of the
application package.

Molly Gallagher said she also sent out some information regarding the variance that
included a letter from the realtor and an estimate of the cost of removing the dock.

Chairman Young asked if there was anyone here to speak on behalf of the project.
There was no response. 

Chairman Young asked if there was anyone present to speak against the project.
There was no response.

Martin Auffredou asked Molly Gallagher if anyone was expected to be present for the
meeting.  Molly Gallagher said that no one was expected to be here today.  She said
that no comments from adjoining property owners were received.

Item #4 - Fiscal Actions Reports

Chairman Young said that the August 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 Joan Robertson, seconded by Maggie Stewart, all members present
voting affirmatively, the August Fiscal Actions Report was approved as submitted.

Resolution 2005-63 Krueger Construction

Michael White, Executive Director of the Lake George Park Commission, explained a
resolution for after-the-fact approval which abridges the Commission’s regular internal
control procedures.

Thomas K. Conerty read the following resolution # 2005-63.

          Whereas   the Commission has undertaken the replacement of a stormwater control measure at it’s headquarters in
          conjunction with a planned parking lot re-topping project, and

          Whereas   installation of a fore bay, 8' dry well, stone liner, and tree removal occurred on a time and material basis, and

          Whereas   the work has been successfully completed.

Now therefore be it resolved that the Commission authorizes payment to Krueger Construction for the amount of $4,147.50.

On the motion of Tom Conerty, seconded by Joan Robertson, all Commission members
present voting affirmatively, resolution # 2005-63 was approved as submitted.

Item #5 - Project Review:  Resolutions

Resolution 2005-58 Project Review Report

Maggie Stewart read and moved to approve Resolution 2005-55 which directs that the
Project Review Report be incorporated in full in the minutes of the full Commission
meeting.  The motion was seconded by Joan Robertson and all members present voted

The Chair explained that there are usually two resolutions for each project, one to
approve and one to deny.  The reading of one does not necessarily mean that will be
the resolution voted upon, he said.

Resolution 2005-68 - Thomas Keating

Maggie Stewart said at first she had a problem with this application because she
thought they failed to show hardship but to move the dock over would be extremely
expensive.  She said the realtor sent a letter and she couldn’t believe the figure that
was put on this application.

Martin Auffredou said that the Commission should not rely on the letter from the realtor
as justification for the variance.  He said the Commission should never get into a
discussion on how the dock enhances value. 

Martin said the unique and peculiar conditions need to be looked at in addition to the
financial hardship.

Thomas Hall asked Molly Gallagher about the addition of the six foot by eight foot crib.
He asked if the addition would encroach on any required setback.  

Molly Gallagher said yes, three feet of the addition would encroach into the required 20
foot set back.  Molly said that the existing dock is already In the setback and to keep
this in line the addition would also be in the set back.

Maggie Stewart said that the addition is not going to be a crib dock it will be a stake

Molly Gallagher said that she believes there will be a 4 foot crib on the end of the dock.

A discussion regarding the set back and placement of the addition continued among the
Commission members.

Tom Hall asked what is the purpose or the reason for the expansion of the dock.  Molly
Gallagher said they are getting a bigger boat.

Maggie Stewart said that he still isn’t going over the 40 foot limit.

Martin Auffredou asked if there would be any noticeable impacts on navigation,
swimming or boat traffic.

Molly Gallagher said there are none that she can see.
Bruce Young said that he is very familiar with area and he said this still wouldn’t be the
longest dock in the bay.

Maggie Stewart said that this wouldn’t add any additional congestion because he isn’t
adding another boat to his dock.

Maggie Stewart read and moved to approve resolution 2005-60 which was seconded
by Joan Robertson and all Commission members present voted affirmatively.

Resolution  2005-60, Meeting #337, September 20, 2005
Approve Variance for Wharf Modification
Application #    5324-9-05 & 5324-10-05
               Location          26-3-15, Town of Dresden
               Applicant         Thomas Keating

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

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

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

          WHEREAS   the applicant has applied for a permit for wharf modification to extend an existing wharf by 8 feet;

          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:

                    The cost of making the dock conform to regulatory standards by moving it by 3 feet and the
          associated environmental disturbance outweighs any benefit of moving it.

          WHEREAS   the Commission finds that there is no reasonable possibility that the applicant's property will bring a
          reasonable return following conformance with the regulations; and

          WHEREAS   the Commission finds that the project represents the minimum necessary variance required to
          alleviate the hardship; and

          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

Item #6 - Water Quality Programs Report: J. Thomas Wardell

Tom Wardell said that he sent out a stormwater report to all Commission members.  He
spoke of some projects he is currently working on.  He spoke of one project in Hague.
He said this project is considerable in size so it may come back to the Commission for
final approval.

Tom Wardell said that he and Lieutenant Schneider went to the Hague Volunteer Fire
Department and had an enforcement action underway with them.  He said they have
come up with a common sense solution and is hoping for the completion of this case by

Tom Wardell said he has received several stormwater applications.  Tom said that the
Erosion Control Inspection Program has been very beneficial.  This program is to make
sure that the controls are in place and correctly in place before they start rather than
after a storm and is all washed into the lake.

Mr. Wardell said Sandy Stragnell, Lake George Park Commission contract inspector,
has worked out very well on some of the projects in Ticonderoga.

Tom spoke of some projects he has to work on with Chris Navitsky in Bolton Landing
and in Hague.

Darrin Freshwater Institute has concluded there sampling program for the season.  He
said the last high count they received was in south Sawmill Bay.

Tom mentioned that the stormwater control measures that were placed in the
Commission parking lot have held up quite well.

Joan Robertson asked about the Washington County DPW she asked if there will be
any type of remediation for all of that till that was put on the side of the road that is
washing into the lake.

Tom said what they are going to try to do is put larger stone in those areas.  Tom said
this should work.  He said that Washington County is open to this idea.

Joan Robertson asked if Washington County was aware of the problem and if it is being
tended to.

Maggie Stewart asked if there is anything that can be done to limit the number of
permits received in the fall. 

Tom Wardell said that he thinks that by having these erosion controls in before they
start is a step in the right direction.

Lake Level

Mr. Wardell said that the lake level at Rogers Rock is 3.37.  He said it is a little low for
this time of year.

Item #7 - Public Comments

The Lake George Watershed Conference

Dave Decker said that the regulatory review project draft report by the law school has
been circulated to each of the communities as well as all of the state agencies that
participated in that effort.

He said the target to get the comments back from the municipalities is later this week
and the target to get the comments back from the state agencies is the following week.

Once all of the draft comments are received back they will be consolidated and a final
report will be completed by late October.

Mr. Decker spoke of a feasability study on, on site wastewater treatment regulations.
He said he met with Michael White and Andrea Maranville and put together a schedule
that anticipated reviewing that draft RFP with the conferences project review committee
on October 5, 2005.  

Mr. Decker said there has been a tremendous effort on-going which was lead by Lynn
Schuman of the Land Conservancy.

Barry Gipstein

Barry Gipstein said that he had a permit issued on August 1, 2005 and he would like to
modify his permit.  He said he would like to use the south side of the dock to put a PWC
there.  He said he has discussed this with his neighbors, the McEnany’s, they have no
objections with this.

Barry Gipstein said he is asking for the permission of the Lake George Park
Commission to do this.  He said that the comment period ends tomorrow and cannot
attend the next meeting and he doesn’t want to have to hire a lawyer again.

Tom Hall asked Mr. Gipstein if this spot will be restricted to just a PWC and no boats.

Mr. Gipstein said that is correct and nothing is going on the dry dock.

Joan Robertson asked if this is strictly the south side of the dock.  Mr. Gipstein said that
yes it strictly refers to the south side of the dock.  He said this would bring the vessels
from 3 to 4.

Chairman Young advised Mr. Gipstein that a decision can be made at the next
Commission meeting and that he does not have to be present.

Item #8 - Executive Session

The Commission members discussed a request by Molly Gallagher to upgrade her
position of Environmental Analyst 1 to Environmental Analyst 2.  Mike White explained
the Civil Service Department procedures for this and for the agency to accept the re-
classification request as its own.  Mike White distributed copies of the re-classification
application and discussed the duty statements for the two positions.

Commission members asked about the cost to the Commission of the change and a
general discussion followed.  Several members expressed support for the quality of Ms.
Gallagher’s work and acknowledged that the scope and complexity of the position has
increased in recent years.

All members present agreed to authorize the Chair to submit an application to the Civil
Service Department for their consideration of the upgrade request in accordance with
the applicable regulations of the State Department of Civil Service.

Item #9 - Adjournment
There being no further business, on the motion of Tom Conerty, seconded by Joan
Robertson, all Commission members present voting affirmatively, the meeting was
adjourned at 12:15 p.m.

                        Respecfully submitted,

                        Michelle D. Way               
                        Keyboard Specialist 1

                    Secretary’s Note:   The next Commission meeting is scheduled for TUESDAY,
                    October 25, 2005, 10:00 a.m. at the Bolton Town Hall, Lake
                    Shore Drive, Bolton Landing, NY.