Lake George Park Commission

Meeting #348

  26 September 2006

Canoe Island Lodge

Diamond Point, NY

Presiding:                    Bruce E. Young, Chair

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

Commission Members Absent:    Thomas W. 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
                        Peggy Stevens, Principal Account Clerk
                        Andrea L. Maranville, Director of Governmental & Community Affairs

Commission Counsel Present:    Martin Auffredou

Others Present:

Laura Moody         Carole Wentz        Mary Alice Leary        Buzz Lamb
Madeline Farbman        Kathy Bozony        Chris Navitsky        Arlene Bruder
Michael Bruder        Barbara J. Ahern

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

The 348th 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 John McDonald, seconded by Thomas Conerty, 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 (attached) which explains the role of the project Review Committee.

Molly Gallagher introduced the first project.  She said that the project was submitted by Dr. Rees Pritchett of Hague and that he would like to remove an existing dock and construct a 31' long, 22'6" wide, U shaped wharf with an open sided boat cover/sundeck.  She said that a property with 80' of lakefront usually has no problem getting a permit to build this type of a wharf but since the property lines converge in the lake a variance request is needed.

Molly Gallagher said that revised plans were submitted to reduce the size of variance requested.  Molly also added that the Project Review Committee went out and took a look at this property on September 22, 2006.

Chairman Young asked if there was anyone present to speak on behalf of the project.  Carole Wentz said that she had no further comments and that the paperwork should speak for itself.

Chairman Young asked if there was anyone present to speak against the project.  Laura Moody addressed the Commission members and said that she is representing the Miller family.  She said that her family is an adjacent owner to the south and that they are concerned about the sundeck in the bay.  She said that her family has an objection to any type of variance being granted.

Laura Moody also said that she submitted a letter on behalf of her family which stated her objections.  She said that the objections she and her family have are “as stated” in her written letter.

Chairman Young asked Ms. Moody if Dr. Pritchett’s moving the dock 5 feet to the north would change the Miller family’s opinion.

Ms. Moody said that it wouldn’t change her family’s mind and that it would still change the view of the shoreline from the lake.

Item #3 — Fiscal Actions Report:  Peggy Stevens

Chairman Young said that the August 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 Roger Phinney, seconded by Ronald Montesi, all members present voting affirmatively, the August Fiscal Actions Report was approved as submitted.

Resolution 2006-65 — Authorizing the Purchase of a Neopost IJ70 Automatic Digital mailing Machine

Thomas Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-65 which was seconded by James Kneeshaw and all Commission members present voted affirmatively.

WHEREAS    several years ago the USPS began a multi-phased plan to pro actively manage the replacement of postal meters, and

WHEREAS    the plan is aimed at replacing meters which are susceptible to revenue loss and impose operation costs both of which can be avoided with newer alternative meter technology, and

WHEREAS    the current postal meter used at Commission headquarters uses letterpress technology to print postal indicia on outgoing mail, and

WHEREAS    the deadline for the replacement of letterpress technology meters is December 31, 2006 after which the meter will no longer be authorized for use as a postal evidencing device and digital postage meter technology will be required, and

WHEREAS    staff has reviewed current office needs, equipment specifications, costs of mail machines and digital meter technology available on state contract

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission authorizes the purchase of a Neopost IJ70 Automatic Digital Mailing Machine with a 10 lb. scale from Metroland Business Machines, Inc. of Albany, NY at a cost not to exceed $4,500 and consistent with the terms and conditions of the NYS OGS contract and the NYS Finance Law.

Resolution 2006-66 — Authorizing the Purchase of Informational Navigation Rack Cards

Thomas Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-66 which was seconded by John McDonald and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.

WHEREAS    the Commission has rules and regulations pertaining to the registration of boats and special navigational rules on Lake George, and

WHEREAS    the Commission wants to make the public aware of the requirements and ensure the adequacy of public information about lake use regulations, and

WHEREAS    the Commission has prepared a rack card summary of the requirements and would like to make it available in large numbers to the general public around the Lake George basin, and

WHEREAS    the Commission has solicited quotes for printing of the rack card design and has identified the provider with the lowest qualifying quote.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Lake George Park Commission hereby authorizes an amount not to exceed $1,400.00 for the purchase of 30,000 rack cards from Acme Press, who submitted the low quote for the printing in response to the Commission’s invitation for quotes, and that the Commission also authorizes $1,014.40 to Mark Lange Design for the design and layout of materials, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission authorizes the Executive Director to execute a purchase order for the rack cards and thereafter approve payment when the order is satisfactorily fulfilled in accordance with the specifications (attached).

Item #4 — Project Review Resolutions

Resolution 2006-67 — Rees Pritchett

A discussion ensued among the Commission members regarding interpretation of the laws regarding property lines and variance procedures.

Kenneth Parker said that he doesn’t think that the wharf/sundeck would cause a negative visual impact.

John Pettica agreed with Kenneth Parker.  He said that he doesn’t see an impact in the negative.

Ronald Montesi said that the variance guidelines must be addressed in order to grant this permit.

Martin Auffredou, Commission counsel, explained the variance procedures.  He said that the Commission members must determine if Dr. Pritchett has any unique or peculiar circumstances and if any are determined then a variance can be granted.

Roger Phinney asked if it is the Commission’s option how property lines are interpreted.  Molly Gallagher said that under the regulations the more restrictive lines must always be used.

A discussion continued among the Commission members and Commission counsel regarding tabling the application or approving a portion that doesn’t need a variance.  They also discussed the possibility of approving only the dock portion and then having Dr. Pritchett come back and apply for the boat cover/sundeck.

There was a general discussion that the grounds for granting a variance had not been met, that no unique pr peculiar circumstances were shown and that there was a lack of supporting documentation for a hardship finding.

Kenneth Parker introduced Resolution 2006-67 which was seconded by Thomas Conerty to deny the application.

There was a discussion on the resolution.  It was noted that a modification to the dock location may allow for the construction of a U shaped wharf without a variance.  It was also discussed that a modification to the sundeck design could reduce the magnitude of the variance.  Commission members noted that applications are often tabled to allow applicants to modify their plans or provide additional information.  It was also noted that this application was tabled once previously by the Commission for that purpose.

Bruce Young noted that there was a resolution to deny on the table.  He explained that if the resolution to deny failed then a motion to table the application would be in order.  With this said a roll call vote was taken.

Ayes: S. DeSantis, T. Morhouse, T. Conerty, J. McDonald, R. Montesi, B. Young
Nays: J. Pettica, R. Phinney, K. Parker, J. Kneeshaw
Abstentions: None

WHEREAS    the applicant has applied for a permit for wharf modification to remove an existing dock & construct a 31' long, 22'6" wide, U-shaped crib wharf with an open-sided boatcover/sundeck; and

WHEREAS    the Lake George Park Commission has reviewed the applications, 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 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.

        The Lake George Park Commission hereby denies the request for variance and directs staff to offer the applicant an opportunity to request a public hearing.

Resolution 2006-63 — Acceptance of the Project Review Report

Thomas Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-63 which was seconded by Thomas Morhouse 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 September 18, 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.

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 spoke about some of the boat races on the lake which included the Columbus Day Poker Run and about vessel noise testing that will be taking place.  Lt. Schneider said that there was an executive session where active enforcement cases were discussed.

Resolution 2006-64 — Law Enforcement Report

Thomas K. Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2006-64 which was seconded by Thomas Morhouse and all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the resolution.

WHEREAS    the Law Enforcement Committee met September 26, 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 — Invasive Species Prevention Program Report:  Andrea L. Maranville

Andrea Maranville addressed the Commission members and discussed the Invasive Species Participating Business program.  She said that the Commission will be sending out a letter from the Chairman, a survey and a certificate of appreciation to all of the participating businesses for their efforts in eradicating invasive species from Lake George.

Andrea Maranville also said that she has been working with Hillary Oles, Director of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, to coordinate a presentation at one of the Commission’s monthly meetings.  She said that the presentation would be similar to the presentation from Mark Malchoff.

Item #7 — Public Comments

Lake George Association

Kathy Bozony said that she has been speaking with DEC about trying to acquire financing to purchase and build bins for invasive species.  She also referred to a meeting that took place at the Town of Lake George regarding timber harvesting.

Lake George Watershed Conference

Not present.

The FUND for Lake George, Inc.

Not Present.

Lake George Waterkeeper

Christopher Navitsky addressed the Commission members and asked about the Water-based Recreation Study Plan.  He asked when the final draft of the report would be issued and was also wondering when the next meeting would be scheduled.

Michael White responded and said that the Draft Final Recreation Study Plan would be released in mid October and the next meeting date will be around November 9, 2006.  He also said that the final report is due to the Commission by December 2006.

Mr. Navitsky directed a question to Ron Montesi regarding the boat wash stations.

Ron responded and said that one of the problems he is finding is that some people felt that the process took too long and they just want to get right into the water.  He said that when the boats are being washed it actually works out well.

Item #8 — Adjournment

There being no further business, on the motion of Thomas Conerty, seconded by Thomas Morhouse, 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, October 24, 2006, 10:00 a.m. at the Holiday Inn, Lake George, NY.