Bolton’s new Cross Street parking lot, built on a residential parcel purchased by the town for $257,000 in 2014, is poised to become the first municipal project to be awarded LID certification by the Lake George Waterkeeper.
LID, as Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky explains, is an acronym for Low Impact Development. Projects that disturb landscapes the least and leave the lake’s water quality undiminished are eligible for LID certification – much as green buildings are LEED certified.
“We score projects according to the extent to which they maintain natural features, like streams and slopes and buffered shorelines,” said Navitsky. “Using sound environmentally-sound engineering practices, looking at all the ways that development impacts ecosystems, we can reduce the flow of nutrients into the lake and protect water quality.”
The LID Certification System, Navitsky adds, “also takes into account the benefits of Low Impact Development to the community, above and beyond water quality. Using local materials, ensuring that any lighting is dark sky-compliant, anything that makes the community more sustainable in the future, will carry weight in the score card.” Bolton’s new parking lot qualifies for LID certification because it meets a number of criteria, said Navitsky.
“For one thing, the project redevelops an area in the hamlet of Bolton Landing, and we strongly believe that development should be concentrated in the hamlets rather than sprawling outwards and disturbing natural resources,” said Navitsky. But, he added, “the main thing is, the Town is protecting resources such as the stream that runs through the property with buffers; it’s protecting soils; it’s preserving trees and green space and treating storm water on site,” said Navitsky.
Other LID criteria met by the project include “dark sky compliant lighting, meaning that the lights will be shielded and downward facing,” said Bolton Supervisor Ron Conover.
The green space at the edge of the lot has potential for use as pocket park, Conover noted. “One of the things that I like about this project is that it has multiple uses; it’s a versatile space that can accommodate a number of things, such as events or a farmers’ market,” he said. Navitsky added that at some point, grass pavers similar to those used at the Charles R. Wood Park in Lake George might be installed in the green space, making it available for extra parking. Sixty parking spaces were originally envisioned for the lot, but that number has been reduced by half, the LA Group’s Tim Larsen told the Town Board in April.
Larsen, a landscape designer who was retained by the Town to assist with the project, also told the Board that the lot would be paved with an innovative, porous asphalt that will absorb and filter storm water, keeping pollutants from flowing into Lake George. A similar product was used on Beach Road.
Finally, Larsen said, the lot will be outfitted with a charging station for electric vehicles.
That’s worth an extra point toward LID certification, said Navitsky.
“We developed a broad, generously defined innovation credit, because there will always be things that we didn’t think of in advance that will benefit the community,” Navitsky explained.
A $68,000 “Smart Growth’ grant from New York State, limited to revitalizing Adirondack communities, helped pay for Larsen’s planning and design services, said Conover.
Larsen was assisted by a committee composed of Navitsky, Town councilwoman Sue Wilson, department heads Bill Sherman and George Mumblow, Zoning board member Jeff Anthony and a number of citizens, said Conover.
Officials from the Hudson Headwaters Health Network, whose clinic is adjacent to the lot and which will share in its use, also worked with the Town, said Conover. “Everyone participated, working well together as a cohesive unit,” said Sue Wilson.
Both Conover and Wilson said the Town of Bolton was pleased to be the first municipality to qualify for LID certification. Once certified, the project will be eligible for grants from The Fund for Lake George, said Navitsky. “While the grants will be welcome, what’s truly important is the partnership we’ve created,” said Conover. “As we’ve demonstrated when tackling invasive species or the problems associated with salting the roads, the greater the partnership, the greater the chance of success.”
“I’m excited that Bolton recognizes the importance of the LID certification system,” said Navitsky. “By stepping up and becoming a leader in bringing the system to Lake George, we believe the town will help us demonstrate that LID can benefit every community.”
Photo of Bolton Councilwoman Sue Wilson, the LA Group’s Ted Larsen and Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky reviewing plans for Bolton Landing’s new parking lot. Provided by Lake George Mirror.
A version of this story was first published in the Lake George Mirror.