I dropped into the Lake George Park Commission’s Zoom meeting to check on the status of pending rules to curb runoff into the lake. Known as stormwater regulations, these rules are designed to try to reduce the amount of water that runs across roofs, roads and lots when it rains or snows. Unchecked, this water picks up pollution and sends it straight into the lake.
But the stormwater update was brief. A discussion of several new docks proposed to accompany four new homes in a subdivision was not brief at all. This issue, which affects some residents around Cotton Point, may end up attracting more intense attention for now than the stormwater regulations, which affect the whole lake. What caught my eye, though, was the concern about people going — yes, going — straight into the lake.
Turnout for a Zoom meeting made for the Park Commission’s biggest audience since the pandemic began. Before the meeting Tuesday morning, the commission had also received about 70 comments opposed to the dock project. By contrast, the latest version of the park commission’s years-long overhaul of stormwater regulations for the whole lake received about 20 public comments.
At least a handful of commenters wrote about their bathroom worries:
- “Where will these people go to the bathroom?”
- “Will they really walk the 1/4 – 1/2 mile to their homes? The more likely case is that they will use the lake and the wetlands as their bathroom. (We can’t imagine asking our 4 and 6 year old grandchildren to walk 10 – 15 minutes to use a bathroom!)”
- “With no house nearby and no bathrooms at the docks, it would be inevitable that people would sit on the docks and drink and eat. With no bathrooms, they would urinate in the lake.”
- “There are no public or private bathroom facilities available for the people who would be using these docks, unless they were to install Portable Toilets on the docks or on the Sundecks.”
- “Boaters using the shallow sandy bottom of Basin Bay are already coming ashore to find a bush.”
Caruso’s attorney, Robert Gregor, argued the concerns were misplaced, in part because people are already misusing the lake and his client’s project hasn’t been built yet.
The new homes and docks will create more “socially responsible” activity in the area, he argued.
“It will protect the lake more than what we have right now,” Gregor said.
Image: A vintage postcard depicts Rainbow Beach and Cotton Point, Lake George, N.Y. 8 miles from Lake George Village. [ca. 1930–1945]
Courtesy of the The Tichnor Brothers Collection at the Boston Public Library.
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Ry’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.