A pair of proposed marina expansions are upsetting neighbors and raising the salience of a critical question for state agencies: how many boats are too many boats?
The same development team behind a proposed marina expansion on Lower Saranac Lake, which has been challenged in appellate court by a former Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, is pushing forward a similar project on Fish Creek Ponds in Santa Clara.
Our summer intern Chloe Bennett got the latest from a planning board meeting in Santa Clara last week. The board tabled a final decision on permitting a plan to replace old docks with significantly larger ones, indicating they may ask the developer to specify hours of operation and boat rental policies before signing off. But dozens of neighbors in the area have signaled much stronger opposition to the plan, arguing it will disrupt the series of ponds near a popular state campground, and have said they plan to fight the project if it heads for DEC and Adirondack Park Agency approval.
The two marina projects are increasing focus on the state’s responsibility to study the capacity of Adirondack lakes – a responsibility referenced in the Adirondack State Land Master Plan. Questions about that requirement are central to an appeal filed by former DEC Commissioner Tom Jorling as he challenges state approval of the Lower Saranac project.
I am on vacation this week in South Carolina but will be keeping an eye out for the latest briefs from the state and marina team early next month.
- A tall-tree enthusiast measured what could be the state’s tallest specimen near Bolton; it’s over 170 feet tall.
- Employers in the Adirondacks want to hire, but they are struggling to find people due to housing and other challenges.
- A new movie tells the story of Lake Champlain through the eyes of someone paddling its length and stopping to learn more along the way.
Residents in the Fish Creek Ponds area are concerned a marina expansion will cause havoc in the narrow channel that connects the ponds to Upper Saranac Lake. Photo by Zachary Matson
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.