USLA Response to TOSC Marina Regulations:
The Santa Clara Town Board (TOSC) has released its proposed Local Law # 3 of 2021 along with the Supplemental Regulations for Commercial Marinas. Following a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday October 13 th at 6pm, the town board will vote on the new law and regulations. As we have reported previously, the TOSC hired Chazen Company to work with an appointed special committee made up of two members from the Town Board and the Town’s Variance and Planning boards to develop these draft regulations. USLA was present for each special committee meeting and has attended the follow-up Town Board and Planning Board meetings. In addition to USLA, the Upper Saranac Foundation, Upper Saranac Marina owners and attorneys, and the general public were able to provide written input after each session.
All of USLA written responses as well as a copy of the new TOSC marina regulations are available on our website in the News section under the Government Affairs link. We continued to express our members support of marinas in the Upper Saranac area while attempting to assist the TOSC in creating sustainable marina regulations.
The proposed regulations were only made available to the public on Thursday, September 30. We have attempted to briefly summarize the USLA suggestion’s, which appear to be incorporated into the new regulations as well as a list of suggestions and concerns not addressed in the regulations.
Addressed in the regulations AND suggested by USLA:
1. Docks shall be a minimum of 50 ft. from any residential area, regardless of any lesser setback requirement set forth elsewhere in the Town’s Land Use Law.
2. Docks associated with a marina shall not interfere with navigation on the water body involved. Navigation shall be as defined by NYS OGS, NYS DEC or APA.
3. Proposed lighting shall adhere to current APA guidance and seek to comply with International Dark-Sky Association guidance. A lighting plan and details shall be provided for review.
4. A marina shall provide sanitary facilities sufficient to accommodate their clientele.
5. Provide adequate parking spaces for customer's vehicles.
6. Must provide a plan to prevent the introduction or spread of invasive species
7. A boat cleaning area that is designed, operated and maintained in such a manner to prevent contamination of the waters or boat cleaning should be prohibited.
8. Boats shall be moored only at docks, no mooring of boats at any other location.
9. We also echoed USF’s water quality issues throughout the process.
NOT addressed in the regulations but suggested by USLA:
1. A marina’s operating hours should follow NYSDEC’s defined “quiet hours” of 10pm-6am and only operate from 6am to 10pm.
2. That dock lengths of 200 feet in length are excessive and in fact are two times Lake George’s regulations!
3. That the maximum percentage of blocked waterway should not exceed 20% of the total available and that both opposing shorelines must be considered. It does not appear that both shorelines will be considered.
4. With the NYSDEC UMP plan to improve Fish Creek campsites along with the expected increase in boater traffic due to the marina improvements on Fish Creek pond, USLA requested that serious consideration be given to conducting a “Carrying Capacity Analysis” or minimally to only proceed with an incremental expansion of marina development.
5. “Roof coverings” over docks have a additional visual impact on the natural Adirondack environment
6. Boat “renters” should have the same boater safety training as everyone else. A point that should be addressed by NYS.
Our members have a very short window of opportunity to provide written comments. We encourage our membership to take this opportunity to provide your personal input. Written comments must be received by the Town Clerk prior to 4 pm on Wednesday, October 13th to be included in the public hearing and become part of public record.
Comments should be directed to the Town Clerk at the following address or via email to ensure delivery:
Santa Clara Town Hall
5359 State Route 30
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Public comments can also be made in person by attending the hearing at the Santa Clara Town Hall on Wednesday, October 13, at 6:00 pm. We encourage members to attend.