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Local officials scrutinizing

RAY BROOK - The Adirondack Park Agency is now at work revising three proposed legislative bills in the hope they will gain support in the state Assembly and be introduced in the state Senate during its fall session.

The bills were first proposed by the agency during the summer session, and failed to gain Assembly sponsorship after local representatives weren't comfortable with them.

Local Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward said this week that the bills just weren't in the shape legislators wanted and revisions would be required to garner Assembly sponsorship.

"We just thought it would be best to move them as a package instead of in pieces," she said.

The Affordable Housing Bill and the Municipal Planning Fund bills gained the support of local governments in principal, but minor revisions were apparently required to gain overall approval.

APA spokesman Keith McKeever says the agency is making substantive changes based on the recommendations of local government officials.

"We are hoping we will get a sponsor in the Assembly and the bills in the Senate will be moved," he said.

The Affordable Housing Bill would allow four structures to be built in low- and moderate-intensity zones that under existing APA regulations would only accommodate one - as long as the property is relatively close to a "town center."

An early version of the Bill cited that APA approval of such development would hinge on the structures sharing a single septic system. But Local officials argued that the shared septic system would be highly cost prohibitive, and the APA subsequently axed the requirement, and reduced the required distance from navigable waters from 1/4 mile to a tenth of a mile.

The revised bill gained state Senate sponsorship from powerful downstate Democrat Carl Kruger.

"Now under this new bill, due to provisions made with local government and AATV, if the site has adequate soils for individual septic we will no longer require a shared septic system," McKeever said. "It will be more of a case-by-case and site-by-site determination."

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