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Proposed stream setback regulations spark controversy

At present, the town of Lake George requires a 30-foot setback from feeder streams.

"The resolution this board just passed is filled with incorrect information," Lake George Waterkeeper Executive Director Chris Navitsky told the Lake George Town Board Monday. "The claim that there is no scientific data is false as is the claim that there was no town involvement - Lake George was contacted before the new rules were announced, but no one responded until after the fact."

Navitsky said that there is irrefutable evidence that the algae blooms found at the confluence of the lake and a feeder stream are directly associated with human development. He also said that the town's regulations are rarely if ever enforced and are therefore irrelevant.

But Navitsky's claims did not sway everyone.

"All this is is a taking of land from the property owner -bottom line," said Lake George resident Mike Lanfear, who owns 10 acres that would be affected by the proposed regulations. "Why do we even need a Park Commission anyway? We already have the APA."

Lanfear was not the only Lake George resident expressing sentiments against the proposed regulations. Some attending Monday's meeting said they believe that there are institutional forces at work influencing the LGPC's actions.

"People are a part of the environment too," said Barry Kincaide of the Lake George Property Owners group. "The Fund for Lake George has pushed the commission into enacting unfair laws which are blatant violations of home-rule."

But Navitsky stood up for his viewpoints, citing research and quantitative data.

"The lake is on the path to mezotropic conditions," Navitsky said. "These conditions are unable to support life."

Over 150 streams feed into Lake George.

A public hearing regarding the proposed stream setback regulations will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 24 at the Lake George Holiday Inn. Public comments will be accepted by the Lake George Park Commission until March 15.

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