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RCPA issues position on APA regulations

SARANAC LAKE - The Board of Directors of Residents' Committee to Protect the Adirondacks announced this week its position in strong support of recent rulings by the Adirondack Park Agency.

The Resident's Committee to Protect the Adirondacks (RCPA) congratulates and commends the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) for their Nov. 14, 2008 modifications of regulations concerning the expansion of "non-conforming" shoreline structures built prior to the 1973 enactment of the APA.

These modifications require a variance for the expansion of structures located within defined APA shoreline setback areas. The RCPA supports these regulations and the guidelines for their implementation fully and enthusiastically. It believes that they add important new protections for water quality and that they contribute to the preservation of the scenic beauty of Adirondack shorelines.

These changes modify existing regulations which permitted unlimited lateral and rear expansion of non-conforming shoreline structures. They permit replacement of existing structures so long as they are not significantly expanded and the set back violation is not increased. And they permit the replacement of mobile homes with permanent structures. In addition single family homes within the setback area are permitted minor rearward expansions and minor height increases.

In addition to these modifications, any replacement of on-site non-conforming waste water must be by a system that is as close to setback requirements as is possible and may not be closer to the median high water mark that the system replaced. Any system installed intended to provide increased capacity because of increased occupancy of the structure served must meet existing standards.

The modifications permit completion of current project within a specified time-span and do not affect towns with Agency-approved local land use programs where variances will continue to be administered by the local zoning boards

These regulations serve several important purposes: They inhibit construction related erosion that degrades water quality. They inhibit seepage of waste water into our lakes and rivers, and they prevent degradation of the scenic quality of our shorelines.

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