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Lake George leaders oppose DEC plan for boat launch at Million Dollar beach

At a Lake George Town meeting Dec. 9, Peter Keating — who lives on Rose Point Lane near where the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation wants to relocate a boat launch — accuses the agency of improperly bypassing environmental review of their own project — as well as trying to keep the launch relocation under wraps to minimize public opposition to their plans. The DEC plans call for relocating the launch into shallow water on the west side of Million Dollar Beach near private residences and swimming areas — and the Lake George Town Board opposes the idea.

At a Lake George Town meeting Dec. 9, Peter Keating — who lives on Rose Point Lane near where the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation wants to relocate a boat launch — accuses the agency of improperly bypassing environmental review of their own project — as well as trying to keep the launch relocation under wraps to minimize public opposition to their plans. The DEC plans call for relocating the launch into shallow water on the west side of Million Dollar Beach near private residences and swimming areas — and the Lake George Town Board opposes the idea. Photo by Thom Randall.

— The Lake George town board agreed to notify the state it doesn’t want the state to locate a boat launch on the east side of Million Dollar Beach — but the panel declined to take the issue a step further, as angry citizens had insisted in a town meeting Dec. 9.

Citizens living near the planned boat launch at the southeast corner of the lake said the town should demand that the state submit its extensive redevelopment plans for Million Dollar Beach — and its reconstructed parking lot, planned boat washing station and boat launch concept — to local site plan review.

The multi-million-dollar redevelopment plans include building a new parking lot several feet higher so sewer pipes can be reconstructed underneath, setting up a boat washing station that could be used round-the-clock, and relocating a boat launch — now virtually defunct — on the east side of the beach.

This re-positioning of the boat launch — within several hundred feet of lakeshore residences — has prompted passionate objections from the nearby homeowners, who predicted unsafe boat traffic, compromised swimming safety, bothersome noise at all hours, and environmental degradation near their shoreline properties.

Local residents had noted that the area of the lake where the Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking to relocate its boat launch is habitat for various unusual wildlife species, is too shallow to safely launch a boat, and is so close to private beaches that swimmers would be at risk of death or dismemberment.

Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said that the state had determined its plans weren’t subject to either its own State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process, nor would it be submitting its plans to the town’s site plan review, which is required of all individuals, commercial enterprises and governmental entities, according to town law.

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