LAKE GEORGE As state DEC officials explained their pending project of reconstructing the Million Dollar Beach parking lot at a public meeting Nov. 14, local residents who live near where the beach’s boat launch is to be relocated voiced angry criticisms of the move. At times, people in the audience shouted their objections, interrupting the state Department of Environmental Conservation officials’ presentation. The shouts were loudest when DEC staffers said their plans weren’t subject to the state Environmental Quality Review process.
Although they defended their intentions to relocate the launch on the east side of Million Dollar Beach, the Department of Environmental Conservation officials listened to the citizens’ objections and said they would be re-evaluating where the boat launch should be situated.
The parking lot and the adjacent stretch of Beach Road are to be reconstructed with innovative porous pavement which is designed to allow stormwater to soak into the ground rather than run off the road and wash pollutants into the lake, they explained. New drainage is also planned to prevent the stormwater from flooding areas of the lot, particularly in the underpass near the beach’s bathhouse. Recurring flooding has closed off the underpass — a safe way to access the beach — for several years.
The project includes traffic pattern changes — including the construction of a roundabout and the conversion of a roadway beside the beach from one-way traffic to two-way. The changes are intended to abate traffic snarls, backups and confusion. A new drop-off point for people headed to the beach’s bathhouse will replace a crosswalk that now poses a danger to the public, DEC officials said.
These particular changes were praised by many in the overflow crowd that packed the Lake George Town Hall for the informational meeting.
But the re-positioning of the boat launch within several hundred feet of lakeshore residences, however, spurred plenty of angry objections from the property owners, who predicted unsafe boat traffic, noise and environmental degradation near their shoreline properties.