Special Board of Trustees Meeting May 8, 2008

The Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 7:30pm.
Trustees Hanson and Shaw were absent.

The main purpose of the meeting was to hold a Public Hearing on Local Law Introductory #4 regarding Lake Laws.

After some brief opening remarks by Mayor Stebbins, Trustee Darby read the Notice of Public Hearing aloud. Jock McKinnon, Chairman of the Lake Law Revision Panel, was then asked to briefly summarize the changes encompassed in the proposed legislation. Mr. McKinnon began by giving a brief review of the process the panel underwent in establishing their report.

When they were formed in 2007, the panel’s initial charge was to review Chapter 65 of the Village code with regard to governing the lakes, specifically in terms of permanent structures and docking facilities on the water. After carefully examining the lakes both by boat and from the shore, the Panel contacted both the Tuxedo Club and the Village Boat Club in an effort to obtain their forecasted needs in terms of docking facilities and mooring for the next ten years. In preparing their report, the Panel focused mainly on Tuxedo Lake, yet Mr. McKinnon suggested that the proposed legislation be extended to include all three Village lakes.

Regarding permanent structures on the lake, the Panel suggests that the Village carry through the current restrictions, which prohibit the addition of new permanent structures. Structures that were standing prior to 1987 but are no longer standing may be rebuilt if they are identified within a specified time period (suggested 1 year) and the property owner presents the Building Inspector with proof of their prior existence. Should the property owner fail to report the structure prior to the determined cut-off date or present the B.I. with proper proof of prior existence the structure cannot be rebuilt.

With regard to seasonal docks, the Panel suggests that they be no larger than 10 ft wide and extend into the Lake no further than 6 ft. While studying these docks on the lake, the Panel noted that some residents have smaller “connector docks” which link the seasonal docks to onshore docks. The Panel stressed that the overall length of docks, including any “connector docks” must not exceed 6ft.

Concerning permanent docking facilities on the Lake, Mr. McKinnon commented that there is some ambiguity in the current law as it pertains to the Club’s request for additional docks. In addition, the current law does not allow the Village Boat Club to expand their docking facility. After reviewing the forecasted needs of both Clubs, the Panel has attempted to amend the current legislation and create a new law, which provides a framework for both organizations to expand according to their forecasted needs.

While their initial proposal was much larger in scope, The Tuxedo Club has modified their proposal and is now seeking to install 4 additional docks to be located at the north side of the Boathouse. The Tuxedo Club had demolished existing docks as part of the approval for new docks at this location.

The Village Boat Club has amended their original proposal as well and is now requesting to install 3 “finger docks” as opposed to the T-Dock they had originally proposed. They have also added moorings to their request. Copies of the Boat Club’s proposal along with detailed drawings are on file in the Village Office for public review.
The Panel is recommending that both Clubs be allowed to move forward with their proposals.

When and if the proposed legislation is adopted, the panel recommends that the Board of Trustees take inventory of the number of docks and moorings currently on the lakes and decide upon a fixed number for each, not to be exceeded moving forward. In addition, the Panel recommends that the Board set specific guidelines with regard to the square footage of docks.

The panel is also suggesting that dock owners retain the right to reconfigure their docks should the need arise but such reconfigurations will require approval from the Board.
Finally, Mr. McKinnon outlined a few discrete changes to the current law including restrictions on the Fishing Club’s authority to grant fishing permits as well as the restriction of certain fertilizers and chemicals within the Village, which may pose a direct threat to the health of the lakes. With regard to this last suggestion, the panel recommends that the Board defer to the Environmental Committee when forming the list of restricted chemicals.

Following Mr. McKinnon’s comments, Trustee Darby expressed gratitude to the Panel and specifically Jock McKinnon, stating that the proposed legislation reflects an enormous amount of skill and diligence.

The Public Hearing was then opened.

Jim Hayes expressed his gratitude to the panel and proceeded to read a letter on behalf of his wife, Nancy, who was unable to attend. In her letter, Nancy praised the panel for their hard work and expressed her specific appreciation for the Panel’s focus on restricting the use of potentially harmful fertilizers and chemicals within the Village.
Mr. Hayes went on to address the issue of steam cleaning boats and suggested that the trailers used to transport seasonal boats to and from their winter storage facilities can potentially house more toxins than the boats themselves. He recommended that in addition to current steam cleaning requirements for boats, the Village require trailers be properly cleaned as well.

David McFadden commented that the Village Boat Club’s current proposal has changed drastically from the initial one. He asked Greg Libby, Boat Club President, how he accounted for the changes. Mr. Libby responded that the new design encompasses the forecasted needs of the Boat Club for the next 10 years. In addition, the new plan shortens the view of the docks and presents a much cleaner, more concise structure, which he believes to be more aesthetically appealing.

Mr. McFadden went on to inquire about the Panel’s rationale for fixing the number of docks and moorings after the legislation has been adopted rather than beforehand. He argued that providing the public with the numbers beforehand would allow them a better understanding of the projects full impact on Village lakes.

Mr. McKinnon responded that the order of operations with regard to fixing the number of docks and moorings could certainly be reversed if the Board sees fit. It was the intention of the Panel that the two actions (enacting of the law & fixing the number of docks and moorings) be simultaneous.

Next, Mr. McFadden inquired about the proposed restrictions regarding the rebuilding of permanent structures. Specifically he inquired as to whether or not future homeowners, who obtain lake front property after the proposed deadline has passed, will have the right to rebuild structures that the current homeowner may choose not to rebuild. Mr. McKinnon responded that under the proposed legislation, the rights to rebuild these structures would be lost if not explored within the time limit.

Drew Goldman commented that he has a fundamental issue with regard to how the Village Boat Club is managed. He likened the Boat Club to the Wee Wah Beach Club, as both are private clubs that are run on Village property, and suggested that the Boat Club is not held to many of the same standards as the Beach Club. He suggested that Club be required to employ some kind of constant supervision during operating hours so that they can monitor the property and ensure that only club members are utilizing the facility. He went on to suggest that many of the same concerns he raised in 2007 remain valid including increase in traffic and noise levels. While he acknowledged that the new plan may be an improvement in terms of sightlines and general aesthetics, he suggested that any expansion would be a detriment to the neighboring properties and he urged the Board to revisit section 100-48 of the Zoning Code which states that no appeals will be given to structures that are detrimental to the general welfare of the surrounding properties.

Mayor Stebbins responded that there are many differences between the Village Boat Club and the Wee Wah Beach Club, which require that they be governed differently. As it is a swimming facility, the Beach Club is required to comply with many State and Board of Health mandated regulations that do not apply to the Boat Club. Also, while the Beach Club’s membership is open to both Village residents as well as residents from the Hamlet, the Boat Club’s membership is restricted to tax paying Village residents.

Mr. Goldman responded by suggesting that the Board research Orange County regulations for Boat Clubs before making a final decision on the club’s proposed expansion.

David McFadden then inquired if Board approval of the proposed legislation would encompass approval of the Boat Club’s proposal. He continued on to comment that the Club should be required to submit detailed drawings of the plans for public view before the Board votes on the project. In addition, he suggested that the Village notify all neighboring property owners of the proposed dock expansion in writing, so that they might have a chance to comment.

Trustee Darby responded that the Boat Club’s application for expansion and the Lake Law Revision Panel’s proposed legislation are two different items. Passing the legislation will not mean immediate approval for the Boat Club, but it will allow them to proceed with the application process. Trustee Worthy commented that the Boat Club has been advised to submit an application to the Board of Architectural Review and that neighbors will be notified of the project in writing as dictated by the BAR process. Mayor Stebbins commented that a copy of the Boat Club’s proposal, including detailed drawings, are currently on file in the Village office and available for public viewing.
Following these comments, the Public Hearing was adjourned.

Because Trustees Hanson and Shaw were not present, Evaluation of EAF for Gateway Overlay District regarding Zoning Law for Gateway View sheds was tabled.

The Police department is looking to sell 7 guns purchased by former Police Chief Robert Culhane. They have received an attractive offer for the weapons but are unable to sell until the Board has officially labeled them “surplus equipment”. The Board unanimously approved a resolution labeling the guns as surplus equipment.

A resolution granting the DPW permission to resurface East Lake Road with a “slurry mix” for the cost of $28,321.25 was presented and discussed. Trustee Worthy inquired about the cost of milling down the roads before they are resurfaced and was informed by Mayor Stebbins that this process is quite expensive. Trustee Worthy responded that while the cost of milling may be high, it will never be cheaper than it is right now and that deferring the project because of cost is not a viable solution.

Trustee Darby then commented that the Board should address the broader issue of creating a specific restructuring plan and suggested that the DPW be charged with creating an outline plan for Village roads.

Trustee Worthy agreed with the need for a restructuring plan and commented that Trustee Shaw has repeatedly expressed a desire for a special infrastructure meeting at which such a plan might be discussed and formulated. She continued on to express her support for the meeting, commenting that a detailed plan needs to be set in place with regard to infrastructure improvements.

Following this discussion, the Board unanimously approved the road resurfacing resolution.

Finally, The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Michael Biagini as a full-time police officer.

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