Last Updated On:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Project Summary

The applicant presented a sketch plan for a 14-lot subdivision of 90+ acres on the east side of Pilot Knob Road across from Fischers Marina.  The subdivision is proposed for townhouse units divided into duplex and triplex units with a Home Owners Association.  Three access points to Pilot Knob Road are proposed - one combined access and two separate access drives with maximum grades of 12%.  On-site wastewater treatment will be provided through individual systems servicing each duplex/triplex to be located on HOA property.  Stormwater management is proposed through s series of roadside swales and dry wells.  Plan currently proposes 2000 sf maximum footprint per unit.  Planning on filtered views for the units to minimize visual impact.  Project will require permits from APA,DOH, DEC, ACOE and LGPC.  Nothing is currently proposed on west side of Pilot Knob Road.  There is no contractual access for the proposed townhouse units to the existing docks at the marina.  Applicant has held a preapplication meeting with APA and plans to first submit to APA and then to Town.  Planning Board and Town Engineer expressed concerns about upland development and possible move units down the slope, amount of clearing on hillside, possible segmentation and need to show some concept for west side of Pilot Knob Road and provide buffers along the water front.  July 2010 - The applicant has revised the site plan and submitted to APA and Town of Fort Ann for review.  The revised plan consists of 8 single family homes and one duplex.  The total subdivision consists of 12 lots on 108 acres.  One single family home will have access from a 450 lf driveway on the south end of the property.  Two single family homes will be along Pilot Knob Road.  Five single family homes and the duplex will be located in the uplands off a 1000 lf road.  A community wastewater treatment system will service the upland development and single on-site wastewater treatment systems will service the three other single family homes.  Water will be provided through on site wells.  Stormwater management will be provided in large basins with curb and gutter conveyance.  Two other lots will be created and reserved for future wastewater treatment for the marina.  DECEMBER 2010 - The Project requires a variance from the LGPC for separation to wetlands for stormwater management devices.  The stormwater management system consists of an infiltration basin for Lot 10; three wet ponds for the upland development access road and for Lots 3-9 (two required the variance) and infiltration trenches for Lots 1 and 2.

Waterkeeper Perspective

The Waterkeeper has concerns about extent of upland development and disturbance required to reach the building sites;  stormwater management and need to incorporate low impact development measures; potential segmentation of the west side parcel and buffers along existing streams on property.  July 2010 - The Waterkeeper has numerous concerns about the proposed development:  the plan fails to implement any concepts of Low Impact Development and has extensive disturbance on steep slopes and in close proximity to wetlands; the impervious coverage is excessive and should be reduced by shortening driveways/roads and reducing the width; the curb/gutter/piping should be replaced with open swale conveyance and providing stormwater management closer to the source; there is concern about the influence of high groundwater on the stormwater basins; the configuration of the units should be analyzed to reduce cuts into the hillside; the impacts to the wetlands should be evaluated; and the proposed community wastewater system is located on slopes that exceed the allowable.  The Waterkeeper provided a detailed technical review of the stormwater management system and found significant noncompliances with the Lake George Park Commission regulations and discovered there has yet to be a submission to the Commission, contrary to the request from the APA.  DECEMBER 2011 - The Waterkeeper submitted detailed comments to the Lake George Park Commission regarding the requested variance.  The comments were consistent with previous comments, which did not seem to be adequately addressed.  In addition, the Waterkeeper provided comment of the criteria for granting a variance including the impact the community (impacts to the lake through reduced stormwater management); the substantiality of the variance request (0 foot setback instead of required 100 foot);  the potential for alternatives to the variance (the stormwater could be infiltrated closer to the source reducing the need for the variance); impacts to the environment (removal of the wetland buffer and potential algae impacts to Irish Bay) and the variance is self-created.

Waterkeeper Comments

See comment letter to Town of Fort Ann Planning Board July 2010.  See comment letter to the Adirondack Park Agency July 2010.  See comment letter to Lake George Park Commission December 2010 and January 2011.

Next Meeting

The Town of Fort Ann Planning Board reviewed the Sketch Plan at the January 25, 2010 meeting.  Concerns were expressed regarding potential clearing and upland development.  Density did not appear to be an issue.  The project application has been deemed complete by the Adirondack Park Agency, who is accepting public comments until July 29, 2010 on the application.  The Town of Fort Ann Planning Board is holding a public hearing on the preliminary plans on July 26, 2010 at 7 pm.  At the Town of Fort Ann Planning Board meeting on July 26, 2010, the preliminary plan was approved 7-0 with no changes or modifications.  Public comments on the permit application to the Adirondack Park Agency were accepted until July 29, 2010.  DECEMBER 2010 - The LGPC reviewed the variance application at their December 2010 meeting.  The comment letter from the Waterkeeper raised questions about the application.  The LGPC tabled the application to allow the applicant to address the comments raised.  The application was tabled to the January 2011 meeting.  At the January 25, 2011 Lake George Park Commission meeting, the application was discussed in detail regarding the potential alternatives to reduce the requested variance, maintenance agreement requirements and planting plans were discussed.  The Lake George Park Commission granted the variance (7-3 vote) with the following conditions:  1) Maintenance Agreement extending 3 years after completion of construction; 2) Soil restoration in compliance with DEC requirements; 3) Planting plan with native planting; 4) Rain gardens to be constructed to DEC guidelines; 5) Applicant to protect No Disturbance Limits and may cross to remove invasive species only; 6) Provide 6”-12” of topsoil around the buildings; and 7) Provide 2” dbh caliper trees.  The project was on the February 28, 2011 agenda of the Town of Fort Ann Planning Board.  The applicant informed the Board of revisions to the plan including altering lot lines for marketing purposes making lots 5 ac and to address concerns of the LGPC.  It was determined the changes were not significant and met the spirit of the preliminary approval and therefore, was no need to send to the Town Engineer for review.

Related Town

Waterkeeper Comments Document

Project Address

1215 Pilot Knob Road
Fort Ann, NY 12827