RAY BROOK - The Adirondack Park Agency has scheduled four public hearings to solicit public comments on proposed revisions to its boathouse regulations. The four hearings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:
• Jan. 5, 2010, 6 p.m. at the Adirondack Park Agency, Rt. 86, in Ray Brook,
• Jan. 6, 2010, 6 p.m. at the Town of Webb Park Ave. Building, 183 Park Ave. in Old Forge,
• Jan 7, 2010, 11 a.m. at the Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Room 129B, in Albany,
• Jan. 7, 2010, 6 p.m. at the Lake George Town Hall
The public may also submit written comments to John S. Banta, Counsel, NYS Adirondack Park Agency, P.O. Box 99, Ray Brook, N.Y. 12977. Written comments will be accepted until Jan. 17, 2010.
Interpreter services are available for hearing-impaired persons, at no charge, upon written request. The Agency asks requests be submitted within a reasonable time prior to the scheduled public hearing. Please address these requests to the agency representative designated above.
The current APA Boathouse definition was implemented in regulations adopted in 1979, and revised in 2002. The 2009 definition proposes specific roof, height and footprint criteria to replace the 2002 "single story" limitation. The revision clarifies design components and continues to prohibit the use of boathouses for anything other than boat storage.
Other uses, if independently built, would be subject to the shoreline setback requirements of the APA Act. For example, other structures such as decks, guest cottages, and recreation rooms are prohibited on the shoreline if greater than 100 square feet in size. Under prior regulations, landowners attached these components as part of what would otherwise be a boat berthing structure, and argued these components were part of the "boathouse" because the previous definitions did not specifically exclude them.
The 2002 definition limited boathouses to a "single story." However, the definition fails to prohibit large "attics," and extensive rooftop decks, resulting in some very large non-jurisdictional shoreline structures. The lack of clarity requires architect's plans and time-consuming staff evaluation.
The 2009 proposal retains the 2002 provisions that define "boathouse" to mean "a covered structure with direct access to a navigable body of water which (1) is used only for the storage of boats and associated equipment; (2) does not contain bathroom facilities, sanitary plumbing, or sanitary drains of any kind; (3) does not contain kitchen facilities of any kind; (4) does not contain a heating system of any kind; (5) does not contain beds or sleeping quarters of any kind".
The proposal adds: "(6) has a footprint of 900 square feet or less measured at exterior walls, a height of fifteen feet or less, and a minimum roof pitch of four on twelve for all rigid roof surfaces. Height shall be measured from the surface of the floor serving the boat berths to the highest point of the structure."
The change is prospective only; lawful existing boathouse structures may be repaired or replaced pursuant to Section 811 of the APA Act within the existing building envelop. For those who wish to exceed the size parameters or expand a larger existing boathouse, a variance will be required. Standard shoreline cutting and wetland jurisdictional predicates still apply in all cases.
For more information, visit the APA Web site at www.apa.state.ny.us.