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Lake George Park Commission facing lawsuit over Bolton dock project

Lake George Park Commission facing lawsuit over Bolton dock project

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Bolton docks

A lawsuit has been filed against the Lake George Park Commission seeking to block the construction of a controversial dock project approved in February in Basin Bay along Cotton Point Road.

BOLTON — A lawsuit has been filed against the Lake George Park Commission seeking to block the construction of a controversial dock project approved in February in Basin Bay along Cotton Point Road.

A group of seasonal residents filed the April 13 lawsuit in Warren County Supreme Court seeking to annul the Feb. 23 decision by commissioners granting a permit for Lake George Property Services LLC to build four docks and a pair of sundecks along the narrow residential road.

The residents argue the project will obstruct views of the lake and increase boat traffic in Basin Bay, and that commissioners failed to follow regulations — including conducting an environmental review of the project — when approving the permit.

“The commission’s action should be annulled because the project will cause undue visual and aesthetic impacts on the neighborhood and the Lake George Park, will cause congestion and safety problems on the waters of Basin Bay and on Cotton Point Road, and will have undue impacts on the health, safety and welfare of the public, all in violation of the commission’s regulations,” the lawsuit reads.

Lake George Property Services LLC and its owner, Michael Caruso, are also listed as defendants.

Dave Wick, executive director of the Park Commission, said the case is under review, but added the decision to issue the permit was “thoughtfully and conscientiously made in accordance with the applicable legal requirements.”

“The Commission is comfortable that it performed the proper analysis of the project, carefully considering the proposal and working with both the applicant and the public to come to a compromise that meets the spirit, intent and letter of the law and regulations and takes into account, as much as possible, the concerns of the public and the applicant,” Wick said in an email.

The project was first discussed by commissioners in January, but was tabled over concerns about the size of the project, which, at the time, included seven “E-shaped” docks across four parcels, enough to accommodate 28 boats.

The docks are being built for four different homeowners less than a half-mile away.

In addition to the size of the project, dozens of residents wrote letters to the commission expressing concerns that the docks would obstruct traffic along the narrow Cotton Point Road and block views of the lake.

Some even raised concerns that boaters using the docks would urinate in the lake because of the lack of bathroom facilities.

The project was later revised to include a pair of “U-shaped” docks with sundecks and a pair of “L-shaped” docks.

But more than 100 letters opposing the project were submitted to the Park Commission expressing similar concerns.

Still, commissioners approved the project in an 8-1 vote, citing individual property rights.

“Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where we got some property that obviously a majority of the residents approve of the way it looks right now and they don’t want it changed. Unfortunately, they don’t own the property so they can’t do that,” Bruce Young, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said at the time.

In addition to annulling the permit, the lawsuit is seeking legal fees and other further relief the court finds suitable.

Chad Arnold is a reporter for The Post-Star covering the city of Glens Falls and the town and village of Lake George and Washington County government. Follow him on Twitter @ChadGArnold.

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