Ballston plans overlay district workshop

Town of Ballston residents will have a chance to discuss Ballston Lake Overlay District regulations during a public workshop to be held Tuesday, April 22, in the community room of Town Hall.

We, at this time, really want to talk to the public, said Kathryn Serra, the town's engineer from CT Male in Latham.

She said the overlay regulations would primarily affect development and major construction projects, not the average property owner.

The majority of the overlay district regulations deal with septic systems and stormwater runoff, which would typically affect large-scale construction projects, Serra said.

"Ballston has a problem with failing septic systems, especially in the watershed," Serra said. "If the septic system is failing it must be replaced."

She said that failing septic systems were always a violation under state law, but, with the creation of an overlay district, law enforcement can now ensure the law is enforced in the watershed.

She compared the new rules regarding the watershed to those governing a state-owned highway. She said on a state highway, state police, as well as local law enforcement, can pull over a vehicle on a traffic violation. The creation of the overlay district gives the town authority over the watershed.

The April 22 workshop is intended to provide town officials with feedback on two proposed overlay district maps, which are available in the town clerk's office and through the town's Web site.

"The maps are practically the same," Serra said.

One proposed map regulates properties with 50 percent or more land within the watershed. The other encompasses properties that are 25 percent or more within the watershed.

A watershed is defined as any region draining into a body of water. In Ballston, the watershed includes all properties that, when it rains, will drain into Ballston Lake, according to Serra.

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