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Ballston overlay plan still needs tweaks

Residents of Ballston had another chance to bring their concerns about the proposed Ballston Lake Overlay District to the Ballston Town Board at a Tuesday, June 24, public hearing.

Though town officials said that some of the arguments raised had already been addressed in previous meetings, by the end of the hearing it was clear that at the very least some revisions would need to be made to the map itself before the law can be enacted.

The Ballston Lake Overlay District (BLOD) is a legislative effort to prevent the pollution of Ballston Lake. It has its roots in a 2001 Capital District Regional Planning Commission study, which outlined the need for protecting the lake.

Some residents said they were not aware of where the BLOD came from, and Town Supervisor Patti Southworth promised to put the link to the study on the town's Web site. The study currently can be found at www.cdrpc.org/WaterQuality.html.

The Ballston Lake watershed includes all land whose water runoff would flow into the lake. The BLOD has been presented as legislation to bolster the protection of the lake, in part by creating density bonuses for developers who build with public water and sewer in the area. In many instances, it would bolster already existing state, federal or town regulations regarding environmental protection.

Some residents who spoke said they felt their properties should not be included in the watershed district in the first place. That was the case with Peter Farrell, whose Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital on Goode Street would fall into the overlay district.

At first I thought, 'that's a good idea, let's protect the lake,' said Farrell. When he found that his property was included in the district, however, he took a walk to see where water on his property went. He said it was clear runoff traveled away from the lake.

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