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Ballston overlay plan still needs tweaks

The town has contracted C.T. Male Associates to work on the project, and Civil Engineer Kathryn Serra was present to help with technical matters Tuesday night.

Serra explained that the boundaries for the BLOD were drawn from topographical satellite maps, obtained from the state for free. Such maps would not take man-made diversions like culverts into consideration, she said, meaning the boundary might not be completely accurate.

Serra said one way to get the district line just right would be to walk the entire boundary, but she said that it would cost thousands of dollars to have a company like C.T. Male do that kind of survey. Instead, the town is looking to residents like Farrell to come forth with their objections so they can be studied.

"Before we vote on this matter I want to be as certain as we can be that we've got this line right," said Councilwoman Mary Beth Hynes. "My position is that if it doesn't drain into Ballston Lake it shouldn't be included."

Southworth said any residents who think an area should be removed from the BLOD for this reason should contact a member of the town board.

Others at the meeting said they felt the proposed legislation should be thrown out altogether. "You'll never keep everything out of the lake," said Mark Katz, who owns local operation Katz Excavating. "Now you're making developers pay for it." He also questioned if more houses are really what Ballston needs, citing rising property taxes. "You need businesses here to help with the taxes, not homes," he said.

Others questioned whether the BLOD would be effective without similar measures from the neighboring town of Clifton Park, which shares Ballston Lake. Frank Shipp, vice president of the Ballston Lake Improvement Association, said his group has been in negations with Clifton Park.

A number of other residents, including Katz, suggested that the BLOD be put to a public referendum in the upcoming November election.

The Town Board said it would take the suggestions of residents into consideration during future meetings. Interested residents can check the town Web site, www.townofballstonny.nycap.rr.com, or Town Hall for posted agendas.

Residents who could not attend the public hearing may still submit written comments by e-mail or letter to the Town Hall through July 12, when the public comment period will end.""

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