Ballston board approves lake zone

The Ballston Town Board unanimously voted a Ballston Lake Watershed Protection Overlay District into law at the Tuesday, Feb. 3, meeting, bringing to a close more than two years of debate over the effort to bolster regulations on what goes into the body of water.

Formerly known as the Ballston Lake Overlay District (BLOD), the district encompasses properties in which at least 25 percent the land drains into the lake. The board made amendments to the town's storm water management and illegal discharges regulations to allow local government to levy penalties for the discharge of pollutants and place limitations on future building projects within the district.

Pollutants include paint, automobile fluids and sewage. Over the past few years, concerns have been raised about the water quality in Ballston Lake, leading to the long process that culminated in Tuesday's vote.

Councilman Tim Szczepaniak said that he has received many comments from residents in support of the regulations. My commitment to all residents of this beautiful town we live in is to vote for what is right, he said, before casting his affirmative vote.

The law recently had an appeal process added for residents who do not believe their property should be included in the district, and it will be used immediately. Resident Rocky Palma, who owns a property on Scotch Bush Road, has already had his land examined by Building Inspector Thomas Johnson and C.T. Male, the town's engineering firm. Last week, they told him his land should not be in the district after touring it with snowmobiles.

To redraw the map again would mean a third public hearing, a circumstance the board wished to avoid. Instead, as per the appeals process, Palma will make his case to the Planning Board later this month, which will advise the Town Board on whether to redraw the map or not.

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