Opinion mixed on watershed district

An appeal process is built into this iteration of the law. For one year after its implementation, property owners who believe they have been erroneously included in the overlay district can make their argument to the town's Planning Board.

Although the board didn't take questions from the public, some residents thanked them and applauded the proposed law.

"This is an effort to protect one of the major resources of the Town of Ballston," said Pete Herman. "It's much, much harder to correct a lake that has been polluted or has developed very high nutrient levels, and this legislation is going to go a long way to preserve Ballston Lake."

But some wondered if the whole lake will be protected. Ballston isn't the only town bordering the lake. Neighboring Clifton Park sits on the southwestern shore, and similar plans are not under way there.

"I would wonder why there isn't an intermunicipal agreement with the Town of Clifton Park to have a total protection district," said resident Jeff Hall, whose thoughts were echoed by several others.

Frank Shipp, vice president of the Ballston Lake Improvement Association and a longtime supporter of the overlay district, said he has approached Clifton Park officials and is confident that they will follow Ballston's lead once the law is passed.

"You've got to do first things first," he said. "We have already been to Clifton Park and they said, 'We will deal with it when Ballston passes it.'"

Shipp added that Clifton Park's border only accounts for 15 percent of the lake's shore, and that efforts in Ballston will have the greatest effect on the lake.

"I had a meeting with officials from Ballston concerning that some time ago," said Clifton Park Supervisor Philip Barrett. "When we met, I think we decided that Ballston would take the lead in anything to do with this overlay district moving forward."

Barrett said he hopes that his Town Board will get a detailed presentation of the law if it passes in Ballston.""

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