I have some thoughts on “Highlands at Risk” [November/December 2012].
Yes, hillside sites have become desirable alternatives to shoreline parcels due to price increases for lakefront properties. Hillside areas tend to have a lower density of development so these larger sites may offer more privacy, too.
We became aware of the heightened interest in ridgeline properties in the Lake George basin about thirty years ago.
There were few regulations in effect, so some early developments were not well designed—erosion and runoff caused problems; however by the mid-1990s the Lake George Park Commission created storm-water-control rules. Many towns in the basin enacted local versions of the commission’s regulations, including the town of Bolton.
Now, every project in Bolton must comply with our strong rules regarding storm-water management. Site-plan review is required, and the town’s engineer must approve the driveway design and excavation plans. The planning board’s approval for hillside construction includes conditions for earth-tone colors, non-reflective windows, and limits on vegetation removal. The board’s duty is to balance environmental protection with an individual’s property rights.
It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Let’s concentrate on having proper engineering and plan execution, water-quality protection with no potential for pollution, and thoughtful design review in keeping with the current regulations. Then build to your heart’s content.
Deanne Rehm, Bolton Landing
The writer is a former Bolton supervisor and Adirondack Park Agency commissioner.