Concerning Crescent Bay Marina planning

To the editor:

I live on Crescent Bay in Lower Saranac Lake. I agree both Crescent Bay Marina facilities need major repair and renovation, but remain concerned about the scale of dock expansion and appearance. I recently counted commercial mooring slips on several local lakes.

The Lake Flower, Oseetah, Kiwassa chain totals 1,409 acres with 42 slips for 33 lake acres per commercial slip. Lake Placid, 2,174 acres, has 154 commercially available boat slips for 14 lake acres per commercial slip. Lower Saranac Lake is 2,214 acres with 192 slips yielding 11.5 acres per commercial slip, already the most commercially developed lake. The Proposed CBM increase of 112 slips would drop Lower Saranac’s the acreage per hull to 7.3, half of Lake Placid’s.

The claimed “development window” in Crescent Bay is ephemeral. The lake surface covered by moorings and existing docks is state owned waterway and not currently permitted. CBM cannot claim adverse possession of state property. As the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Erin Burns stated in her March 4 letter, expansion of facilities into the supposed “window” requires permitting where none exists. These facts, coupled with restrictive deed covenants affecting CBM and adjacent landowners, and DEC’s concern for swimmer safety from the rock, should lead to realistic compromise on Crescent Bay Marina’s facilities expansion.

The need for a 50-percent dockage expansion is questionable. Fees must increase from about $500 a year to $3,500 to $5,000 annual rental. Competitive pricing will slow local use. Further, CBM presentations seem to lack adequate winter storage for the watercraft they intend to moor. Tiered storage with a quick launch capability could reduce dockage requirements, is less expensive per hull and is appropriate for the North Country’s 24-hour average annual powerboat usage.

The proposed appearance of the facilities is also concerning. In the Tri-Lakes we dictate how storefronts, even McDonald’s, may present to the public to preserve our traditional “Adirondack” look. The state Adirondack Park Agency holds approval rights on roof and siding materials and their color for my home on Crescent Bay. One might hope similar attention would be given larger, more visible, commercial buildings on the lake. Surely we can retain traditional styling for both Crescent Bay Marina facilities? I would appreciate more wood, less reflective surfaces, less painted metal. The renovations, while needed, needn’t be ugly.

Sincerely,

Charlie Wilson

Ray Brook and Saranac Lake