Number: 1

Date Posted: April 06, 2015

Date Adopted: July 17, 2012

Overview:

Saratoga Lake Protection and Improvement District

DRAFT LAWS FOR THE REGULATION OF DOCKS

AND

DRAFT LAWS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF BOATS

Presentation to Saratoga Lake Association and Saratoga Lake Protection and Improvement District
Annual Meeting
July 19, 2012

SUMMARY

SLPID has been considering the dock regulations and boat registrations for the past four years. This draft has been developed to introduce the public to the idea, provide an understanding for why regulations and fees are necessary for Saratoga Lake, and to find out whether there is public support for this concept.

The dock regulations provide a limitation to the number of docks related to the amount of shoreline and a simple but effective set of standard for docks, moorings, and marinas. The boat registration process creates a mandatory fee and sticker program for boats that are petroleum fueled. This fee is aimed primarily at boaters that are not residents. Funds generated from this program would be used for programs to preserve the resources of the Lake and the safety of its users.

These draft regulations will be on the SLPID website: https://slpid.org. An opportunity to provide comment for a period of 30 days will be provided on the website. Following this comment period, SLPID will reach out to the four involved communities for their input.

If there is a consensus of support to move the draft regulation of docks forward, SLPID will move to get the towns of Malta, Stillwater and Saratoga and the City of Saratoga Springs to pass local laws. If there is a consensus of support to move the draft rule to register and pay a fee to operate petroleum fueled boats forward, SLPID will prepare an appropriate law or amendment to the existing state legislation that created SLPID.

Introduction

After several years of discussion by members of the SLPID Board, and based on observations of boating activity on Saratoga Lake, the SLPID Board is proposing a set of dock regulations and is seeking public input. Once public opinion has been gathered, a modified rule will be sent to the local communities adjoining the lake. If the communities find the regulations acceptable, the rules will be proposed as site plan review requirements for use of the individual municipalities.

Objective

These regulations are intended to create reasonable and safe use of Saratoga Lake. It is Saratoga Lake Protection and Improvement District’s intent to minimize the impact to the shoreline environment and its natural character by controlling the number of shoreline structures, maintaining conforming construction standards, and establishing safe fairways for boat navigation around docks.

Proposed Standards

Definition of a Dock

A dock is any structure extending over the water from the shore for the purpose of berthing watercraft and which provides access to and from the docked watercraft.

Dock Standards

  • A permit will be required for the construction of any new dock or the complete replacement of an existing dock using the same footprint as of the date of this ordinance.
  • The maximum number of docks permitted per residential lot or undeveloped (vacant) parcel is as follows:
Linear Feet of Lakefront Required Number of Docks Permitted
0 – 75 feet 1 dock plus 1 mooring
76 – 200 feet 2 docks plus 2 moorings
More than 200 feet 3 docks plus 3 moorings
    • Extended into the lake along the axis of the property lines as they intersect the lake, or a line extended at a right angle to the mean high water mark, whichever results in the greater setback. Docks, piers, moorings, hoists, boat slips, and swim floats shall be centered between the side lot lines to the greatest extent possible. SLPID will consider variances for lots that are too small to meet these setback standards;
    • The number of docks on communal shared frontage will be at the discretion of member/owners of the shared frontage property. The above requirements for dock setbacks remain applicable;
    • No dock shall be constructed unless designed to withstand forces of flowing water and wave washes; and
    • All docks and floating objects of any kind are prohibited from interfering with the access to or from any riparian property or adjacent docks and will not be a hazard to navigation.

Mooring and Floating Object Standards

  • Buoy specifications are that at least one (1) cubic foot of buoy must be above the water line; and every buoy must be white with a one-inch blue stripe and a one inch strip of reflector tape placed around the buoy horizontally and visible above the water line.
  • Floating object standards apply to swim floats (including inflatables), boats, seaplanes, etc., which are tied or anchored by rope, cable or other suitable material.
  • The maximum setbacks for moorings and floating objects are fifteen (15) feet to adjacent property lines as extended into the lake and at full swing.
  • The maximum distance from shore for any floating object is 100 feet from shore. Permits are required from NYSOPRHP for any landowner wanting to place a mooring or floating object beyond 100 feet.
  • The maximum size for any moored floating object is 144 square feet. Note that any floating object that is more than 100 square feet, requires a permit from NYSOPRHP.
  • No boat or other vessel used for navigation shall be moored, docked, berthed or stored at a swim float.

Marina Standards

  • Residential Marina
    • Definition: Any dock on a lakefront lot that is berthing up to 2 boats that are not registered to the owner of the property, a gratuitous guest, or those having deeded lake rights to the shore front from an upland property; and other than the berthing of vessels as offered as a part of the rental of a residential unit.
    • No permit is required and no specific standards apply.

Exemption

  • Any dock that existed on the date upon which these regulations first took effect in the municipality where the project is located does not require a permit.

Enforcement

  • SLIPD will be responsible for creating a baseline of existing conditions by photographing and collecting data on existing docks.
  • Commercial Marina
    • Definition: Any dock on a lakefront lot that is supporting more than 2 boats other than those registered to the owner of the property, a gratuitous guest, or those having a deeded lake right to the shorefront from an upland property, and other than the berthing of vessels as offered as a part of the rental of a residential unit; or any commercial business that is engaged in the sale of watercraft, marine products, or services; rental of personal watercraft, boats over sixteen (16) feet or any type of mechanically powered watercraft; the offering of rides, instruction, or water-based recreation for a fee; and the commercial storage of watercraft.
    • Special Use Permits are required from the Planning Board in the municipality in which the dock is located for the following situations:
  • To dock or anchor more than 2 or more boats not registered to the lot owner; and
  • To expand commercial marina docks.
    • Specific standards for commercial marinas include:
  • Access to fully functioning and available toilet facilities 24hours per day from May 1 to October 31 of each year;
  • One on-site parking space or assigned off-site parking space for each non-resident boat slip;
  • Adequate garbage disposal;
  • Expansions are subject to meeting the test of non-interference with access to or from any riparian property or adjacent docks and will not be a hazard to navigation; and
  • Where applicable, proof of compliance with NYS fire code standards and DEC bulk storage standards for the storage of gasoline and hazardous materials.
Introduction

The SLPID recognizes that there are a large number of boaters that use and enjoy Saratoga Lake as do the landowners around the lake. This is a draft law that SLPID has prepared to collect a lake user fee in order to continue to fund ongoing work to protect the lake. Once comments are received, revisions will be made followed by submission of the document to the local communities. If the draft law is supported by the adjacent communities and the general public, it will be prepared as a law or amendment to the existing state legislation that created SLPID.

Objective

The creation of a boat registration system is intended to create a revenue stream designed to offset the increasing cost of managing non-native aquatic vegetation in Saratoga Lake and preserving the resources of the Lake and the safety of its users.

Proposed Standards
Annual Registration of Boats
  • The following new law requires any boat petroleum-fueled boat be registered with SLPID on an annual basis and display a registration decal. PWC’s are required to be registered. Temporary and annual fees will be set and reviewed annually by the SLPID Board of Directors.
  • Annual registration and fees will apply to boats under the following three categories:

Transient Lake User:

A Transient Lake User is a boater who does not have a permanent dock arrangement. Transient boat registrations are required for all petroleum-fueled boats not paying an annual registration. It may be may be purchased daily or weekly. The fee is the same for all boats regardless of type or size. Transient boat registrations expire at midnight the seventh day of the effective date of the registration. Boats that are available from marinas will be annually registered by the marina owner.

SLPID District Taxpayer Lake User:

A SLPID District Taxpayer Lake User is the owner of record of a parcel within the tax district including homeowners, renters, and homeowner’s association members. These members are required to register all petroleum-fueled boats. However, no permit fee will be charged for the first three (3) registered boats owned by the taxpayer and; any additional boats that are required to pay a fee will pay a fee that is reduced by 50% of the regular fee based upon boat length.

Non District Lake User:

A Non District Lake User includes all lot or parcel owners that have dock rights but do not pay taxes to SLPID. These members shall pay annual fees on all petroleum-fueled boats.

Annual Registration Fees
  • Annual registration fees apply to boats under the following standards and conditions:
    • For the purposes of establishing fees, boat length categories are: less than 21 feet; 21-30 feet; and over 30 feet. Boat length is defined as the distance from the transom to the bow light. This information is printed on the boat’s NYS Registration.
    • Registration fees may be collected by a number of private or public vendors including: retail stores, local marinas, the state boat launch; and town halls. Marinas will be required to sell annual registrations based on the boat owner’s status.
    • Boat stickers may be issued for multiple years to SLPID members. SLPID Non-Member boat owners are required to obtain a registration annually.
    • Boat stickers must be displayed in a prominent location on the left hand side of the windshield.
    • Failure to comply may result in revocation of your permit and/or other penalties including fines of up to $250.

Fee Schedule

Transient Lake User

Day Use $ 7.50

Weekly Use $10.00

District Taxpayer Lake User

No Annual fee for first 3 boats

Annual fee applicable for boats 4 or more as indicated below

Boat Length Annual Fee
Less than 21 feet $15.00
21-30 feet $25.00
Over 30 feet $35.50
Non District Lake User
Boat Length Annual Fee
Less than 21 feet $30.00
21-30 feet $50.00
Over 30 feet $75.00