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Town needs to protect the lake, limit development

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

Skaneateles Lake is a national treasure, the gem of the Finger Lakes. Tourists come in increasing numbers to enjoy our lake, its crystal clear waters and surrounding scenic views. Residents of Skaneateles and Syracuse use Skaneateles Lake as their primary source of drinking water.

The purity of the lake, this place we call home, is in danger of becoming irreversibly damaged by development of its surrounding shores and hillsides. Milfoil has become a major problem in recent years. A multi-million dollar filtration plant hangs over our heads; we hope it will not become necessary, but who is making sure it will not be?

If our existing zoning laws and our comprehensive town plan do not protect us from unwanted development that puts our lake at risk, it is critical that we immediately adopt the necessary measures that will protect our lake.

I am writing to you specifically with regard to Tim Green’s proposal to develop the Loveless Farm acreage with 18 homes and a shared lakefront. While I oppose the entire plan on the grounds that it does not serve any purpose other than to bring profit to Mr. Green and will undoubtedly bring pollution to the lake, I would like to focus on his site no. 1, as well as the shared lakefront access.

Site no. 1 is to be a house built for Mr. Green personally on the north side of the ravine, within what is known as the stream buffer. Building a house, access road, driveway and bridge across the ravine (over the stream) in this location would irreparably damage the stream buffer, thus compromising the water quality of the stream, and thus the water quality of the lake.

“Stream buffers significantly clean and reduce storm-water before it reaches a stream by infiltrating and treating the runoff. The complexity and uneven terrain of a buffer acts as a trap to prevent sediment from entering streams that feed into the lake. Unmanaged sediment also creates deltas, further impairing the water quality of the lake. The stream buffer is important in controlling erosion, as well as affording protection from chemical pollutants and unhealthy levels of nutrients” -- Lake George Waterkeeper.

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