Towns may close beaches on Great Sacandaga Lake
#1 Jun 21, 2009
I have read several newspaper accounts of the GSL Permit System. As an extremely interested researcher of the GSL, I do not believe there is another living person who understands the GSL better than I do.
First, as a man-made reservoir, the Hudson River Black River Regulating District (HRBRRD) draws down the GSL water levels by about 25 feet per year for much needed control over the saltfront around Poughkeepsie, where some 3 million people draw water for treatment to drinking water from the Hudson and to make room for snowpack melt in the GSL to prevent spring flooding along the upper Hudson communities of Albany, Troy, etc.. This drawdown is historical yearly and since the GSL is very shallow (averaging just 13' deep), it is easy to see that some shorelines around the GSL become hundreds of feet away from property owners surveyed land around the periphery of the lake (drawdown from full pond to low water status). This tends to make periphery landowners think they somehow OWN 2 or 3 times the land they actually pay taxes on..........What???
This all came about when the former lands (before the GSL was flooded in 1929-30) were surveyed by the 1908 NYS Water Commission, which established the "Flow Line" (think bathtub ring or high water/full pond around the perimeter of the lake) and confiscated by the State in Eminent Domain Proceedings. The bottom line is; Though there is a questionable jurisdictional aspect of the lakebed, the State, probably through the Office of General Services (OGS) manages this as State land or "Lands Underwater". Other stakeholders include the APA, DEC, Forest Preserve, HRBRRD, etc.
You may think of it in this way. Everywhere, in States across the nation, people own property, but only to the inside edge of their front sidewalks. Their property's, like the properties around the GSL, are pinpointed and designated by very sophisticated surveying techniques of metes and bounds. As a property owner in the city, one maintains their front sidewalks and grass apron, but they do not own it. This allows State, County and City Agencies access for power and water cables amongst other things. If I walk along your sidewalk with my dog you as a property owner can do nothing, except on your own property (within your metes & bounds). If I were a dog owner and didn't pick-up after my dog, you might feel obliged as a property owner to pick up after me and my dog, just to maintain what you feel is your property, but that doesn't give you any rights to community property, now does it?
This mass hysteria coming from the people around the GSL is just DUMB. People around the lake never have owned this land and do not pay taxes on it. The access to the lakebed does come at some expense to the surrounding property owners, but so what, one does what they have to do to own property overlooking a lake. The idea that many many new users of the lake will develop out of the vapor to spoil adjacent property owners land is just fool hearted and ignorant.
#2 Jun 30, 2009
sorry, you are just plain wrong.
My family settled along the river in the 19th century, on the land we still own. We did own the land to the lake edge and beyond, and we also paid taxes on it.
When the river was dammed to make the lake, our lower fields, which were siezed under eminent domain, were inundated. My grandfather and his brothers moved thier houses from the area which is now under water to thier present locations in our higher fields. Now the GSL regulators may increase taxes to the point where we will have to sell out, or they may enact new rules which will destroy our privacy.
Our property overlooks the lake which sits on our former property. Maybe the 'mass hysteria' that you refer to comes from over 100 years of protecting our property rights from those who would, and have in the past, taken those rights away.
We are not concerned about people who might 'develop out of the vapor', but rather those who continually and increasingly invade our property via land and water, and have done such lovely things as breaking into and burning down my great-grandfather's house.
Before you pass everyone off as people who want lake views, learn something about the history and demographics of who lives on the GSL.
P.S. The ancient metes and bounds is hopelessly flawed; in some places the line is practically on the shore, and other places hundreds of yards back and 20 to 30 feet higher in altitude.
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