After a second public comment period, the Santa Clara Town Board has approved 10 amendments to its Land Use Code. The first approval process, completed in April, was done so without following proper procedures, thus calling for an additional comment period held in August.

Four of the amendments affect shorefront issues. Amendments incorporated changes to the Land Use Code map, setbacks restrictions, docks, and boathouses. Public comments and concerns voiced in the August meeting primarily focused on including boathouses in the maximum width dimensions of shoreline structures relative to the length of the shorefront.

Land Use Code adoptions specific to the waterfront include:

  1. The lands on which Hickock’s Boat Livery and Marina, that have been in operation since 1929, have been zoned residential. The Land Use Code amendment changed the zoning to residential/commercial to be compatible with the present use.
  2. The definition of “dock” was amended to include any horizontal platform-type structure whereas the previous code was specific to docks that’s primary purpose was for mooring of boats.
  3. The definition of “boathouse” was amended in accordance with a recent DEC ruling on a boathouse application in the town of Santa Clara. This amendment clarifies the use of boathouses. Specifically, to prohibit living quarters, bedrooms, plumbing, or heating. The amendment further defines a boathouse by indicating its purpose: for the storage of boats with direct inside access to the water and not as a covered floor without boat slips.
  4. The maximum width dimensions of docks relative to the length of the shorefront was also amended to include boathouses. Prior to the amendment only “docks” could not exceed 15 percent of the length of the shoreline. In addition, the maximum distance a boathouse could extend from land was also added to the code to match the maximum length of a dock being 30 feet.

The Santa Clara Land Use Code specifies that the total surface area “footprint” of any dock cannot exceed 500 sq. ft. including any open “slips.” The covered area of a boathouse cannot exceed 625 sq. ft. and is limited to a maximum height of 15 ft. not including railings. The combined surface area of any combination of boathouse and dock, including slips cannot exceed 875 sq. ft. on any lot.

The town of Santa Clara governs nearly three quarters of the northern part of Upper Saranac Lake. For complete meeting minutes, visit the Town of Santa Clara web page at: