The Santa Clara Town Board failed to follow proper procedures when passing six Land Use Codes at their April meeting. A new public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18. At this time, the public will have an opportunity to voice their opinions on the proposed land use code amendments.

In addition to the original six prior amendments, an additional four amendments have been added that include boundary line adjustments and definitions, subdivisions, and pre-existing non-conforming lots.

Of the 10 proposed amendments, four affect shorefront issues and include changes to the Land Use Code map, setbacks restrictions, docks, and boathouses.

Land Use Code adoptions specific to the waterfront include:

  1. The lands where Hickock’s Boat Livery and Marina sit, 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 which had a primary purpose of mooring boats.
  3. The definition of “boathouse” was amended in accordance with a recent state Department of Environmental Conservation 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% 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 square feet, including any open “slips.” The covered area of a boathouse cannot exceed 625 square feet and is limited to a maximum height of 15 feet, not including railings. The combined surface area of any combination of boathouse and dock, including slips cannot exceed 875 square feet on any lot.

The town of Santa Clara governs nearly three quarters of the northern part of Upper Saranac Lake. For more information on the proposed Land Use Code amendments, visit the Town of Santa Clara web page at: http://www.townofsantaclara.com/.