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Shorefront Owner Access Rights to Sacandaga Threatened

If something is there long enough, the environmentalists try to lock it up as precious and too good for enjoyment by property owners. In this case, the offense is that shorefront houses and docks are visible to boaters on the Sacandaga reservoir, which is now known as Great Sacandaga Lake. Never mind that the reservoir was built by flooding local communities for the very practical purpose of protecting Albany, Troy, and other downstream cities along the Hudson River from recurrent, devastating floods. Granted, it is a beautiful lake. But this is why ownership of an access permit is such a large part of the market value of real estate adjacent to the Sacandaga. Suffice it to say, the Hudson River Black River Regulating District, which governs the access permits, socked the landowners with harsh increases in permit fees a few years ago, backed off, and hit again this year. In addition, the agency decided to stop issuing permits to landowners whose property is on the other side of the shorefront road and to allow public access to the lake at widespread locations that threaten the exclusivity of the shorefront along these stretches where private homes exist.
For now, after a big hullabaloo, the governor directed the agency to back off again during June, but all these property owners who derive their home values from the access permits, as well as other local taxpayers whose taxes are reduced because of the high assessments of permit holders, should pay heed: The property owners need a better system of statutory rights to their access permits with the pricing method clarified even further than the intention already expressed by the statute. - Carol W. LaGrasse

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Access to Government Lands - New York

Sacandaga Reservoir - New York Index Waterways Issues - New York Hudson River Black River Regulating District
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© 2009 Carol W. LaGrasse
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