Lens Lake Shoreline Owner Rejects Unworkable APA Permit
Keith McHugh, a property owner on Lens Lake in Stony Creek, whose permit application story, "'Untouched' Lake Shore," was introduced in the Fall 2001 issue of the Clearinghouse, failed to file his unworkable APA permit this spring. Without filing, the permit expires. Although the APA has no statutory authority to regulate visibility, it focused most of the extraordinary five-day public hearing on visibility, and ultimately required that the proposed single family house 300 ft. from the wooded lake shore be permanently maintained as substantially invisible. The permit far exceeded the statute by requiring that there be "no vegetative cutting" within 250 feet the lake. The APA entirely disregarded the historic documentation that Carol LaGrasse presented, proving that the lake was not pristine, but artificial, and that the neighboring land had been disturbed for intensive agriculture connected to the many neighboring homesteads. The permit required an inventory of live trees 3 inches and more in diameter and elaborate plantings of new trees, as well as the mandate for perpetual APA monitoring of any trees that could ever be missing from the inventory.