OCLRA Asks To Work With County On Shoreland Education

Jan 25, 2018

Credit Wikimedia Commons Yinan Chen

A joint effort between the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association and Oneida County will produce information about shorelines and lakes for property owners.

O.C.L.R.A. president Bob Martini says they've been working with Oneida county to try to strengthen the shoreland protection ordinance. Recently, the Oneida County Board voted on the most recent update, caused by state legislated changes in shoreland zoning. The state approved going with less restrictive standards, and cut back on counties to make rules stronger than the state rules.

Martini says the new rules, from his view, will not protect lakes, so they looked toward the next best option which is work with landowners...

"....we think most landowners want to do the right thing, but they don't know what the right thing is. They might come from an urban area where it doesn't really matter what you do on your small, urban, 100 foot lot. But it does matter when you're on a lake front. The idea is to give them as much information as possible so if they do any develop of their land, they can do it in a way that won't adversely affect the lake...."

Martini says they asked the county to be able to work with staff to develop appropriate materials. He says there already is a large base of related materials, but they're scattered all over. He says they would like to condense the information so it's more digestible for landowners. Every person who applies for a permit would be given the information...

"...we think it's important to visit each construction site before, during and after the construction. There's all kinds of reasons for doing that and the county committee has decided that is what they are going to do. We think the educational material will fit right into that....."

One fear among lakes groups and others is smaller lot sizes will lead to more runoff, damaging water quality. Martini says the lakes are an enormous resource for the north and lower water quality will drop property values and tax revenue.