Winter 2008 LACA Meeting
Feb 4, 2008
An informal gathering was held to review the current progress in developing the comprehensive plan. In attendance were: from LACA: David Bohnett, Chuck Scarborough and Mark Fichandler; from NPV Environmental Consultants: Chic Voorhis; and from the Town of Southampton: Trustees Fred Havemeyer and Jon Semlear.
We found it to be a very productive and positive meeting with everyone working toward the same goals.
Chic Voorhis presented an overview of the work he has performed to date. He has completed an initial physical and scientific study of the lake, about which he is drafting a full report. Mr. Voorhis found that approximately eight aerators were in place, providing good coverage of the lake and working well. Depth soundings determined the lake is, on average, eight to ten feet deep.
Mr. Voorhis and Mayor Epley are preparing a pamphlet for lakeside residents with proposals for environmentally beneficial landscaping along the shoreline. This will include a suggested voluntary, fertilizer-free riparian buffer zone along the lake’s edge consisting of native plants and trees.
The pamphlet will instruct homeowners on the creation of a natural habitat that will greatly improve the health of the lake, which involves removing Phragmites, Japanese Knotweed and other invasive species that do more harm than good. Mr. Semlear emphasized that native plants can be quite aesthetically pleasing and need not block view corridors, points which will be illustrated in the pamphlet.
Mayor Epley has indicated that this pamphlet will be mailed to all lakeside residents in March.
The issue of required permits for the removal of non-native species was discussed. Mr. Havemeyer suggested that the town and village work together to simplify the approval process, and felt the pamphlet would be a good place to spell out these requirements. Mayor Epley has previously issued environmentally sound recommendations for landscape care. These too should be revisited in the pamphlet. The concept of homeowners working together to hire experts in the removal of invasive species and planting of desired ones was discussed as both an economical and efficient approach.
The Phragmites on the east side of the lake were mentioned as a combined town and village responsibility, and it was suggested that Congressman Tim Bishop be enlisted to access funding for their removal.
The complex watershed issue was discussed. The idea of catch basins along Hill Street was brought up, as was the idea of cleaning the runoff at the point where the conduit feeds into the lake at the north end. Various methods such as dense water plantings just downstream of the runoff as well as machinery installed inside the conduit were discussed.
The lake’s carp population was discussed as a serious and difficult problem. The introduction of more bass, which prey on juvenile carp, was suggested, as well as an ongoing carp removal process. Carp deplete native species, both vegetable and animal.
Regarding plans for improving the south end of the lake. Mr. Semlear specifically noted the Trustee’s responsibility to maintain public access to the lake from this area. Mr. Voorhees presented a concept plan of revised parking and waterfront native landscaping that was very well received by all. No parking spots were lost. Mr. Semlear discussed a low-profile (water level) bulkhead to replace existing bulkhead, combined with an esplanade of native plants up to twenty feet wide along the southern shore. A walkway through the esplanade was also discussed.
It was proposed that the parking area could be further improved by replacing the asphalt with permeable material, such as gravel. The proposal also included landscaped islands and cross walks within the parking areas, as well as various traffic calming ideas. Mr. Havemeyer has commissioned his own landscaping design looking at the south end. That concept (which has not yet been completed) and the Voorhis concept will need to be looked at together and perhaps merged.land