Saratoga Lake Association Resists Four Home Development

Snake Hill in Stillwater, New York (Google Maps)

How many homes is too many for 30 acres in Snake Hill overlooking Lake Saratoga?

The Dake family, whose patriarch William is the president of Stewart’s Shops, wants to build four. But that’s four more than some lake-area residents want, the Times Union reported.

The Saratoga Lake Association says this particular stretch of land should remain pristine.

“Our members have expressed serious concerns about the proposed development of Snake Hill,” its chairman, Eliot Cresswell, said in a letter to local officials. “On behalf of these members and the wider Saratoga Lake community, we ask that you and the Dake family reconsider the current proposed subdivision.”

Cresswell would like to see the land sold to the city for conservation purposes through the state’s Community Forest Conservation Grant Program. It’s unclear whether the city or the Dakes, owners of the site, would be interested in such a deal.

Chuck Marshall, who heads the development arm of Stewart’s Shops, said the four-house project hardly deserves the angst it generates.

“There are benefits to bringing these homes to the lake, and it’s not a big subdivision,” Marshall told The Times Union. “I can understand the concern in the 20 or 50 home range, but it’s a small development.”

Plans have already been submitted to local Stillwater officials, the newspaper reported. The residences would have large windows and offer lake views from three sides. The Dakes would sell the land to Bonacio Construction, which would build and sell the houses.

The proposal claimed that sewer and water hookups for the four luxury homes would not be an issue. It included a letter from the Department of Environmental Conservation, stating that the development would likely not threaten any endangered species.

However, Cresswell isn’t inclined to let him go without a fight. He implores the members of his association to speak at the next meetings of the board of directors. That of the group website says it aims to “promote and improve the health, safety, sanitation, ecology, recreation and environmental quality of the Saratoga Lake area through education, charitable contributions and the environmental action”.

[Times Union] — HoldenWalter Warner

Andrew B. Reiter