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Proposed Chautauqua Lake District

The Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency will be meeting on Thursday, January 19th from 5:00 to 6:30pm in the Legislative Chambers (on the third floor) of the Gerace Office Building at 3 North Erie Street in Mayville, NY. This meeting will be in person and open to the public and also available to stream on the County’s YouTube page at:

The CLPRA was formed pursuant to Resolution 315-17 of the Chautauqua County Legislature to evaluate lake protection and rehabilitation needs and make recommendations to the County Legislature regarding the creation of Chautauqua Lake protection and rehabilitation taxing district(s) as may be necessary in the best interest of the people of Chautauqua County. The Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency project website can be found at

We at CWC believe that:

1) The straight “flat fee” per parcel approach is totally inequitable and not related to a parcel’s impact on lake water quality, plant/algae growth or sedimentation and should be completely rejected;

2) A formula-based approach which is based on the impermeable land cover and poorly permeable land cover area per parcel which incentivizes parcel owners to minimize and remove impervious and poorly permeable land cover would be the preferred approach, with zero fees for lands in agriculture, natural forest, meadow, or wetland cover would be the most beneficial, equitable and effective funding strategy;

3) An “Equivalent Residential Unit” approach might be acceptable if it is based on the functional impermeability of an average residential parcel in the watershed, and applied to all parcels with functional impermeability calculated in comparison to the average residential parcel, with zero fees or zero scoring factor for lands in agriculture, natural forest, meadow, or wetland cover;

4) The proposed district should be watershed-wide as all lands in the watershed either negatively or positively impact the tributaries, groundwater and lake water and conditions, and all landowners should be assessed fees or credits based on the negative or positive impact of their parcels on the health of these waters;

5) Conservation and enhancement actions across the entire watershed should be eligible for support from the proposed district;

6) The district should be established watershed-wide, potentially except for very small land areas in peripheral towns and villages, as all property taxpayers’ tax bills in this region are strongly affected by whether or not lake property values are maintained;

7) A draft program of proposed activities with budget be developed by the CLPRA before addressing funding levels needed and recommending funding options.

We believe that a fee structure should engage each landowner to assess their parcel’s contribution to excess stormwater and pollution and take advantage of ways to reduce that resulting in lowering their district fee, which would collectively over time strongly benefit the health of the lake and municipal infrastructure costs across the watershed.

For the Freshwater Future’s perspective on this potential district, please go to their Facebook site at:

(photo by Barton & Loguidice)


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