Dan - Staff Photo

Dan Barusch
Planning & Zoning

Planning & Zoning Contact Info
  • Dan Barusch

  • Director of Planning & Zoning
  • Phone Icon (518) 668-5131 ext 5
  • Email Icon This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Email Icon This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Address Icon 20 Old Post Road
  •       Lake George, NY 12845
  • Staff

  • Adele Behrmann
  • Planning and Zoning Clerk
  •  
  • Doug Frost
  • Code Enforcement Officer

 

 

 

Responsibilities

The Planning and Zoning Office administers the Zoning Code, Stormwater Regulations and Subdivision Regulations of the Town of Lake George, among other things. Additional duties of the Planning and Zoning Office include:

  • Septic Initiative Program (SIP) administration and Septic Permitting
  • Hazard Mitigation Planning
  • Climate Resiliency and Energy Efficiency Planning
  • Historic Preservation Planning
  • Parks, Trails and Recreation Planning
  • Economic Development
  • Stormwater Management and MS4 Program Administration
  • Capital Improvement Planning
  • Assistance with Caldwell Sewer District
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Floodplain Management
  • Grant writing, administration, and management
  • Pandemic and Emergency Management Planning
  • Housing Development and Assistance 

The Planning and Zoning Office also works with the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Consolidated Board of Health in regulating development throughout the Town. Meetings of the Boards are held monthly, the second Tuesday for the Planning Board, the first Wednesday for the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the third Tuesday for the Consolidated Board of Health. Other meetings are held when necessary. In order to be included on an agenda for a specific date, applications and paper work must be submitted to the Office prior to the deadline for review. Included on this page (Planning Board Meeting Schedule and Application Deadlines, Zoning Board Meeting Schedule and Application Deadlines) are the dates for Planning Board and Zoning Board Meetings along with the deadline dates for applications.

It is through this office that those involved in any building or development would obtain a Zoning Certificate of Compliance, a document necessary in order to obtain a Building Permit from the County. Additionally, the Planning and Zoning Office does provide property owners and lending institutions with Zoning Letters of Compliance as requested.

Copies of the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations can be found in the Lake George Town Code. Click to view the Town Code. Applications for Site Plan Review, Zoning Variances, Land Use Permits, or Septic Permits can be downloaded from this page (below). The Planning and Zoning Office also handles stormwater issues and complaints, among many other planning real

Hazard Mitigation

Hazard Mitigation Planning is another planning genre the Town Planning and Zoning Office deals with on a routine basis. This includes floodplain management (see separate section below) and flood hazard planning, natural disaster planning, emergency response planning and dealing with public hazards and disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Town of Lake George attempts to mitigate harmful effects of natural hazards using the direction from the Warren County Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Click on the link below for the Plan, or see below for other Hazard Mitigation resources. The County Hazard Mitigation Plan is being updated as of Spring 2022.

The Planning and Zoning Office is the author of the Town-adopted Pandemic Operations Plan, which was adopted to comply with a 2021 NYS requirement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Planning and Zoning Office Director Dan Barusch also acted as the pandemic response coordinator for the COVID-19 pandemic, and assisted the County and NYS with pandemic response and recovery in Lake George. The Town's Pandemic Operations Plan can be found below, under Plans and Reports.

 

Climate Resilience and Sustainability Planning

Click here to view the Green Initiatives page information and related documents

Historic Preservation Planning

Another important facet of planning, especially for Lake George, is historic preservation. The Town's Planning and Zoning Office acts as the Historic Preservation entity for the Town, working in partnership with the Lake George Historical Association, the Warren County Historical Society, the Fort George Alliance (Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance), the NYS DEC and NYS SHPO, and other historic preservation entities and persons.

Certified Local Government (CLG)

The Town is in the process of identifying the possibility of entering into the Certified Local Government Program, which is administeted by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Historic preservation efforts are strongest when they begin at the local level. CLG supports and strengthens local preservation activities by assisting communities to achieve their preservation goals through the development of an action plan. Established by a 1980 amendment to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the CLG program is a nationwide initiative that directly links a community's preservation goals to state and federal preservation programs. Each State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) administers the program through a variety of services designed to help communities protect, preserve, and celebrate their historic resources.

The Town is working in conjunction with the Village of Lake George to possibly form a joint Historic Preservation Commission, and work in sync through the shared Planning and Zoning Office to administer historic preservation regulations and efforts locally. Any residents who are interested in the program, sitting on the Historic Preservation Commission, or have knowledge pertinent to the preservation of historic or archeological resources, are encouraged to contact Dan Barusch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 518-668-5722 (x5).

Courtland Street Reinterment Committee

In February 2019, human remains were found on a construction site in the Village of Lake George on Courtland Street, which were eventually found to be connected to a military campaign that took place in the Lake George Battlefield Park and surrounding areas. The findings are thought to be from the site of an old military hospital from the Revolutionary War era, and due to the importance of the findings, the Town and Village established a joint Committee to focus on the continued recovery of the remains and the proper reinterment of the remains.

The Courtland Street Reinterment Committee is comprised of Town and Village staff, elected officials, NYS DEC staff, NYS Museum staff, Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance members, and representatives from all area historic preservation entities.

As of spring 2022, the Committee is finalizing the developemnt of a report and proposal to NYS DEC, which would propose the respectful reinterment of the remains found in the Battlefield Park, within proximity to the Four Unknown Soldiers Memorial. Ceremonial events are planned to be held on Memorial Day 2023 and Memorial Day 2024. The DRAFT Courtland Street Reinterment Committee proposal for the project can be found below.

pdf DRAFT "Repose of the Fallen: A Reinterment of Historical Remains at Lake George"

“Analysis of Military Campaigns Associated with Fort George and Environs”

In July 2016, the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) awarded the Town of Lake George a $50,000 grant to compile a major report including an inventory and analysis of sites and features associated with the Battles at Fort George. This project was accomplished between 2016 and 2018, using period maps and primary documentary sources coupled with non-invasive archaeological field reconnaissance and GIS technology. ABPP funds projects conducted by federal, state, local and tribal governments, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions with the goal of safeguarding and preserving significant American battlefield lands as symbols of individual sacrifice and national heritage.

The creation of this report and associated GIS mapping will allow the Town and partner organizations (the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance) to effectively identify historically relevant properties throughout the Town and determine the level of importance each site may have played during important American wars. It will serve to educate landowners and land preservation groups about the lack of protection that most sites associated with Fort George currently experience.

The Town worked with Hartgen Archeological Associates to complete this planning research project, which was finished in fall 2018. Throughout the course of the project, numerous public meetings were held to allow for the citizens of Lake George to come learn about the project and to tell us their own stories about the history of Lake George. The project report, as well as presentations from the public meetings, can be downloaded above or viewed at Town Hall in the Planning and Zoning Office.  Over the subsequent years, the Planning and Zoning Office has followed and will continue to follow the reports guidance on implementation of actions to promote heritage tourism and historic preservation. 

Other Resources

 

Parks, Trails and Recreation Planning

The Planning and Zoning Office works with the Buildings and Grounds Department on the continued implementation of parks and recreation planning efforts, as well as planning for trails and other mult-modal recreation activities and opportunities in the Town. The Buidings and Grounds Department oversees the Usher's Park and Beach, the Diamond Point Park and Beach, and the Shepards Park Beach (for the Village). Aside from local parks and beaches, the Town's latest focus has been on multi-modal trail planning and construction. 

McPhillips Preserve at French Mountain Park

In 2019, the Town of Lake George was awarded $75,000 from the NYS DEC from the Adirondack Smart Growth program, to complete the proposed McPhillips Preserve at French Mountain Park Master Plan. The Master Plan, which is in final draft form as of spring 2022, is intended to be a comprehensive planning document which identifies all proposed components of a new Town park facility which will contain several miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, complete with interpretive/educational signage and an outdoor classroom pavilion.

The project is a partnership with the Town of Queensbury, who owns half of the land, and the Lake George Land Conservancy, who originally purchased the 317 acres to establish a conservation easement on the land before selling it to the Town(s). The Town of Lake George will manage the facility with assistance from their partners, and has been seeking funding from the State to construct the Park since 2019. The hopeful construction of the park is tentative for 2023-2024, depending on funding assistance.

The FINAL Draft of the Master Plan, which has been approved by both the Town of Lake George and the Town of Queensbury, through their partnership, can be found here.

Economic Development

Economic Development is a very important component of proper public sector urban planning, and the Town's Planning and Zoning office also acts as the local economic development office in regards to planning for growth and economic vitality of the Town. The Town's major blueprint for Economic Development is the joint Economic Development Plan, completed in cordination with the Village of Lake George, and the APA (see below). The Town also works with the Warren County Economic Development Corporation and other relevant parties to encourage proper economic development.

Following the success of the Economic Development Plan's development, the Planning and Zoning Office has worked to implement several core components from the plan, including ushering in zoning amendments to spur mixed use and compact/smart growth style development, and improving or expanding infrastructure services, the latter of which is an ongoing endeavor. The Town's most recent success was the 2015-2017 Gateway Project on Route 9.

2022 Bolton Road Sewer District Feasibility Study

In 2021, the Town of Lake George was awarded $30,000 from the EFC for an Engineering Planning Grant (EPG) to develop a feasibility study which would analyze the possibility of a new sewer district or expanded sewer service heading north along Lakeshore Drive.

The 2022 Feasibility Study will assess the potential to create an adjunct Sewer District, which would act in parallel to the Caldwell Sewer District, and run from the Village border (English Brook) north along Lakeshore Drive (Bolton Road) to the DEC's Hearthstone Park. The study will analyze the potential for public infrastructure to be installed along Route 9 and adjacent roadways, and consider the potential to add roughly 500 new properties to the public sewer system, reducing the quantity of on-site wastewater treatment systems in the Town and improving water quality of Lake George by removing over 100 septic systems from along the lakeshore properties.

The proposed sewer expansion project, still in the planning phases, would be part of a larger comprehensive road upgrade project to Lakeshore Drive, which would mirror the Gateway Project and also include a multi-use path, realigned water infrastructure, improved stormwater infrastructure, and additional pedestrian and multi-modal amenities.

2018 Lake George Draft Economic Development Plan

The Town and Village of Lake George, in coordination with the Adirondack Park Agency’s Hamlet Economic Planning and Assistance initiative, developed an economic development plan for the Hamlet areas of Lake George.  The plan seeks to leverage improvements from the Gateway Project, which turned Route 9 from Exit 21 to the Village line into a boulevard with sidewalks, new lighting, a median, and bike lanes, to generate new growth in the community.   In order to determine components of the plan, input from the community was sought through a survey.

2015-2018 Lake George Gateway Project

The Town's "Gateway Project" along Route 9, which was in planning from 2010 to 2015, and was finally implemented between 2015 and 2018, was the single largest infrastucture project the Town has been involved in since the creation of the Village infrastructure networks, and the largest "economic development undertaking" in recent memory. The NYS DOT, along with the FHWA, helped fund the project, as well as the NYS EFC through the Green Infrastructure Grant Program (GIGP). 

The project spans roughly one mile on the strip of NYS Route 9 from the Village boundary along West Brook, south to the NYS Route 9N (exit 21) intersection, and added the Town's first complete street to the roadway inventory. The project was a total cost of over $7 million, but only about $300,000 to Town Taxpayers, and added sidewalks, lighting, stormwater controls, pedestrian infrastructure, a multi-use path (down 9L), a park-n-ride (off Exit 21), and othe pedestrian connections and amenities to the Town's most major thoroughfare. Most importantly, the project allowed for and encouraged a plethora of redevelopment opportunities and eventual projects, which will eventually create a new character to the Route 9 corridor and a possible "extension" of the Village's downtown core (Canada Street).

Project plans and details for the Gateway Project can be viewed in the Town Hall, Planning and Zoning office.

Other Resources

APA Economic Services Unit – Website
Warren County EDC- Website

Storm Water Management

For any concerns or report of violations regarding stormwater runoff and pollution, please call 518-668-5722 (x5) to talk to the Stormwater Management Officer Dan Barusch.

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)

To prevent harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into MS4s, certain operators (including municipalities) are required by New York State to obtain NPDES permits and develop stormwater management programs (SWMPs). The SWMP describes the stormwater control practices that will be implemented consistent with permit requirements to minimize the discharge of pollutants from the sewer system. The Town of Lake George is a registered MS4 in the state of NY and the Town’s SWMP can be located above and other resources can be found below.

Other Resources

Capital Improvment Planning

A capital improvement plan (CIP) is a community planning and fiscal management tool used to coordinate the location, timing and financing of capital improvements or large expenditures over a multi-year period — usually 4-6 years. Capital improvements refer to major, non-recurring physical expenditures such as land, buildings, public infrastructure and equipment.

The Planning and Zoning Office has worked diligently with the Buildings and Grounds and Highway Deparments to coalesce a series of large-scale capital projects and purchases that would impact the annual budgetary process. Through the year 2021, those projects/purchases were identified in a series of project sheets which were then incorporated into a 2023-2027 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) which was developed entirely in house by the Planning and Zoning staff. 

The CIP includes a description of proposed capital improvement projects ranked by priority, a year-by-year schedule of expected project funding, and an estimate of project costs and financing sources. The CIP is a working document and should be reviewed and updated annually to reflect changing community needs, priorities and funding opportunities

Caldwell Sewer District Assistance

Technical Assistance to the Caldwell Sewer District is provided by the Planning and Zoning Office, by the Director of Planning and Zoning Dan Barusch. Many infrastructure projects for the Caldwell Sewer District originate from the Planning and Zoning Office through engineering planning studies or grants that are completed or obtained by the Planning staff. 

2022 Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) Study

In 2019, a state grant from NYS EFC in the amount of $50,000 was awarded to the Town to complete an Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) Study, to identify any remaining I&I in the sewer system following all the repairs made to the system between 2018 and 2020. The I&I Study included smoke testing, dye testing, lateral "launching" and further closed circuit television (CCTV) recording to identify remaining deficiencies in the system, including in certain areas of Town and in private laterals. 

The I&I Study indicated that not all of the sewer mains in the Caldwell Sewer District were in great condition and some were still experiencing inflow from holes or infiltration from groundwater. The Town's I&I Study can be found here, and identified another roughly $900,000 in work that is needed for the system to reduce I&I impacts.

The draft report can be found here

2020-2022 Pumps Replacement Project

In 2018/2019, a state grant from NYS DEC in the amount of $657,000 was awarded to the Town for a comprehensive replacement and repair of the Caldwell Sewer District's pump stations. The Town has identified numerous alternatives for upgrades to the pump stations in the 2018 Engineers Report, untimately selecting the 2nd alternative to Replace the pumps and complete comprehensive upgrades to the pump stations, as opposed to consolidating the pump stations into one location (which was much more costly) or just repairing the pump wet ends (which provided little to no benefit). 

The Pumps project is set to be completed in 2022, with partial financing from the state and the remainder being financed by a Statutory Installment Bond for the Sewer District. Any inquiries regarding the proposed project, cost estimates for it, and future tax implications can be directed to Dan Barusch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.g or at 518-668-5722 (x5). 

A presentation on the pumps project, which was given to the Town Board on April 11th, 2022, can be found pdf here . The Project Engineers Report, including the Pump Station Project design documents, and Basis of Design documents, can be found below.

  pdf CSD Pumps Project Engineers Report with Design

  pdf CSD Pumps Project DRAFT Basis of Design Report

  pdf CSD Pumps Project DRAFT Basis of Design Report Appendices

2018-2020 Capital Improvments

In 2017 and 2018, a series of state grants were awarded to the Town to address the Caldwell Sewer District's infrastructure needs. With a $120,000 DEC grant (2017) and a $343,000 EFC grant (2018), the Town was able to complete thousands of feet of sliplining to sewer mains, and dozens of manhole repairs and spot repairs. Said work was completed as of 2020, and has already proved a benefit for the Town's sewer district, increasing the useful lifespan of the infrastructure and decreasing inflow and infiltration of water into the system. The sliplining and spot repair work was identified in the 2018 Engineers Report (below).

A map detailing the areas that were sliplined by the Town can be found pdf here .

2018 Engineers Report

In 2018, the Town worked with their Designated Engineers to complete a comprehensive Engineers Report for the entire Caldwell Sewer District. The report identifies the system in its totality, any issues or deficiencies requiring remediation, and proposed solutions to address said issues. The Engineers Report can be reviewed at the Town Hall in the Planning and Zoning Office.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

The Planning and Zoning Office is the Town's repository for most Geographic Information Systems (GIS) products and mapping. The Planning and Zoning Office has a myriad of maps available as part of major reports or plans, including but not limited to, land use and zoning maps, infrastructure (Water and Sewer) maps, roadway and other transporation maps, stormwater maps, and other relevant mapping as needed to carry out normal Planning and Zoning operations.

Please submit any requests for mapping to Dan Barusch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Floodplain Administration and Management

Floodplain Administration and Management is handled in the Planning and Zoning office by the Town's Floodplain Administrator, Dan Barusch. The Town's current flood damage prevention ordinance can be found here, or in the Town Code link, under Chater 83. Floodplain permits from the Planning and Zoning Office are required for certain projects undertaken in special flood zones.

While the Town only has a handful of parcels in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) designated flood zones, the Town does have a floodplain management ordinance (noted above) and participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Dan Barusch, the Town's Floodplain Administrator and planner, also partakes in any and all floodplain administration duties, such as being involved with any FEMA studies to assess floodplain changes or impacs, RiskMAP studies to understand flood zone areas locally, or any future floodplain management planning efforts. 

Please submit any flood-related concerns or proposed flood control projects to Dan Barusch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Grant Awards and Projects

The Planning and Zoning Office spearheads all grant applications for the Town of Lake George and administers and manages any successfully awarded projects, bringing in hundreds of thousands in state and federal funds for planning and capital projects for the community and local government.

Grant Awards to date:

  • $25,000 (DOS) - Lake George Dissolution Study (2022)(in partnership with the Village)
  • $30,000 (DEC/EFC) - Lakeshore Drive Sewer District Feasibility Study (2021)
  • $5,000 (NYSERDA) - Clean Energy Communities Designation Grant (2021)
  • $75,000 (DEC) – Adirondack Smart Growth Grant – McPhillips Preserve @ French Mountain Park Plan/Design (2019)
  • $50,000 (EFC) – Caldwell Sewer Inflow and Infiltration study (EPG) (2019)
  • $30,000 (DEC) – Beatty/Cedar Green Infrastructure Feasibility Study (WQIP SWP) (2019)
  • $343,000 (EFC) – Caldwell Sewer District Phase 2 Improvements (2018)
  • $657,000 (DEC) – Pumps Station Rebuild (WQIP WWT)(2018)
  • $25k (DOS) – Village DPW/Town Highway Consolidation and Joint Motorpool Study (LGEP)(2017)
  • $100,000 (EFC) – Caldwell Sewer Engineers Report (EPG)(2017)
  • $125,000 (DEC) – Lakeview Circle Stormwater Projects (WQIP NPS)(2017)
  • $120,000 (DEC) – Caldwell Sewer District Phase 1 Improvements (WQIP WWT)(2017)
  • $104,000 (DEC) – Septic Initiative Program (WQIP NPS)(2016)
  • $50,000 (NPS) – Fort George Battlefield Park Study (ABPP)(2016)
  • $25,000 (DEC) – Climate Action Plan w/ Village (CSC)(2016)
  • $16,000 (DEC) – Electric Vehicle Charging Station (ZEV)(2016)
  • $7,000,000 (FHWA/DOT/EFC) – Route 9 Gateway Project with NYSDOT (TEP/STP/NHPP)(2015)
  • $60,000 (DEC) – MS4 program (MS4)(2015)

Housing Development and Assistance

As part of several regional Housing initiatives and housing planning interest, Dan Barusch sits on the Warren County Housing Working Group, and will play a critical role in any efforts to obtain funding for, or additional resources for housing at a regional or local level. Efforts would include anything from potential assistance for low-or-market-rate housing, to workforce (J1) housing, or housing analyses. Currently, several recent zoning amendments calling for double density or PUD-style developments have spurred new housing projects, several of which are for rental apartment style housing. Housing affordability and availability are both of crucial importance to keep any community strong.

Affordable Homeownership Development Program

The Town and Village of Lake George are researching the need for a home repair and rehabilitation program in Lake George.  This program would be funded by a grant from the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC), if awarded, through the Affordable Homeownership Development Program (AHODP). As of early 2022, interest in the program locally was minimal, however, interest at the County-wide level is strong and the Town is encouraging the County to consider the program for a County-wide grant.

This grant would provide up to $35,000 for home repairs, such as roof replacement, plumbing and electrical upgrades, furnace replacement, and structural repairs. This assistance would be available to homeowners whose household income is below 90% of HUD established median income based on household size.  Homeowners would have to meet other eligibility criteria, which are specified in the request for proposals.

Please reach out to Director of Planning and Zoning, Dan Barusch, at 518-668-5722 (x5) or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions regarding housing in general, or to submit an application for assistance. The AHODP request for proposals / solicitation can be found pdf here.

Zoning Amendments

Short Term Rentals

Pursuant to Town of Lake George regulations on short-term rentals, residential property owners are no longer allowed to host short-term rentals in the Town of Lake George’s residential-only zoning districts. The Town of Lake George Zoning Code Section §175-52(B) “Use of Residences for short-term rentals” ordinance was passed by the Lake George Town Board on November 19, 2018 as part of Local Law 3-2018 and has been amended several times since.

Pursuant to this new ordinance, short term rentals (a rental of a residential dwelling/premise for period of 30 days or less) have been deemed illegal in the Town’s residential-only districts. Those districts where short-term residential rentals are now illegal include all Land Conservation (LC) districts, all Residential Rural (RR) districts, the Residential High Density district (RH) and the Residential Medium-density districts (RM-1 and RM-2). Any rentals longer than 30 days at a time are allowed in these and all other zoning districts without permitting or approvals from the Town. The remaining zoning districts in the Town will allow for short-term residential rentals via an approval and permitting process through the Planning and Zoning Office, which requires an annual renewal. The Short-Term Residential Rental permit applications and renewal forms are available below and at Town Hall.

Given the growth in popularity of short term rentals in New York State, the Town has hired the third-party company “Host Compliance” to assist the Planning and Zoning office with compliance of these rentals. Questions can be directed to Doug Frost at the Town of Lake George Planning and Zoning Office at (518) 668 – 5722 (x5).

Zoning Amendments

The Planning and Zoning Office assists the Town Board with drafting Town Code revisions, and in particular zoning amendments, and assists the Board in the legislative process. Below are Zoning Code and similar amendments made to the code over recent years.

2022 Amendments

Local Law 2-2022

 Local Law 1-2022

 

2021 Amendments

Local Law 3-2021

Local Law 2-2021

Local Law 1-2021

 

2020 Amendments

Local Law 7-2020

Local Law 6-2020

Local Law 5-2020

Local Law 4-2020

Local Law 3-2020

Local Law 2-2020

Local Law 1-2020

 

2018 Amendments

 

2016 Amendments

 

Permits

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Deadlines and Fee Schedules

Plans and Reports

Links

Town Code
The entire Town Code is accessible on this link. However it has been discovered that certain firewall programs make using the link impossible, therefore it might be necessary to disable the computer’s firewall program temporarily to view the code.