Mohegan Lake Legal Defense Fund

History of this site

This site was originally set up to fight 3 of 5 zoning variances proposed by the FBC development at Sagamore Trail and Mohegan Ave that eliminates two single family homes while nearly quadrupling the parking and occupancy loads of the old Lakeland Jewish Center. That effort failed and the application is currently before the Planning Board.

While Save Mohegan Lake will continue to update you on that issue, we are moving on to all issues affecting the lake, such as Mohegan Lake Improvement District (MLID) meetings, agenda and budget. This site is not an official mouthpiece for MLID, but some updates will be provided on this site; the official site is located here.

We do it all here, so long as it's Mohegan Lake related. Feel free to submit comments, content, garage sale notices, police blotters, PSA's, essays on the virtues of our 105 acre ice rink, rants, raves, etc... We love it all.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mohegan Lake Development: Envirogreen

So, the landowner (Envirogreen) of the parcel between the Peachwave/Sprint plaza and Dunkin' Donuts plaza (the green and white building, pictured below) wants to demo it and merge it with the illegal construction equipment lot he stages behind the florist house thing between the two plazas.

That's great that "Envirogreen" is planning to stop neglecting their property creating a blight in the center of our hamlet.  They have some issues with their neighbors.  I actually have some issues with their neighbors too, via a previous building inspector who allowed air conditioning compressors and huge tanks of natural gas within required yards (detailed post on that soon; zoning and code is so hot, right?).  Hopefully we don't get another 10 pounds in a five pound bag.  Faith Bible Church, I'm looking at you.  

Here's one plan of the proposal.

Note the through street behind the development requiring an easement with both Peachwave and DD plazas.  At least one, if not both owners, are not very hip to it. 

Speaking of shitty landowners, I'm about to find out who owns the fine specimen pictured below and located on Heyward street in the Mohegan Highlands (likely a bank).  We should shame them into at least demolishing it as it's a legitimate public health hazard.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

MLID Budget Meeting This Thursday

From Ken:

This is the 2016 budget meeting of the Mohegan Lake Improvement District.  It is important, because this is when we recommend what we want to see happen and how much we are willing to  tax ourselves to accomplish it.  Please try to make sure that every beach is represented by at least one person (more is better).  We will be at Calvary Chapel at 99 Baron de Hirsch Road in Crompond at 7:30 Thursday September 3rd.  .

Personally, I'm literally doing back-flips (video from last night) I'm so excited about the lake water quality this year.  Hard to put a price on a full season of swimming whereas we have been closed as early as June because of the blue-green algae blooms.  In summary, tax away. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mohegan Lake's Alex Halpin Excels In Field Hockey

In addition to coach Sarsen, I think it's the magical waters of Mohegan Lake that helps our young athletes excel.  You guys read about Johnny Denis, right? (glad I got to see him play a couple times last year).  We do produce a disproportionate number of players that compete at the top of the national level. 

Here's a link to the LoHud article.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Written Comments for FBC Wetlands Permit Due 8/13/15!

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This is an urgent call to action: we have a deadline approaching to submit written comments regarding the Faith Bible Church Department of Environmental Conservation permit application to--among other things--lay a sewer pipe through Mohegan Lake.  Here's link to the DEC Notice and here's what we need you to do.Email the DEC engineer reviewing the application with your concerns.  Her name is Rebecca Crist and you can email her at (again, we're coming up on a hard deadline this Thursday). Let her know all of your concerns regarding the environmental impacts.  For example:

Rebecca Crist
DEC Region 3
Division of Environmental Permits

Re: Faith Bible Church DEC Application #3-5554-00298/00001

Ms. Crist,

I am writing to you to express my concerns and raise questions about the subject application.  The development site is immediately adjacent to our 110 acre lake and 20 acre wetland outflow which are both Class 1 wetlands.  The lake has chronic blue-green algae problems and this particular site is prone to severe flooding.  There are several environmental issues I believe need to be addressed.  Before I begin, I would like to note that the description of the project on the DEC notice is different than the Planning Board application.  The DEC notice  says the applicant's proposed disturbances are for the "the reconstruction and expansion of an existing church and its associated parking and utilities."  In fact the existing church will be demolished, along with two single family homes, to build an approximately 8,000sf new building; this project is a new development, for the record.  That said, I have the following comments and questions:  

  1. The project proposes running a sewer pipe under Mohegan Avenue from the church to route six, it will have to sit below the water table.  It appears that DEC regulation 663.4(d) prohibits a new sewer utility as permitted activity within a Fresh Water Wetland (see line item 37 in the activities chart in said section).
  2. Where the pipe has to go up and over the culvert, it will be in PVC pipe-within-a-pipe with heat-trace (think a little wire that tries to keep the pipe from freezing during our long, cold winters).  This is a disaster waiting to happen.  Is there redundancy and alarm monitoring in this system?  Do the DEC regulations really allow a new sewer pipe vulnerable to freezing and physical damage through a Class I wetland?
  3. That section of Mohegan Lake (where the sewer is proposed to run) is literally the only thing that separates the 110 acre lake from a 20 acre wetland/pond.  Those bodies of water are hydro-logically connected and the sewer will have to be placed within that system.  There is an alternative route to a sewer tie-ins that avoids the wetland buffer down Sagamore Ave, albeit a slightly longer run, but it routes it away from the lake and wetland buffer. 
  4. The impervious area increases in this proposal.  There are serious drainage issues in this corner of the lake, literally right in front of the church as it stands.  Will the increase in impervious area compound this problem?
  5. Complete elimination of the 100 foot wetland buffer is unacceptable.  The parking lot across the street provides no (0') buffer from the adjacent 20 acre wetland.  Providing even a few feet 20-30' would better protect and screen the wetland from both the parking lot and lighting.  The class I wetland outflow is a sensitive ecological area with blue heron and turtle nests, among many other flora and fauna.  Surely complete and total elimination of the required wetland buffer is not in the best interest of the health of our lake and wetland.  I respectfully request that the largest buffer possible be maintained to respect our sensitive wetland.  Considering that 100' is the minimum, zero feet is a very, very hard pill to swallow.
I thank you for your careful review of the application and thoughtful consideration of my concerns and questions in light of the beautiful lake our community cares deeply about and is desperate to conserve for future generations.

Kind Regards,

[Mohegan Lake Resident]

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Urgent Faith Bible Church Update

Well, after a solid 4 and one-half years, we finally get to comment on the Department of Environmental Conservation application for Faith Bible Church.  We have 15 days (until 8/13/2015) to supply written comments to the DEC.  Below is the official notice.  More details on issues we have with the proposal (e.g. running a sewer line through our lake outflow below the water table) and directions on where to aim your pens.

In related news, Yorktown and Faith Bible get served two copies of the enormous Record on Appeal and my brief today.  The it's filed in Appellate Court with affidavits of service by Friday.  Pretending to be an attorney sure is hard work.  More details on the brief and next steps after service. 

Why the court needs 9 copies is beyond me.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mohegan Lake Is So, So Swimmable Right Now You Guys!

LoHud has picked up the story on our [Mohegan Lake] copper sulfate applications.  Lake Carmel Town Supervisor Maureen Fleming says they are going to apply copper sulfate but that's only a "temporary solution," which is true.  However, they definitely won't be applying any copper sulfate to Lake Carmel this year.  We worked for a good 9 months to get the DEC permit to apply it.  While it's only a temporary solution, it works--really well.  We are aiming for an aluminum sulfate permit which is slightly longer term at 3 to five years.  Still a temporary solution.

Hat tip to LoHud for the photo. 

Mohegan Lake needs Yorktown to step up and sewer the houses around the lake that aren't already, at a minimum, to have any significant impact to the long-term health of the lake.  Blue-green algae is a real problem all over New York State and I hope we can all join together and find  a real long-term solution.

Won't you join me?

Hey, look at this photo of a foxy fox in front of our bloom last year.   Will put up an after picture, but suffice it to say, we have no algae there this year!  Copper sulfate!  Hook it to my vein!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Urgent Yorktown Town Board Meeting Today, 7/21/15


Hi Team,

Just got a reminder that the Yorktown Town Board will be meeting from the Mohegan Lake Improvement District (MLID) about tomorrow's meeting.  It should be great weather and our lake is looking great after the Town Board was so helpful expediting our wetlands permit required for the copper sulfate applications that have tamped down the blue-green algae.  We should definitely give them a big thanks for their help.

As MLID's email makes clear, there is an important agenda item about a developer's proposal for a new house mostly within the 150' wetland buffer at 3211 Lakeshore Drive.  It's important to note that the Zoning Board of Appeals recently approved a variance a few years ago.  That approval languished and then the developer asked for a bigger variance in the form of the footprint of the building.

Considering all of the density and congestion (P.S. Mohegan Lake Motors is still storing motor vehicles at the pizzeria) we currently have, it's important to make it clear that we care about our community.  The ZBA variance plus building in the wetland buffer of our struggling lake so someone can make a quick buck?  There are many other Mohegan Lake issues to discuss.  If you have something you'd like to address the Town Board with (e.g. crumbling retaining wall on Mohegan ave. that will end up being the next Baptist Church Road shutdown in a few years, if not sooner), you should stop by.  Even if you don't want to speak, you should come enjoy the sunset on our most beauteous lake.

Unless weather changes the venue back to Town Hall, the Yorktown Town Board meeting is scheduled for 6 PM Tuesday July 21st at the Mohegan Colony Beach off Oak and High Streets.  Come out if you can to show we are a concerned, involved community. 

Of special interest is a public hearing to build a home on 3211 Lakeshore Drive.  Because the lot is on the lake, the seller needs to obtain a wetlands permit from the Town so that the developer interested in purchasing the lot can legally build on it.  Obviously, this affects the value of the lot, which is .4 acres, and I believe has access to sewers.  There appear to be existing houses to the left and to the right of this lot. 

Much of the lot falls in the Mohegan Lake 150' wetlands buffer.  In order to build, the Town Board must consent by issuing a wetlands permit - hence the public hearing. 

This represents a unique opportunity for the Town Board to hear from the community living around, or with rights to, Mohegan Lake. 

This is also a reminder that there will be a treatment of copper sulfate the morning of Tuesday July 21st, so there will be no swimming permitted for 24 hours thereafter.
[h/t Woot for the funny image]

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mohegan Lake Copper Sulfate Treatment

They are applying another treatment this Tuesday.  Here's an update from MLID:

The next copper sulfate treatment is scheduled for Tuesday July 21st.  As usual, there will be no swimming for 24 hours after the treatment.  The County Health Department tested the lake on Thursday, and notified me that the beaches are ok to stay open.  This is the first time in three years that we have been open to swimming in mid-July.  Although we originally planned treatments every three weeks through the summer, our DEC permit allows treatments every two weeks.  It is the unanimous opinion of the MLID board that we should continue on two week intervals throughout the summer.  This will give us our best chance of staying open for swimming through Labor Day. 
Allied Biological, who is doing the copper sulfate applications, is also taking water samples.  A comparison of the sample taken before the first treatment and last week's sample shows that we still have lots of algae growing in the lake, but we have switched from having the water dominated by blue green algae to having healthier green algae species more dominant than the blue green.  That's a very positive indication that the copper sulfate application is doing what we want it to do, and is being applied in a small enough dose to minimize the impact on other living organisms in the lake.

Here's a video tribute to being able to swim in Mohegan Lake through July with limited algae (hat tip/Janis Joplin)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Town Board Meeting At Mohegan Colony This Tuesday

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Below is a message from MLID president Ken Belfer.  MHPOA plans to storm this meeting by boat--landing on the beach just before the 6pm start time.  There's a lot to talk about Mohegan Lake and this is a great opportunity to have you're voice heard.  Sewers, the new house proposed within the wetland buffer for a developer looking to make a quick buck, infrastructure (Mohegan Ave's retaining wall is about to collapse), health of the lake (we owe the Town Board a thank you for helping to expedite the DEC wetlands permit for our copper sulfate applications which have been very successful), etc...  Hope to see you there.

Weather permitting, the Yorktown Town Board will be holding its regular meeting Tuesday July 21 at 6 P.M. at the Mohegan Colony beach.  There are two reasons to come out.  1) to welcome the Town Board to our back yard, and let them know there are voters here who care. 2) the first public hearing on the agenda is on a wetlands permit to allow construction of a home at 3211 Lakeshore Drive.  The home would be within the 150' Mohegan Lake wetlands buffer.  After the presentation by the developers, interested residents will be able to speak at the hearing.    Ken

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Phoenix House Is On The Market

If you don't know what that is, it's got the campanile-type tower (plus much more structure) on top of the ridge overlooking Mohegan Lake and the Taconic State Parkway; you've seen it. It was, effectively a juvenile detention center.  It's huge and on the market and being marketed by Newmark Gubb Knight Frank, a reputable firm.  I'm not going to speculate what goes in there, but there's a lot of possibilities.  Let's just say, I'm glad I don't live on Stony Street.  Juvenile delinquents locked up don't drive cars, unless they bust out and steal one.  That's a very narrow road and with the square footage available, the occupant load could be enormous. 

The 140-acre Westchester County campus includes a five-story main building with a 270,000-square-foot former seminary, dormitories, classrooms, a library, large meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen and offices.

Mohegan Lake Day Is Going To Be Hot

Both literally and figuratively.  It's this Sunday.  Schedule below the National Weather Service forecast icon. 

You're going, right?

Bad Boy With a Knife at Lakeland High School

Bad Boys are bad.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2 Upcoming Meetings

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MLID is meeting at the Mohegan Colony Pavilion/Calvary Church at 99 Baron deHirsch Road this Thursday.  We are finalizing Lake Day plans and will discuss our copper sulfate treatments.

Also, mark your calendars for July 21st.  The Town Board is moving their circus to the Mohegan Colony beach.  At least come out for the courtesy of the floor (read: airing of grievances).  You'll want to keep a tight three minutes on any topic you want to bring up.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Lake Is Getting A "Treatment" Tomorrow

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Of Copper Sulfate, to be exact.

Stay out of the water for at least 24 hours; assume it's done by the afternoon.  If signs are still up, don't swim. Please enjoy its algae killing effects thereafter!

A message from MLID president Ken Belfer:

The lake is being treated Tuesday July 7th.  Signs are posted with the 24 hour swimming restrictions.  Thanks in advance with everyone's cooperation.  It was encouraging to see how quickly the water quality improved after the first application, and discouraging to see how quickly the algae was growing back after a week and a half.  Although our original intention was treatment every three weeks through the summer, I think we will stick with two week intervals for now.    Ken

Thursday, June 25, 2015

George Washington Elementary Summer Learning

Hi Team,

Wanted to pass this link along to all of the parents of Students in the George Washington Elementary School. Don't want our kids to regress too much during the summer, right?

See you at the beach!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Petition Party At The MHPOA Beach This Sunday!

There’s actually two parties coming up this Sunday and Monday. Petitions must be signed after 6/2/2015 and returned the the election commission by the 28th. We need over 500 signatures to get our candidates on the Democratic line. It’s a big pain in that election district leaders--similar to our Republican counterparts--normally walk around to peoples houses and solicit signatures.
This year, in additional to surprising you at home, we are inviting you to events where--if you are so inclined and a registered democrat--can come and sign our petitions. We have a list of all registered Democrats in town we can reference, in case you are unsure of your affiliation.
We hope to see you there as it’s a lot less awkward than banging on your door unannounced.
  • Party #1 will be from 1-4PM Sunday, 6/14/15 at the Mohegan Highlands Property Owners Association beach located on Mohegan Lake (literally) at 3395 Mohegan Avenue, Mohegan Lake, NY 10547. Hosted by Evan Bray.
  • Party #2 will be from 6-8PM Monday, 6/15/15 at Scott Carson’s home located at 1295 Winslow Drive, Yorktown, NY 10598.
Look how fun our beach is.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Most Important News For Mohegan Lake In Some Time

We got approval for a copper sulfate treatment to control the flaming algae bloom we get every year.  On to aluminum sulfate, hopefully.  Looking forward to a full season of swimming.  No pool pass for us this year. 

Here's a note from MLID president Ken Belfer:

Thanks to the hard work of Laura Kosbar, who prepared the application and handled the follow up, we have received the permit from NYS DEC to apply copper sulfate this season to Mohegan Lake.  The first application date has not yet been set, but will be in June.  Notices will be posted at all of the beaches, as well as an email notification sent to spread the word.  The application will be done during the week, and there will be no swimming allowed for 24 hours after the application.  Let's hope this will allow us to have a swimmable lake for the entire summer this season.
Yay!  And a big thanks to the dedication of a very few number of people in our community on this matter.  They know who they are.  Are you involved with MLID?  Should you be?

Turtle Porn

Hi there, Mohegan Laker.  Have you seen turtles mating lately?  Probably not.  It's pretty hot.  By the way, this post is not safe for work.  OK, so here we go--with a big hat tip to Abby for providing the photographs!

In all seriousness, Mohegan Lake is F#%#ing amazing.  We should make sure we don't drive over them during mating season when they're all over the place, and by place I mean our roads. 

Come here often?

Let's get it on.

Ohhh baby, I like it like that.

Bad Driver Alert

Whoop, whoop, that's the sound of da police.  Hat tip to The Daily Voice.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Movie Night at Mohegan Colony!

Hi Team:

I was excited to receive the following email from MLID.  Don't forget about the movie night/floating lantern launch concluding at the Colony on Lake day, 7/12/15. 

Below is a message sent out by the President of the Mohegan Colony about our second free movie night this year:
HI Everyone,
The weather so far looks ideal for our second movie night!
This Saturday at dark, I will show the Oscar winning Film “Interstellar” PG13
The word Epic is often used to describe this movie.

Come on out, bring chairs,, blankets and snacks!
Come a little early to set up your chairs and not disturb the film…..
Keep an eye on this list for email updates regarding the weather.
Over 30% chance of rain and we will reschedule.

I will start at dusk.


Monday, June 1, 2015

MLID Meeting Minutes

MLID minutes are a thing now because Shelley, from the Mohegan Highlands Property Owners Association, is the best.  Keep thinking about how you can contribute to, or passively or actively (think canoe races) participate in, Mohegan Lake day on July 12th.  Without further ado, the informal minutes:

"Big Ben" at MHPOA's Turtle Cove
 Hi all—

For those who missed Thursday’s meeting, here’s a quick recap:

Algae: Copper sulfate permit process continues; we’ve got only one bid on application, but we’d like to have the first application in a couple of weeks to get a good start.

Lake maintenance: Wayne, our lake manager, has hired two returning helpers and they’ll be out on the lake more after their boats are back from repairs. The harvester is also in the shop; Wayne is looking into replacing it with a new one next year. We’re also looking into the possibility of offsetting the cost by cooperating with other lakes, for example offering to clear Shrub Oak Park’s lake, which they currently hire out, in return for a cost offset for us.

They are also working towards putting an aeration station near Mohegan Highlands.

Mid-Hudson Lake Meeting: Just what it sounds like. Friday, July 24, at a lovely location in Putnam County.

Boats: Mohegan Colony has ordered stickers to identify/register all of their boats. We talked about all the benefits of doing this lakewide, so Ken is getting pricing info to see if MLID can just order enough stickers for all of the associations. Current plan is to give each association a run of stickers and leave them to establish how they want to use them. We doubt we can make it mandatory, but having a boat registration action on Lake Day would be a good start. Having a registry of boats with ID numbers would be excellent.

Lake Day:  The day looks like this so far:

9-10:30: Fishing Derby - Mohegan Beach Park.

11-1: Turtle Whisperer and Kids’ games - MHPOA. (The feedback I’m getting is that they would like a shorter time slot. Maybe an hour and a half?)

1:30-2:30: Boat races - Section 1.

4:30: storytelling, followed by potluck with live music, movie, and release of lanterns - Mohegan Colony

We are reaching out to paddleboard/kayak people to try to bring them in for demos, and to get someone to offer water taxi services.

The sooner all of this is locked in place, the sooner we can get out posters/flyers and a press release to the local papers, to let people know about all the great activities we have planned. We need lead time in particular for the MLID newsletter, because mailings have an inherent time drag.

The next meeting is June 11.

Have a great day!

Shelley (MHPOA)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

MLID Lake Day Planning Meeting

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All seven of the beaches around Mohegan Lake are preparing for our annual Lake Day celebration on Sunday July 12th, 2015 (raid date is the 19th).  Detailed schedule of events with maps of beaches.  Expect a regatta, turtles, food, drink, potluck and a movie, floating lanterns launched at sundown, and much, much more!  Meeting will be at the Calvary Church at 99 Baron de Hirsch road at 7pm next Thursday the 28th.  Be there and help us make this the most successful Lake Day to date. 

P.S.  Did anyone see the pink flamingos on the abandoned boat that emerged after the thatw at the top of the lake?  What a joyous sighting. Sadly, they were here for less than 18 hours and whoever took them just dragged the boat closer to shore.  Pretty, pretty lame. 

The Most Dangerous Game

And...we're back from an extended silence.  Lots of things to catch up on, including our lawsuit against the Yorktown Zoning Board of Appeals which is currently wending through the 2nd Appellate Division in Brooklyn. 

But first, we got this alert from LoHud last night about a Mohegan Lake man that shot a crossbow at a Mohegan Park employee (seems he didn't like staying there).  Stay alert out there, kids. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

MLID Meeting This Thursday 2/26/15

From Ken:

And to think the first day of spring is only a month away!  This is quite a winter we are having.  Nevertheless, we have to plan for the summer season, if we want a swimmable lake this year.  The Mohegan Lake Improvement District is meeting this Thursday night at 7:30 P.M. at 99 Baron de Hirsch Road in Crompond (Calvary Chapel).  We will be meeting in the kitchen.  I hope we can have representation from each beach association around the lake.   Keep warm!   

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How Sweet It Is

We've been enjoying some fine times on the lake.  Hockey, fishing, big long skates to the island house.  And nature's Zamboni came through to boot.

Be careful out there boys and girls. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mohegan Lake Is Singing

Do you hear it?

Nearly five years of living on the lake's edge, it's hard to not to hear it and to love it.  As the lake freezes, it makes crazy, ray-gun-type noises.  Alien.  I think it's due to the cracking of the ice.  It's a wildly fluid membrane structure, ultimately, no?

We should all give a big-up to mother nature for her natural Zamboni effect.

At any rate, I stomped through the ice at the edge and we have 2-3 inches.  This amazing cold we're getting should assure us at least a safe 4" of clean, clear ice by Saturday.  To skate on!  Will pull out the auger on Saturday morning.
Ice growth chart courtesy of this fine website.

Hourly weather graph provided by the National Weather Service. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Grab Your Auger, Ice Skates, and Fishing Poles


Yes, it is on.  The lord has truly blessed us; just be careful out there, because god has plans. 

I predict we have 4 inches of clean, clear ice by next Saturday.  Me and the girls just got our blades sharpened at Bear Mountain after Thanksgiving.