Building Setbacks

B4Building Setbacks

4 points possible

Why this matters to the lake?

A significant threat to Lake George water quality is from increasing development within the critical environmental areas that border streams and the lake. Building setbacks provide a buffer that protect clean water, a homeowner’s privacy, and natural habitats of plants, fish, and other wildlife. Setbacks also reduce the risk of flooding and erosion. Preventing building encroachment into critical environmental areas along the shoreline preserves the natural character and qualities of Lake George.


  • Preserve existing vegetated buffers that surround Lake George and its tributaries
  • Protect water quality by avoiding removal of native trees and vegetation, or any development or ground disturbance within the setback (except for restoration purposes)


Indicate on the Proposed Site Plan the building/structure setback:

Category Setback from
Edge of Lake
Points Points with
Basic 75 ft Required 2
Preferred 100 ft 2 3
Optimal 125 ft 3 4

Prerequisite: Projects that locate new structures in a previously undisturbed area that are within 75 feet of the shoreline are not eligible for certification.

Exception: Two points will be awarded for redevelopment site that locate structures within the footprint of existing buildings within a 75-foot setback if it can be shown to be less disruptive than locating new structures outside of setback.

Four points are awarded for the selection of a site without this constraint. 


Include the following information with application:
✓ As part of the Proposed Site Plan, indicate the lake shoreline, and/or stream shoreline, proposed structure locations and the proposed buffer. 

Existing Regulatory Guidance/Requirements

Adirondack Park Agency  (APA) Rules and Regulations Part 575 

Town of Lake George, Town Code, Section 220-32- Shoreline Construction Standards

Lake George Town Ordinance, Section 175-34 Stream Protection