NORWAY — Lake Pennesseewassee and North Pond are named by a state agency, along with about 200 ponds and lakes statewide, as “most at risk for new development.”

But Planning Board Chairman Dennis Gray said the threat to most of Norway’s water bodies is not new shoreline development but development in the secondary lots.

“The major issue is the second-tier development lots,” said Gray. Although there are a few fairly large lots on the shoreline still available in areas such as Lake Pennesseewassee, they are mostly not buildable, he said.

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Land and Water Quality list identifies the direct watersheds of lakes in danger from new development and urban impaired streams for projects that require a storm-water permit and developments requiring a site location of development permit. Projects located in these areas are required to meet additional standards, in part to protect them from eutrophication — the accumulation of nutrients in water that support algae growth and reduce oxygen levels.

Severely blooming lakes are a subset of lakes most at risk.

Gray said one of the most important responses from the state in its review of the newly approved Norway Comprehensive Plan was that Norway had some numbers wrong that would affect the Planning Board’s review of a lake property project and its propensity for phosphorous.

Phosphorous either occurs naturally or is contained in chemicals that people use as lawn fertilizers. So in reviewing a project that is near a water body, Gray said it is important to determine the correct numbers.

“There’s only so many pounds (of nutrients) a lake can take each year,” Gray said.

To mitigate that effect, the Planning Board will often write into their orders that retention ponds, for example, are needed to allow water runoff to settle and drain before the phosphorous gets into a nearby water body.

The state has suggested that the town incorporate the Division of Watershed Management numbers into the town’s Comprehensive Plan to ensure stricter standards are applied in any proposed development projects near water bodies.

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