Shoreline Restoration Project

Our most ambitious project to date.

Shoreline Restoration Project

Message from The President

I know I speak for the entire HLPA Board of Directors when I say “thank you” for all your support as we’ve navigated this special project over the last four years.

Over that time, careful planning and budgeting have allowed us to begin executing a project that will benefit the entire Association and one that is badly needed to avoid potentially huge expenses further down the road.

Many of you have had questions about this project, so we have created this page as a place to share information, links, images, and progress reports as this project progresses.

We will, of course, be updating this page often and sending out more email notices as the project progresses. (10_09_2023)

Discovering the Problem…

The Honeoye Lake Park Association board had been facing an ongoing problem that threatened not only our beautiful shoreline but also the very infrastructure of our community. Since 2019, the association’s Board has diligently worked on a solution to combat shoreline erosion that had begun encroaching on Rochester Street, our main lakeside thoroughfare, and the vital sewer system that lies beneath it.

First Steps…

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the board took action. We initiated a comprehensive assessment of the options and engaged the services of Venezia Engineers to conduct a site survey of the entire shoreline. Their findings confirmed what our community feared: the ongoing erosion posed a significant threat, putting the road and sewer system at risk of collapse. You can see the site survey by clicking this link:
View/Download Venezia Shoreline Study (PDF)

With a clear understanding of the challenges ahead, the Honeoye Lake Park Association board took the next step, collaborating closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (the DEC) and their shoreline restoration engineers and biologists. We had drone footage taken of the entire shoreline and combed through historical photographs to help establish historical high and low water marks for the DEC’s requirements. Then, the board, the DEC, and other shoreline restoration experts meticulously planned a phased shoreline restoration project that would stretch from the south end of the association property and work its way northward.

Visit the DEC’s webpage to learn more about (and see renderings of) approved Finger Lakes shoreline restorations.

A Project in Phases…

The restoration project’s first phase (Phase One) involved the removal of nearly 15 dead or dying ash trees that had stood along the shoreline for generations. While their presence had once been a source of beauty and shade, the diseased trees sadly became a part of the erosion problem, exacerbating the issue with their weakening root systems. These trees were removed in 2022.

With Phase One successfully completed, the association board turned its attention to Phase Two, which would address rebuilding approximately 400-500 feet of shoreline, starting at the southernmost HLPA point and progressing northward. This phase would come to address the worst parts of the eroding shoreline, comprising about 66%  of the total restoration effort.

Who will be doing this work?…

For the execution of this critical phase, the Honeoye Lake Park Association board enlisted the services of Seawalls. With their expertise and experience, Seawalls will craft a robust and resilient shoreline defense that will protect the community’s infrastructure and preserve the lakefront’s natural beauty. They have a history of working with the DEC and are familiar with the agency’s requirements for modern lakeshore restoration.

Challenges along the way…

The Board originally was working directly with the DEC and it’s experts (biologists, engineers, environmentalists, etc.) to obtain the necessary permit. The Board did the original historical work, completed the survey, and met with DEC representatives at the lake a few times.

But, after three years spent trying to get the DEC to issue the permit, we decided to explore the other option of getting a restoration contractor to help us work with the DEC on the permitting process. So, besides the actual build-out of the restoration, and because of their familiarity with DEC requirements from previous projects, we engaged Seawalls to assist us in obtaining the DEC permits to do this work. As the permit status changes, we will keep you updated on the status here.

Always remember – The DEC has FINAL say…

The restoration work will involve carefully installing rock barriers, of various sizes and weights to create a “naturalized” shoreline, which would not only halt the encroachment of erosion but also provide a stable foundation for native vegetation and aquatic life to flourish.

While we have made our preferences known regarding recreational use, ultimately, the DEC has the FINAL say as to what we can (or cannot) do to the lake’s shoreline.

Phase 2 Marking and Equipment Moving Instructions:

If your dock/hoist space is in the designated area of Phase 2, between Oxford Street and a little past Harvard Street, you will be required to remove all your equipment to your property and permanently remove any decks and or construction or dock debris on the shoreline.

No structures, decks, debris, patios, pavers, etc., will be allowed to be placed back on the shoreline after the restoration project is complete.  The affected homeowners must complete all removal in the designated areas by October 15 November 1, 2023. We have realized that in certain parts of the restoration, there may be an issue with safe access from the road elevation down to the water elevation. If your deck currently has a stair structure attached to it, you may want to reserve this in case we can allow small stairs (again, in accordance with DEC requirements) at these challenged areas. More to come on this…

The Board of Directors has marked the areas impacted with red flags and red paint to assist you in determining if you are impacted. Please do not remove these flags. Our contractor will be using them to identify the work areas. Documentary photos of all the locations where the red flags and paint have been placed have been taken. We will also soon place signs at each end of the shoreline (Oxford and Harvard) to remind everyone of the upcoming Phase 2 project.

We understand that some of you may not have enough space to store your hoists at your property over the winter. We have designated an area in the park for those who need it. The designated area will be between the rocks along Rochester St. and the snow fence (soon to be erected) on the grass. Please only utilize this space if it is necessary. Rocks have been moved to accommodate moving equipment into the park area.

If any items are left on the shoreline (hoists, docks, decks) after the deadline, the contractor will remove them at the owners’ expense. That expense will be added to your annual dues invoice in January/February 2024 and will become payable with your dues for that year.

We know this process is an inconvenience, but it is totally necessary to ensure we retain our shoreline, roads, and infrastructure in the years to come. We appreciate your cooperation and patience during this much-needed project.  Please let us know if we can assist you in any way. We are happy to help if we can.

What will this look like?…

The board has completed similar kinds of work already at smaller spots along the shoreline at Lake Road (in the North end). Here are a few pictures of those efforts. The results in the South end should look something like what you see in these pictures. Because we have already completed this kind of work elsewhere in the Association, we did not feel it prudent to incur the added expense of creating artist or computer renderings of what the shoreline might look like when complete.

We have also obtained a sketch from our contractor as a representative elevation of what the shoreline should look like when completed. It is the fourth image in the gallery to the right.

What will this project cost?…

Our current contract from Seawalls includes completing 500 feet of shoreline restoration. The money for this has been set aside from the collection of dues, improvements to (and savings from) annual road work, and collection of some dues liens from recent sales – and is NOT part of our Emergency Fund. Therefore, we do not anticipate any extra assessments to members for these improvements!

We are also seeking bids for installing and seeding a final topsoil layer, if the new DEC biologist will allow it. (And yes, during the past 4 years, the DEC has changed biologists and others originally on this project, so that in itself has been another challenge). While we hope to have everything complete and seeded by Spring of 2024, we may need to let the rock work settle further before we add topsoil and seed. This will be dependent on weather, availability of soils, etc., and we will keep the membership updated on this.

Why is it so important to complete this work now?

The Association documents authorize and empower the Board to maintain and keep the property of the association in repair.

The collapse (even partially) of Rochester Street from erosion would immediately endanger the sewer system that runs beneath it. We, as the board, are trying to be proactive and fiscally responsible by taking action now.

 

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that this project will not only protect the shoreline and vital infrastructure, but also protect the value of the individual homes in the association. It is also a commitment to protecting a way of life and cherishing the natural wonders that make Honeoye Lake Park a haven for residents and visitors alike.

The community’s vision of a restored shoreline is becoming a reality through the tireless efforts of the Honeoye Lake Park Association board, Seawalls, and the DEC. As the project moves northward, it will become a testament to what collective determination and environmental stewardship can achieve.

The Honeoye Lake Park Association board has embarked on a journey to restore our shoreline and our faith in the power of community, nature, and collaboration. In time, as the project is completed, the sparkling shores of the HLPA will once again be a symbol of beauty, resilience, and the unwavering spirit of those who call it home.

While the Honeoye Lake Parks Association ( HLPA)  strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the HLPA makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this site, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this site. No warranty of any kind, implied, expressed, or statutory, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of third party rights, title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or freedom from computer virus, is given with respect to the contents of this website or its links to other Internet resources.

The information appearing on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice to any individual or entity. We urge you to consult with your own legal advisor before taking any action based on information appearing on this site or any site to which it may be linked.