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Rezoning in Lake Placid, New York, Sets Course
for Possible New 100-room Hotel

By Kim Smith Dedam, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Aug. 26, 2011--LAKE PLACID -- A public hearing Wednesday evening moved a hotel development on Mirror Lake to town and village boards for action.

The hearing looked to rezone two parcels of land once part of the Lake Placid Club and now owned by the Lussi family, who plan to tear down an old dormitory and build a 100-room hotel on the lower, southern parcel.

The other parcel encompasses the vacant knoll where the old Lake Placid Club hotel once stood seven stories tall.

It was torn down in 2002.

JOINT HEARING

The public hearing Wednesday brought together the North Elba-Lake Placid Joint Review Board, the Lake Placid Village Board and the North Elba Town Council to field public comments.

Lake Placid Trustee Jason Leon said the Review Board recommended both municipalities approve the Planned Development zoning designation, with setback conditions.

"Now the JRB attorney Tim Smith will write up the proposal to give to village and town boards for review at their next meetings. All they could really address was the setbacks between properties," Leon said in an interview Thursday.

"Amendments to the code took out the four-story restriction and made room for 45-foot-average-height ridgeline."

There was no discussion of the boutique hotel or its design, at this point, Leon said.

REVIEW BOARD NEXT

Lussi's five-story hotel drew deference when the Zoning Board of Appeals turned down a height-variance request earlier this spring.

"Once the recommendations come before both boards, and if they're passed, then the Lussis have to take their plan before the Review Board," Leon said.

The Lussis own Mirror Lake Drive in front of both parcels and provide a right-to-use agreement with the village, he added.

HEARING QUESTIONS

Bill Hurley, chairman of the Joint Review Board, said four people spoke at the hearing.

One resident, Linda Friedlander, a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, questioned whether the Planned Development would change the height limit on new construction, Leon said.

Other questions addressed general issues about the proposed change in zoning. The hotel plan was not the focus of the public hearing.

SETBACKS

"I think the Review Board was unanimous in its recommendation to change the lots from Village Center zoning to Planned Development," Hurley said. "We decided to put perimeter setbacks for the parcels, and those will be the recommendations to the village and town boards."

A Planned Development designation could add a 50-foot setback from the white line on Mirror Lake Drive and 25-foot setbacks from the two sides and rear property lines of the dormitory site.

The Review Board recommended 75-foot setbacks for the Old Club Hotel site, with 35-foot perimeters around the site and rear of any construction there.

It is up to the municipal boards to establish the setback parameter, Hurley said.

"They can take our recommendation or leave setbacks the way they are."

LOOKING AHEAD

Hotelier Arthur Lussi, who with his family manages Placid Gold LLC, which owns 50-plus former Lake Placid Club properties throughout the village, said Thursday that Planned Development moves their project to formal review.

"Basically, it gives the Planning Board ultimate review of anything we plan to do on those two lots," he said.

"They also felt that there should be imposed fairly restrictive setbacks. It's presently zoned Village Center, which has a zero or 10-foot setback, so you can be right on the road. We're hoping the village and town boards say leave it the way the zoning code sits. Then, if the Review Board wants to site each property individually, they can."

Email Kim Smith Dedam at: kdedam@pressrepublican.com

___

(c)2011 the Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, N.Y.)

Visit the Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) at pressrepublican.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services



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