Lake Placid takes first step toward parking garage

Village may take Ad’k Museum parcel by eminent domain

LAKE PLACID — The village is taking its first step in planning the construction of a downtown parking garage many residents and tourists have desired for quite some time.

The village would like for the garage to be at the most commonly referenced site for the parking structure, dubbed the “NBT Bank Lot” across from Big Mountain Deli.

Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said that parcel of land includes 66 feet of frontage on Main Street, 60 feet of which is encumbered by the village, and stretches back about 250 to 300 feet from Main Street. The rest of the property is currently owned by the Adirondack Museum on a narrow, currently vacant lot between the village’s ramp to the upper parking lot and the ADK Outlet.

But Randall added at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled board meeting that the village has yet to come to an agreement on a price for the parcel with the Adirondack Museum. Randall said the two parties have been negotiating on and off for several years — most recently a month ago — but have yet to settle on a deal for the village to purchase the property.

As a result, the village will host a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 13 at the North Elba Town Hall, an eminent domain proceeding required by law in advance of the village possibly taking the property for an “approved and established public purpose.”

Village attorney Janet Bliss said the hearing would consist of a short presentation by the village and an engineer outlining a presentation of facts as to why it believes there is a public need for the property, and members of the public will be afforded the opportunity to express opinions via oral and written statements.

“It’s solely a public hearing,” Bliss said. “Because this board after soliciting public comment, both at the public hearing and perhaps in writing, would have to make a finding of facts and determination.”

Randall said the village wants to do the public hearing in March as schedules are affected by school vacations in April and he felt May was too distant.

Bliss added that it is possible sometime in the future, even with the hosting of the public hearing on March 13, that the village and Adirondack Museum could come to an agreement on a sale of the parcel.

The demand to bring a parking garage to the village has been there for years in Lake Placid, though residents have pressed Randall and the village board further on it in recent months. Last June, numerous Main Street residents and employees attended a public hearing specific to the village budget to voice their desire for a parking garage as soon as possible. That meeting followed a May 16 board meeting where more than 20 locals expressed their frustration with Lake Placid’s parking situation.

The village passed a resolution in June to establish a “capital-type reserve” for parking and — “ostensibly,” as Randall put it then — a parking garage. Known as the “Parking Reserve,” its purpose is to accumulate funds to “finance the cost of addressing the long-term parking needs of the community at large, including, but not limited to the Main Street corridor.”

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