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New Lake Placid land-use code ready to go public

August 12, 2009
By CHRIS KNIGHT, Enterprise Senior Staff Writer

LAKE PLACID - After more than three years of effort, the committee working on a new land-use code for the village of Lake Placid and town of North Elba is ready to release the draft document to the public.

The new code includes proposals to increase housing stock and make it easier to develop a mixed-use project. Protections have been added for watersheds, view corridors, ridgelines and historic structures in the town and village. The size of signs would have to be reduced under the new code, which also improves the review and enforcement process, said Dean Dietrich, chairman of the Technical Steering Committee.

Dietrich said four public informational meetings are being planned, each to deal with different components of the new code. Copies of the draft have also been made available at public buildings and online at

"We want to make the code as public as possible," Dietrich told the North Elba Town Board on Tuesday.

Once local residents have had the chance to review and comment on the draft, the code will be revised and brought to the town and village boards for adoption. The process could be complete by the end of the year.

Village and town officials launched the revamp in 2006 to simplify the land-use code and implement new planning techniques. It was also seen as a way to address changes the community was experiencing such a spike in second-home development, the growth of tourism and the lack of affordable housing for year-round residents. LandWorks of Vermont has served as the consultant on the project.

Steering committee member Michael Clarke said the group was often divided about some aspects of the code.

"I think overall there was consensus," he said. "But not everybody agreed on everything."

Dietrich said they don't expect the code will be perfect.

"There will be issues that arise," he said. "We'll be coming back for amendments constantly. It's just the nature of the beast."

"We're dealing with an existing developed community," Clarke added. "Any new code can't fit exactly."

Town board members thanked the committee for the countless hours it has put into the project.

"A lot of people will be pleased to hear it's moving forward," said Councilman Jay Rand.

Dietrich and Clarke are planning to meet with the Lake Placid Village Board on Aug. 17. The date of the first public informational meeting on the new land-use code has yet to be scheduled.


Contact Chris Knight at (518) 891-2600 ext. 24 or



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