LAKE PLACID - It turns out that a community organization doesn't have a need for parking in front of the Adirondack Community Church.
Following a 45-minute discussion last week, the Lake Placid village Board of Trustees decided to let the Lake Placid/North Elba Community Lunch Program set up cones to reserve three parking spaces in front of the church on Parkside Drive so volunteers could set up for the free weekly meal, which takes place every Wednesday.
That decision was made after volunteer Denise Calvert told Trustee Art Devlin it would help to have some spaces in the municipal parking lot across from the church. The board offered to reserve the spaces on Parkside Drive because it didn't want to give away free spaces in the metered municipal lot, a move some trustees said would establish precedent.
But as it turns out, the lunch program doesn't need the spots. Mayor Craig Randall said he spoke with Pat Jorgensen, who heads up the program, and she told him she wasn't aware of the request.
"The person who brings the food in has a place to park," Randall told the Enterprise.
He said the rest of the volunteers park on Parkside Drive without any issues, so no cones will be set up "because they aren't needed.
"Based on what Pat told Art (Devlin), they really don't need this, and if they don't need it, then let's just withdraw it," Randall said.
Randall said last week that the debate over the request should prompt a larger discussion on parking on Parkside Drive. He said parking spaces are often taken up by people who work downtown, leaving less parking for visitors to the village's public beach on Mirror Lake.
Randall said the solution might be two-hour parking limits or meters. He said trustees will begin looking into the situation soon.
"I'm hearing enough from the Parkside area and from our visitors and residents alike that I know we have to do something there to improve access to the beach, to improve traffic flows - and a lot of that has to do with parking," he said.
Randall said the ongoing construction of a new hotel on property owned by the Lussi family, across from the beach, has put parking at an even higher premium.
"Space that we would normally have is not available and I'm continuing to try to find alternate (parking) areas," Randall said.
Randall said the village could institute shorter-term parking limitations on Parkside to help with turnover. He said he may host a public hearing for the neighborhood property owners to hear what's on their minds.
"We're getting all kinds of comments and requests to make it one-way, take the parking away - we can't do that - but I think the point is I'd like to give the neighborhood an opportunity to speak," he said. "I think we can do a few more simple things there to improve traffic flows now, and we'll see if that's something the neighborhood can support."