LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid-North Elba Comprehensive Plan jumped through its last hurdle Monday night and has now been approved by both the village and town boards.
The village of Lake Placid's board unanimously adopted a final version of the joint comprehensive plan and accepted new amendments on Monday. The town of North Elba board accepted the same amendments at its last meeting, and it also adopted the document. Now the document officially serves as a guide for both municipalities' future.
"Both boards are very comfortable with this document as a goal," Dean Dietrich, chairman of the Lake Placid-North Elba Community Development Board that drafted the plan, told the village board. "They're not as comfortable with a document that handcuffs them."
Mayor Craig Randall said the document doesn't bind the village; however, he said both boards should not take actions that go against the broader goals of the comprehensive plan.
"It's a guidance document, and recommendations would come back through the community development commission to be acted on as they are presented," Randall said.
North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi told the Enterprise he agreed it's a working plan.
"Some things might not be achievable immediately, but we are going to work toward what's in the amendments," Politi said. "Basically this is a wish list - what we'd like to achieve over time."
Changes to the plan
The boards made some amendments to the plan but not substantive changes, Dietrich said.
"They add some emphasis and prioritization," Dietrich said.
Many of the amendments focused on sports venues owned by North Elba, which are maintained by the state Olympic Regional Development Authority. Those changes added stronger language about sports facilities being kept at the highest standard of excellence.
In the "Community Facilities and Services" section of the plan, Goal 5 was amended to add that Lake Placid sports venues are designed to serve "National and International competitive athletes in-training and competitions."
Objective 1, under the "Community Facilities and Services" section, now states this: "Ensure that the Olympic facilities and sports venues are not only maintained but continually updated to the highest international standards in order to attract year-round training and competitions."
Two implementation measure were also added under the "Community Facilities" section:
"Continue to apply for Regional Economic Development grants for funding to plan and implement the updating of all Olympic facilities."
"Establish a delegation made up of key stakeholders (local government officials, ORDA executives, Olympic Training Center management, NYSEF and private school heads) to advocate for funding and support of state and federal government, corporations and applicable industry non-profits."
Two other changes were made under the "Housing" section of the plan, concerning rental housing units. Goal 2 of that section added a line to recommend that short-term rental housing units "do not negatively impact the quality of life of neighborhoods." Goal 3 of the "Housing" section promotes energy efficiency in construction of new homes and renovations of existing homes. A line was added to include rental housing.
The full comprehensive plan can be viewed on the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism website at www.roostadk.com/resources/lpnorth-elba-community-development-board.
The village board also unanimously approved another measure allowing the Community Development Board to seek out the expertise of the state Office of Local Government Efficiency for a study of local government efficiency. The group is in its early stages of forming. Dietrich is currently recruiting locals to join it.
Randall said the study could lead to the village taking further steps to create efficiencies in its government.