Residents complain about noise from Whiteface Lodge

LAKE PLACID — A group of 20 people who live in the area next to the Whiteface Lodge on Whiteface Inn Lane, wrote a letter to the North Elba Town Council complaining about noise from the resort.

“All of us have been and are still seriously affected by the unreasonable and excessive noise level generated by the cooling unit of the aforementioned hotel,” they said. “The sound level is such that those living in the vicinity of the hotel have to close their windows at night to sleep.”

Thomas Jenkins was one of those 20 residents. He and his wife Camilla live in New York City but come up to Lake Placid almost every weekend, he said.

“We bought 52 Whiteface Inn Lane about four years ago,” Jenkins said. “We didn’t notice much at first, but about two years ago a loud, whining noise became prevalent. It’s to the extent where it drives my wife batty. She can’t even sit outside on the porch without music on to drown out the noise.”

Jenkins said he spoke with someone from the Whiteface Lodge about the noise, but nothing really came of it.

Town Supervisor Roby Politi said the letter was read at Tuesday night’s board meeting. He said the town has received letters like this in the past, but not for that particular location.

“It’s pretty standard to have issues when commercial businesses are adjoined to residential properties,” Politi said.

Jenkins said he the other residents who wrote the letter downloaded decibel reader apps on their cellphones, and when they measured the noise from the cooling unit, it was more than 50 decibels. Politi said that evidence wasn’t substantial because it wasn’t done using the proper tool and wasn’t conducted by a professional.

In their letter, the group also referenced the town noise ordinance code: “It shall be unlawful for any person to make any unreasonable or excessive noise within the boundaries of the town of North Elba, by whatever means or from whatever means or from whatever source. For purpose of this local law, unreasonable noise shall generally include any noise which is of such character that a reasonable person or normal sensitivities would not tolerate under the circumstances, or is detrimental to the life or welfare of any individual, or cause a risk of public inconvenience or alarm.”

North Elba Code Enforcement Officer Mike Orticelle said this isn’t the first time he’s heard grievances about that particular cooling unit.

“I’ve only been in the position for a year-and-a-half,” he said, “but it’s been an ongoing issue. We’ve had conversations and sent letters to the Lodge notifying them of the situation. The people at the Lodge have put up some barriers to try and muffle the noise, but apparently, that isn’t at the level to keep the neighbors happy.”

Orticelle said he also received this most recent letter from the residents and that his office is still investigating the situation.

Politi said if the noise is too loud, then the Lodge will be given a violation and have to come up with some means of reducing the sound, perhaps by moving the equipment or constructing some kind of a building that muffles the sound further.

This newspaper reached out to the Whiteface Lodge on this matter but received no immediate response.