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Meeting on Lake Placid housing set for tomorrow

LAKE PLACID — An informal meeting on housing issues in Lake Placid and the desired future of this community is slated for tomorrow.

The North Elba-Lake Placid Development Commission’s Joint Community Housing Committee, or JCHC, is hosting the event — designed to glean input from locals on the area’s housing crunch, plus what they’d like this community to look like in the coming years — at the Conference Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This meeting is one piece of an ongoing JCHC-commissioned housing study by Saratoga Springs-based consulting firm Camoin 310. The three-month study will assess Lake Placid’s existing housing stock, identify gaps in the market and look at ways to improve the availability of affordable and workforce housing.

This will be the only public hearing before the results of the study are submitted in mid-January, according to JCHC member Emily Kilburn-Politi, who was recently elected a North Elba town councilor. After the study is finished, there will be another public hearing where residents will have the opportunity to comment on its findings.

A presentation by Camoin 310 on the results of the study so far is set for 6 p.m.

At the meeting tomorrow, the JCHC is also looking for broader input on the future of Lake Placid, and what kind of a community the Olympic Village should either remain as, or seek to become, in the future.

At a public hearing in August on proposed short-term rental regulations hosted by the town of North Elba and the village of Lake Placid, a central conflict emerged between some long-term residents and short-term rental owners.

While some residents argued the rentals are diminishing the sense of community in their neighborhoods, a handful of rental owners pushed back, saying by offering additional accommodations for visitors they were contributing to the local economy and drawing more people here than would normally visit.

The hearing laid bare how many locals see this issue: as a referendum on the identity of Lake Placid, and the ongoing tug-of-war between retaining the integrity of its neighborhoods and blossoming into a full-fledged tourist hub.