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Public hearing today on short-term rental rule, Cell Science Center

LAKE PLACID — A public hearing on two different issues, a proposed revision of a short-term vacation rental rule and the reclassification of a property where a new housing complex is proposed, is slated for tonight at 5 p.m.

The public hearing before the North Elba Town Council and the town-village Joint Review Board will be held virtually on GoToMeeting, a teleconferencing software. Those who want to participate can call in at 1-571-317-3122, access code 350-598-109.

The hearing will also be accessible online at https://www.gotomeet.me/TownofNorthElba/board-meeting.

Rental law change

A proposed revision to the town and village’s joint land-use code is one of two topics up for discussion tonight.

As part of the short-term vacation rental law jointly adopted by the North Elba Town Council and Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees in March, units owned by non-residents can be rented a maximum of 90 days per calendar year. The North Elba Town Council is proposing an increase to that cap for short-term vacation rentals located within town boundaries, outside of the village of Lake Placid, from 90 days to 120 days.

Prior to adopting short-term vacation rental rules in March, the town council had informally resolved to let rental owners outside the village rent their properties for more than 90 days per year. Ninety days per calendar year is the original maximum occupancy cap outlined in the law, and would still stay in place within the village if the town chooses to adopt a different cap.

Before the short-term rental law passed, the town council and village board couldn’t unilaterally make changes to the joint land use code that both municipalities share. But the adopted law has a provision allowing each municipality to make changes without the other’s approval, which lets the town council relax restrictions on short-term rental properties owned by part-time and non-residents.

Cell Science Center

In addition to the proposed vacation rental rule change, residents will also have the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed reclassification of the former W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center property. Local developer Joseph Barile hopes to build a new housing complex there, which would first be used for athlete housing during the 2023 World University Games, then as long-term residential housing.

Barile’s sprawling campus on Old Barn Road could include 20 different buildings covered with solar panels, some with underground parking garages beneath them. It would also have an amphitheater with solar panels and a renewable energy tower, playing fields, an outdoor terrace, a trail network, a pool, a day-care center and multiple parking areas, according to the project designs. The existing Cell Science Center building would be demolished.

The town council’s upcoming decision of whether to allow the land to be reclassified from “gateway corridor” to “planned development” is one of the last hurdles before the developer can move forward with submitting plans to the town-village Joint Review Board.

If authorized by the council, the reclassification has a provision attached that would grant Barile an exemption from Section 5.6 of the town land use code, which outlines standards for the development of income-based housing.

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