Open house on Lake Placid comprehensive plan is April 24

LAKE PLACID — The town of North Elba and the village of Lake Placid will hold an open house regarding its Pathways project, an effort to update the town and village’s joint comprehensive plan, on April 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Lake Placid Elementary School cafeteria.

The open house will be drop-in style; members of the public can come to LPES anytime in the three-hour window to provide feedback about the Pathways project. Burlington-based planning firm SE Group will facilitate the event and collect data during the open house. Members of the Pathways project’s steering committee and Lake Placid Community Development Director Haley Breen are also expected to be present.

Rather than creating a comprehensive plan from scratch, the Pathways project will update the town and village’s current joint comprehensive plan, which was last updated in 2014. The comprehensive plan guides the development commission’s actions and the local governments’ policy decisions. Breen told the Enterprise in February that many of the themes of the 2014 plan are likely to be carried forward into the updated version.

“Obviously a lot of those big themes that are hard to escape are going to be carried forward, like housing and economic development,” she said. “There will probably be more emphasis on climate change.”

In January and February, the first part of the project’s engagement plan was enacted: A public survey. The survey included questions about, among other subjects, public transportation use, access to child care, perceptions of public transit and experiences with housing. The open house is another opportunity for the public to give input to the project’s leaders in person before they move on to the project’s next phase.

Based on the responses, the project team will prepare a “Values and Stressors” report that details the community’s most prevalent priorities and concerns. They’re also planning to assemble a number of focus groups from “stakeholder groups” — that is, different stakeholders in the welfare of the community, such as year-round residents, business owners, teachers and more — who will provide more specific feedback to the team.

Municipalities in New York are not required to have comprehensive plans. However, their zoning laws are required to be adopted in accordance with a comprehensive plan, making an updated comprehensive plan a de facto requirement for any municipality that wants to continue to have and update its zoning laws.

They are also helpful, if not required, for many grant applications, Breen said.

“You need to have some sort of planning and some proof that you’ve gotten community sentiment for development,” she said. “They usually recommend that you update these plans every five to 10 years or so, and we just happened to have the resources to do it now.”

Aside from the new updated comprehensive plan, the survey will also inform the region’s ongoing LEED for Communities recertification process, as well as a new master plan for the North Elba Show Grounds and nearby athletic fields.

The town and village hired the SE Group to help update the comprehensive plan, as well as Larissa Read, an environmental consultant from Common Ground Consulting in Albany.

An 11-member local steering committee, a sub-committee of the Lake Placid/North Elba Community Development Commission, will also inform the process. Comprising the committee are chair Dean Dietrich, Lori Fitzgerald (CDC chair and liaison), Jim Koenig, Chase Jermano, Daniel Kelleher, Stephanie Pianka, Jamie Rogers, Marty Shubert, Adam Wild, Heather Perkins and Katie Brennan. The town and village boards have liaisons on the committee: Councilor Emily Kilburn-Politi and Trustee Jackie Kelly, respectively. Brennan is also a village trustee but joined the committee before she was elected to the board. Breen is the municipal liaison. Economic Development Director Adam DeSantis is also involved.


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