Imagine the housing possibilities

To the editor:

As the housing crisis continues, imagine if Saranac Lake was given a piece of property perfect for the development of dozens of new housing units. Imagine this property is flat with well-drained soils, has access to village water and sewer, is adjacent to the rail trail and near jobs, essential services, and a bus route?

We don’t have to imagine this scenario because in a few years the village’s sandpit will be closed, opening up the 10 acre village-owned property near Will Rogers Drive for redevelopment.

The time is now to start planning for this amazing opportunity. Developing a thoughtful plan that maximizes this incredible resource for housing will take time. We have a responsibility to start planning now and not wait until the closure happens.

What should this planning process look like?

Housing Needs Assessment: An analysis that identifies how many units of different types of housing are needed for households with different sizes, incomes and preferences. This assessment will also be valuable for evaluating opportunities at other public or privately owned sites in the village.

Site analysis: Using the market demand data, detailed information about the property, and community-based goals and objectives, the village should conduct an analysis to determine what the development potential is for the property and what is financially feasible.

Request for Proposals (RFP): Armed with data and a good understanding of how the property can be developed in a way that will achieve community goals, the village can use an RFP to solicit interest and select a qualified developer in a fair and transparent way.

Development Agreement: After a developer is selected, the village executes a well-crafted development agreement that clearly describes the expectations of the village and the developer, including all of the conditions the developer must meet before the village actually sells or transfers the property.

Join us to rally around this unique opportunity to make a stronger Saranac Lake. Let’s get started!

Kelly Brunette

Jeremy Evans

Matthew Scollin

Stronger Saranac Lake


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