SCHROONLAKE - The hamlet of Schroon Lake would like to grow.
With that in mind, town of Schroon officials have applied for a state Smart Growth grant to prepare a proposal for the Adirondack Park Agency, which must approve a change of hamlet boundaries.
"In planning for the future it has become apparent that the town of Schroon has very few areas for future residential growth," Schroon Supervisor Cathy Moses said. "Overall, just under 70 percent of the land mass in the town of Schroon is part of the Forever Wild Forest Preserve."
The town has identified two contiguous properties that appear to have ideal "hamlet type" characteristics for the Schroon Lake initiative. The parcels are surrounded by existing hamlet on the south, east and north.
The property targeted by local officials is currently classified as Low Intensity by the APA. That means 3.2 acres are required for a single family dwelling.
Before formally asking the APA to reclassify the land as hamlet, Schroon officials hope to secure the Smart Growth grant to conduct an in-depth soils analysis to determine if the land can sustain hamlet-type development and to develop a detailed engineering proposal that to bring municipal sewer to the project area.
The APA generally mandates that sewer be brought to the expansion area, Moses said. The scope of the engineering report will also include the lakefront portion from Olden Drive to the marina and the Commerce Park area.
Roger Friedman, a Schroon trustee, said the proposed hamlet expansion could lead to access to affordable housing for many.
"The owners of these properties have agreed that in exchange for reclassification, that at a minimum 20 percent of all created future lots will be allocated for affordable housing that will be in the framework of a community trust under the auspices of the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County," he said.