LP trustees consider allowing taller resort

The Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees agreed Monday to hold a public hearing later this month on whether to change a zoning law that prohibits a local developer from building a hotel more than 35-feet in height.

Arthur Lussi asked the village board in early April for an amendment that would allow him to construct resort buildings as high as 40-feet instead of the current 35-foot restriction.

A new joint land use and development code for the village of Lake Placid and town of North Elba that was passed in January of this year changed the zoning district of Lussi's properties to a classification with a height restriction of 35 feet. Lussi said the change came without his knowledge.

Now he wants the zoning rules changed back to once again permit a 40-foot maximum building height.

"Our family has had permission since the 1960s to construct buildings to this height," Lussi said during the April meeting.

One of the affected properties is a 22-acre tract on the eastern shore of Mirror Lake, the former site of the Lake Placid Club, a famous turn-of-the-century social club. The other property is located on Mirror Lake Drive and was used as a dormitory for the Lake Placid Club.

Lussi said his family has planned to redevelop both sites for years, and that the new zoning rule would hamper a long range development plan that had been acceptable under village zoning rules for decades. He said the new rule is not conducive to resort development.

Village officials expressed their willingness to consider reclassifying the Lussi's property to "planned development."

Its current designation as "village center" is something Mayor Craig Randall said might work well for Main Street, but not the relatively less developed western side of Mirror Lake.

Randall said rezoning the Lussi property as planned development would require that buildings be located farther from roads, but allow them up to 40-feet in height. Randal said he doesn't mind if they're a bit taller since they will be set back farther.

Village officials agreed during a board meeting on Monday to set a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. on May 23 to flush out any concerns the public might have about the change.

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