LAKE GEORGE A proposal to increase the height of buildings in Lake George Village as tall as six stories may have sparked controversy for months, but only several dozen attended a public zoning forum Monday March 25. Regardless of the limited attendance, the dissension may not fade away, however.
Several people attending did object to the height extension initiative, which is included as part of an array of pending zoning changes now under consideration by the Lake George Village Board.
With an eye on boosting local prosperity, the Village Board of Trustees has proposed to allow buildings in particular commercial zones on and near Canada St. to be as tall as 72 feet high. The board has also endorsed strict design guidelines with a goal of improving the commercial zone aesthetically.
The initiative of building height extension was primarily prompted last year by area developer Dave Kenny’s proposal to build a multi-story chain hotel on the property where Giuseppe’s Pizza and Restaurant exist. Blais has since said that several other prospective developers have also inquired about similar large-scale developments.
At the forum, several local citizens questioned the impact of six-story buildings on the character of the town, and whether they’d obstruct the views of the lake. Questions were also raised on why particular properties were chosen for such relaxation of height restrictions, and neighboring ones weren’t.
Heather Engwer, who grew up in Lake George, said six stories was far too tall, out of character with the village, and would block views. She added that such upward development wasn’t needed in the village.
Town Board member Marisa Muratori, a village resident, asked if viewsheds were thoroughly evaluated.
Village Mayor Robert Blais replied that board members had walked the streets behind Canada Street and weighed the impact of six story structures, and drafted the proposal to choose particular zones based on their findings.