Architectural standards; cogent community planning

Dozens of new quality cultural events have been launched. Regulations to rein in unbridled commercialism have been enacted. Projects to upgrade the streetscape and enhance the pedestrian experience have been undertaken, and they’ve resulted in considerable success.

Last winter, developer Dave Kenny hinted he was interested in situating an upscale hotel and conference center in the village.

Recognizing that such a facility would boost the prosperity of the village, local leaders re-examined their zoning regulations and adopted amendments to not only accommodate such a development, but to assure that this hotel and others would be built in an appropriate manner. They reviewed their existing architectural guidelines, and strengthened them by adding various aspects and converting the suggestions to mandates.

These new architectural standards include calling for the use of varied, quality materials, as well as staggered rooflines, multiple exterior planes, wall offsets and recesses, dormers, parapets, and cornices.

We applaud the village board of trustees’ actions.

Good architecture and savvy municipal planning attract people to a community to not only visit, but to live in it, prosper, and savor the experience.

Kenny’s initial drawings of his hotel were presented last month to the Lake George Village Planning Board. The drawings depicted a long boxy structure with blank walls — prohibited in Lake George’s new zoning laws — interrupted only with three shallow towers with Adirondack-themed roofs with faux log beams.

Such elements were a nod to the new architectural guidelines, but didn’t go far enough. It was interesting to see that Kenny also had alternate backup plans for the hotel, depicting stepped roofs, extensive stonework, various offsets and far more visual interest.

Kudos to the planning board members who directed Kenny to go back to the drawing board and redesign the hotel to incorporate architectural quality, and not just minimal design cues.

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