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Despite citizens' concerns, Lake George Marriott project moves forward

Lake George resident Joanne Gavin expresses concerns about the proposed Lake George Marriott hotel development in downtown Lake George at a Feb. 10 public hearing on the project. A special use permit was approved at the standing-room-only meeting in a split vote. The project’s site plan review is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 19.

Lake George resident Joanne Gavin expresses concerns about the proposed Lake George Marriott hotel development in downtown Lake George at a Feb. 10 public hearing on the project. A special use permit was approved at the standing-room-only meeting in a split vote. The project’s site plan review is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 19. Photo by Thom Randall.

— A standing-room-only crowd of local residents turned out Feb. 10 for a public hearing on proposed six-story Marriott Courtyard hotel proposed for downtown in the village, and a half-dozen people expressed opposition to the development’s size and height — and questioned its architecture as well as its effect on traffic, village ambiance and sewage treatment output.

The village planning board, however, approved a special use permit — in a split vote — for the development after discussing the ambitious hotel plans until about 11:30 p.m. after much of the audience had left for the night. Planning Board members Patricia Dow and Dan Wolfield voted against granting the special use permit.

The board also formulated some conditions for approval of the site review plan — the second phase of review. The board will be evaluating the site review plan in its entirety at its next regular meeting set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 19.

The project to build a 120-room hotel and conference center has been subject to a half-dozen hearings so far, with its architecture being re-drafted from initially a boxy slab-sided hotel with long, flat walls to one that incorporates stepped roofs, wall offsets and recesses and articulated architectural features.

Sue Millington, who owns an adjacent property, questioned whether the village sewer treatment plant could handle the additional load from 130 or more toilets, three three restaurants, and laundry facilities at the hotel.

Planning board chairman Robert Mastrantoni said the additional sewage was not an issue because the board had a letter on file from Village Public Works Superintendent Dave Harrington and he’d “signed off” on the plant’s ability to accommodating the extra sewage. But Lake George Citizen’s Group leader Joanne Gavin and others in the audience said that merely receiving a letter of assurance wasn’t enough, that the public should know the facts concerning the hotel’s estimated additional sewage flow and the sewer plant’s processing capacity.

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