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Six-story hotel approved for Lake George by local planning board

An architect's revised rendition of the proposed Lake George Marriott hotel shows the Adirondack-style architecture, staggered rooflines and facade offsets that village planning board members had suggested last fall. Recently, the board members asked for more information on the project, while posing questions about screening from adjacent properties.

An architect's revised rendition of the proposed Lake George Marriott hotel shows the Adirondack-style architecture, staggered rooflines and facade offsets that village planning board members had suggested last fall. Recently, the board members asked for more information on the project, while posing questions about screening from adjacent properties. Photo by Thom Randall.

— The controversial six-story hotel planned for downtown Lake George is now one major step closer to reality.

The site plans and architectural drawings for the proposed Marriott Courtyard Hotel & Conference Center were approved Wednesday night, in a 3-2 split vote, by the Lake George Village Planning Board.

The approval followed a presentation by architect Ethan Hall of Saratoga Springs, and assurance by village Department of Public Works Superintendent Dave Harrington that the village’s wastewater treatment plant could handle the additional sewage produced by the hotel.

Proponents of the hotel have cited the economic benefits of the hotel, primarily the 100-plus jobs it would create and how it would be attracting corporate conferences and weddings with upscale clients that have disposable income to spend in the village.

Opponents have criticized about how the tall hotel would change the character of the village, obstruct views of the lake as well as blot out sunshine along Canada St. — and that it has uninspired architecture.

The development now goes to the Adirondack Park Agency for review. While most development projects in villages and hamlets are exempt from APA review, this hotel is jurisdictional because of its size, height and potential for changing the character and ambiance of the village.

Harrington had said the hotel’s sewage flow of an estimated 20,000 gallons or so daily, could be accommodated by the village’s wastewater treatment plant. He noted that recent efforts to curb infiltration of groundwater into the pipes had boosted the plant’s available treatment capacity.

He recognized the concerns of environmentalists and some citizens about the continuing excess nitrate levels in the plant’s effluent, but he said that an ongoing $2.2 million project to upgrade the plant was now underway, and combined with another similar follow-up project, the plant would likely meet state effluent purity standards.

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