The Giuseppe's Pizza & Restaurant block on Canada St. in Lake George is where developer Dave Kenny has proposed to build a high-rise hotel that would require changes in the village's zoning code to allow structures over three stories tall — a suggested change that's prompted controversy.
Zoning changes to allow high-rise hotels in the village are to be discussed by the Lake George Village Board at its special meeting set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 9.
The meeting is to host a presentation by the Zoning Steering Committee, which is expected to recommend changes to the present zoning ordinances to allow taller buildings along the west side of Canada Street — as well as the construction of parking garages.
The proposed amendments have sparked controversy, pitting those who say allowing high-rise buildings would spark prosperity — against citizens who’d like to see the character of the village remain as it is.
The meeting is to include a presentation by Elan Planning of Saratoga Springs, consultant to the village for the tentative proposed zoning changes.
The trustees will be discussing the proposals — and if they endorse the changes, they’ll be setting a series of public hearings on the ordinance amendments.
The temporary Zoning Committee was appointed by the village Board of Trustees this past year after developer Dave Kenny proposed a five-story hotel on Canada Street, which sparked controversy.
Since the high-rise hotel proposal surfaced, village Mayor Robert Blais has suggested that changes were appropriate to boost the local commercial scene. He observed that over the past three years, the village’s assessed valuation has declined and several commercial buildings were vacant this season.
With the village only hosting one major development project in the last ten years, he and the trustees sought to determine village zoning could be changed to sparking local prosperity in upcoming years.
Many people, however, have objected to the idea of tall hotels or other buildings in the center of the village, noting structures that high would block lake views for many residents; prevent sunlight from shining on the village’s main thoroughfare; and permanently change the character of the resort town.
The current zoning law doesn’t accommodate parking garages, and limits the height of buildings to three stories and 40 feet. The committee is expected to recommend allowing five- or six-story buildings on the west side of Canada St. from McGillis Avenue to Mountain Drive and four-story buildings on the west side of Canada St. from McGillis Avenue south to Mohican St.
The committee did not reach unanimity in its determining its recommendations, however. Several of the committee members, as well as the many citizens, have suggested that tall buildings be limited to the perimeter of the village, or outside the village boundaries, in the town of Lake George.
A three-dimensional interactive depiction of the effect of the proposed village zoning changes is available on the village’s website: www.villageoflakegeorge.us.