Roget Trancik, of Urban Design Consultants, at a recent meeting in Ray Brook of the ongoing Hamlets 3 project. Here Trancik discusses the park proposed for Long Lake.
A meeting was held recently at the Adirondack Park Agency headquarters in Raybrook to unviel proposals for the ongoing Hamlets 3 project.
Hamlets 3 is an initiative which looks at potential growth solutions for five hamlets in the Adirondack Park. It is funded by a DEC Smart Growth planning grant. The hamlets being considered are Caroga, in Fulton County in the Mohawk Valley, Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake and Long Lake in Hamilton County, and AuSable Forks in Essex County.
“What we’re doing is looking at some of the positive development potential within the Adirondack Park map,” said Roger Trancik of Urban Design Consultants. “Our aim is really to get something done. To turn it into bricks and mortar.”
Hamlets 3 has been in the works for five years, and follows the Hamlets 1 and Hamlets 2 projects, which took place in the mid 1980s. Representatives from all the hamlets except AuSable were present at the meeting.
The development strategies put forth by Trancik are suggested solutions for issues peculiar to each hamlet, and each of the five proposals are markedly different. Public meetings were held recently in each hamlet, where several possibilities were discussed, and the resulting suggestions represent the consensus of those present at the meetings.
It is now up to the individual hamlets to decide whether to pursue the Hamlets 3 proposals, and up to them as well to finance the projects.
“It’s now up to the communities to make the commitments if they want to move forward,” said Dave Winchell, Citizen Participation Specialist with the Department of Environmental Conservation.
In AuSable Forks, the Hamlets 3 proposal focused on establishing a new multi-generational housing development on property above the Ausable River flood plane. Several sites were considered, with a site off Rolling Mill Hill finally being chosen.
Mention was made that AuSable is in line for funding assistance from New York Rising money, announced recently by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It is the only hamlet of the five with an already available revenue source.
In Hamilton County, proposals for the “Hamilton Trio” of hamlets were varied. The proposal for Indian Lake focused on refurbishing the core intersection area of Routes 28 and 30, and establishing a “Market Green” area with adjacent housing clusters and fresh food marketplaces. The plan involved removing several old buildings in that area, among them the old Grand Union supermarket.
“It would create a whole new vision or impression of that intersection,” said Trancik.
In Blue Mountain Lake the plan was to add a large Adirondack-styled hotel across the road from the Adirondack Museum in order to add jobs to the community, and extend the tourist season. The belief is that bringing a large hotel into the area will also increase the possibility of more restaurants and businesses coming to Blue Mountain Lake.
The proposal for Long Lake focused on the Jennings Pond area, and involved building a “Circular-nodal waterfront park,” with walkways and Adirondack styled gazebos around the park. As part of the proposed project the town of Long Lake would move its town garage buildings.
“One of the most important next steps is to decide if this is something we want to do for ourselves, and do we want to help ourselves,” said Trancik.
The open discussion that followed focused on the issue of how to pay for the proposals. Joining the three Hamilton County hamlets together in any funding projects was discussed as the most logical idea for initiating the projects.
Trancik stressed that having a document like a Hamlets 3 proposal in place will strengthen a community’s chances in a competitive grant process.
“Who is going to step up on these? Town boards, community groups? Leadership is the key. There has to be leadership to make these projects succeed,” said Trancik.
The specific proposals were handed out to representatives from the various hamlets, and will be available soon for download at www.adkhousing.org/hamlets.asp.