LAKE PLACID - It was standing room only June 17 as the Lake Placid-North Elba Joint Review Board held a public hearing on the proposed Whiteface Resort subdivision project dubbed "Overlook II."
The hearing kicked-off with a brief overview of the project, which involves developing resort-owned property on Whiteface Inn Lane near Edgewood Road and Chipmunk Lane.
Resort General Manager Mark Sperling detailed the plans.
"We're proposing taking an area and utilizing it for 22 twin homes or duplex homes, 11 structures," he said. "The 11 structures will be placed in the footprint of building envelopes that were previously approved for 11 large single-family homes."
Neighboring property owners were concerned with previous projects from the Whiteface Resort, noting that the stormwater run-off from Overlook I has caused significant damage to homes downhill from the development. One resident told the board she had pictures of a neighbor's living room flooded with water.
"We were assured in 1990 that there would be no negative impact on the lake or our property," she said. "How do we know that will be the case now?"
Other property owners were concerned about the impacts of an additional subdivision on the surrounding area. Mark Wilson is president of the Lake Placid Shoreowners Association.
"My three main points that I'd like to address concern lake water quality, traffic on the lake, and the view shed and the effect of the
construction on the upper Overlook section of the plan on the view shed," Wilson said.
Wilson, whose voluntarily conducted water tests on Lake Placid, said there are concerns about the water's clarity and quality.
"Several homeowners draw their drinking water from that portion of the lake," he said. "It's of the utmost importance for the board to assure that runoff is controlled."
Chris Kelly attended the meeting with his wife Etta. He owns property in the Edgewood area and was concerned about the size and scope of the project. The Kellys said they moved into the area for privacy, and the project as proposed resembles a suburban neighborhood complete with a cul-de-sac.
The board opted to conclude the public hearing and allow the developers to respond to concerns in the coming days. In the meantime, Board Chairman Bill Hurley asked for an independent civil engineer to conduct a stormwater management review.
In other business, the board approved a conditional use permit for Judy Nisson, owner of Wood's Good Foood. In year's past, the village board granted Nisson a temporary vendors permit for her hot dog stand in the parking lot of Cunningham's Ski Barn
But this year Nisson was sent to the review board because of a change in policy that considered the seasonal hot dog stand a conditional use that required a joint review board permit.
On June 4, Nisson's permit application was turned down because zoning codes required her to secure variances for parking. But review board member Chip Bissell said last night the board should vote to approve the permit.
"We shouldn't be playing hot potato with her livelihood," he said. "Maybe it's not in our code what we should do in this instance, but common sense dictates we should approve this."
Nisson was grateful after the board approved the permit four to nothing with board member Olga Krone abstaining.
"Jeff and I are very excited to be able to be open," she said. "We're very happy that the board has approved our conditional use and very happy they saw the fairness and common sense in the matter."
The review board meets next on July 1.