In response to pressure from a local developer, officials from the village of Lake Placid and the town of North Elba have proposed an amendment that would remove height restrictions on buildings located in a certain zoning district.
Arthur Lussi's family owns the Lake Placid Club. He asked the village board in early April for an amendment that would allow him to construct resort buildings higher than the current 35-foot restriction.
New zoning rules were adopted by the village and the town in January that changed the zoning district of Lussi's properties from "planned development" to a zoning district called "village center."
The new classification lowers maximum building heights from 40 feet to 35 feet. Lussi said the change came without his knowledge and now he wants his property changed back to planned development.
In response to that request, the technical steering committee that drafted the new zoning rules has recommended an amendment that removes any mention of height restrictions in the zoning law. Instead applicants can present plans for buildings of any height, but they would be subject to the Lake Placid-North Elba Joint Review Board approval.
The proposed changes would still require the Lussi family to apply to the review board to create a planned development district.
Roby Politi is supervisor of the town of North Elba. He says this week's proposal would create an opening for the Lussi family to change their property back to planned development.
"It would allow the Lussi's to come in, or any one else on whatever project, provided I think it's a minimum of three acres, to come in and say that they would like to have their property classified as planned development," Politi said. "That's what this modification is about."
In a June 2 letter to town and village officials, Lussi said he supports the proposed zoning changes, including "the deletion of a rigid height limit."
But he said his family shouldn't have to apply to the review board to change their property back to planned development.
Lussi said that his family had filed maps and plans with the village and town that should have prompted planners to consider the properties a preexisting planned development district.
The properties in question are located on the eastern shore of Mirror Lake on the former site of the Lake Placid Club, a famous turn-of-the-century social club. One of the remaining club buildings is located on Mirror Lake Drive and was used as a dormitory for the Lake Placid Club.
Both the village and the town must approve a zoning amendment. A joint public hearing on the proposed change will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 in the North Elba Town Hall.