Work continues on new comprehensive plan

LAKE PLACID – A draft version of the new comprehensive plan for the village of Lake Placid and town of North Elba is scheduled to be released this spring.

Dean Dietrich, chairman of the Lake Placid-North Elba Community Development Board, the group responsible for putting together the new plan, recently submitted a 2012 year-end progress report to town and village officials.

“The comprehensive plan is on time,” Dietrich told village trustees earlier this month.

The updated plan will serve as the blueprint for future community planning and development in Lake Placid. The last plan was adopted in 1997.

Some parts of the new plan are already being implemented, according to Dietrich. He said some of the initiatives suggested by the subcommittees are already being supported by the CDB. They include:

Placing bicycle racks in various locations throughout Lake Placid. The Lake Placid Rotary Club has expressed interest in donating the racks.

Creation of a brochure to aid visitors in self-guided historical tours of the community. The Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society is working on the brochure.

A shared marketing newsletter for areas of the community. Dietrich said the newsletter would bring attention to activities happening in and around Lake Placid.

The draft plan release will be followed by a series of public hearings over the summer. Dietrich said the CDB will then make revisions during the fall, and at the outset of 2014, the town and village board will vote on whether to adopt it.

Last year, the town and village contributed $12,500 each to the CDB to help fund work on the plan. In December, the municipalities learned they would be reimbursed through funding from the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.

Dietrich said efforts to enlist college students to help craft the plan have also paid off. Graduate students at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs will work as interns with the CDB and research topics that are pertinent to the plan, Dietrich said. According to the year-end report, the students will work under the supervision of Cornell professor Laurie Miller, the institute’s director.

“First they will research the best implementation practices used by other communities to achieve some of the goals established by he Comprehensive Plan,” Dietrich wrote in his report. “Secondly, they will create a number of GIS maps that should prove to be helpful with the implementation process. The Community Development Board is currently prioritizing the topics and maps for this group to tackle and will teleconference with them early in February to clarify their tasks.”

In 2012, about 75 local volunteers signed up for seven subcommittees that explored specific topics related to community planning, including demographics, facilities, housing, environment and energy efficiency. The year-end report notes that each subcommittee prepared a preliminary report that was submitted to Elan Planning in Saratoga Springs, a consultant firm that was hired by the village and town last September.

Elan Planning has reviewed the seven reports and requested additional information from the subcommittees. The subcommittees will respond to the request by the end of this month, and then the consulting firm will create a draft version of the plan, which will be made public by the end of April.

The CDB meets on a monthly basis and its members are appointed by the town and village boards. In addition to Dietrich, the board consists of William Borzilleri, Pat Gallagher, Georgia Jones, Kelly Kennedy, Karen Mergenthaler, Julie Ball and Jean Brennan.

Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or