Planning board: Make new Tupper Lake Aubuchon like Lake Placid’s

TUPPER LAKE – The planning board wants a new Aubuchon Hardware being planned for Lake Street to look similar to the one in Lake Placid.

Lake Placid’s new Aubuchon, on Saranac Avenue, features gables and Adirondack-style architecture, and planning board member Jim Merrihew said that would be a nice way to welcome people into Tupper Lake. He said that when people think of the Adirondacks, they don’t think of box stores or plazas, like the one Aubuchon is in now in Tupper Lake; they think of individual buildings with more cabin-like designs.

“This is a good place to start,” Merrihew said.

He also noted that there’s a park behind the lot, so the building needs to look nice from all sides, not just from the main street.

The new structure is planned for a main intersection in the village, near the corner of Lake and Mill streets, on a lot where a large apartment/business complex burned down a year-and-a-half ago.

Rob Gillis, who is representing Greg Moran from Aubuchon Hardware on the project, was at the planning board meeting Wednesday night to give the board an initial presentation on it. He got zoning board approval for it last week, which will let Aubuchon have only 36 parking spots on the lot, down from more than 80 that would be required by code according to the building’s size.

Gillis said there are also potential issues with drainage, since the lot would be paved for parking. Board Chairman Jim Larkin said Aubuchon could install a catch basin behind the lot and run the stormwater into the lake.

Planning board member Bob Collier said he thinks directing drainage into the lake would be frowned upon. Larkin asked him where he thinks most of the drainage around town goes now. Collier said he realizes that, but when things are changed, they should be improved.

Board member Jim Ellis suggested that Moran look into the type of permeable paving stones that line the parking lot at The Wild Center museum. The durable stones don’t create as much runoff as pavement, he said.

Ellis also suggested that Moran talk to the Department of Transportation about changing the light at the intersection. It now has flashing yellow lights on both sides of Lake Street and a flashing red light on Mill Street. Ellis said it should be like that, since it stops traffic up on a state highway.

Changing that might help with some of the traffic concerns with the project, Ellis said.

Gillis said Moran plans to have the site surveyed and will provide the planning board with more elevation drawings and other plans in the next two weeks.

“You’ll be seeing some plans,” Gillis said. “They know that has to happen.”

He said Moran, who is based in Westminster, Mass., plans to be at the May 22 planning board meeting to talk with the board about the project.

Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or