Public hearing Wednesday on Lake Flower hotel project

SARANAC LAKE – The first formal public hearing on a proposed 90-room hotel on the Lake Flower shoreline is set for Wednesday night.

The village Board of Trustees and Planning Board will hold a joint meeting and public hearing on Lake Flower Lodging LLC’s proposal at 6 p.m. in the Harrietstown Town Hall auditorium, 39 Main St.

The project involves construction of a four-story destination hotel and resort on roughly 3 acres on Lake Flower. The hotel would include 90 rooms, a conference center that could accommodate 200 guests, a spa and two restaurants. It also includes on-site and off-site parking, the latter on River Street near its intersection with Lake Flower Avenue and Brandy Brook Avenue.

The building would replace three existing Lake Flower Avenue motels that Malone developer Chris LaBarge and his partners are under contract to buy: the Lake Flower Inn, the Adirondack Motel and the Lakeside Motel. LaBarge is seeking a zoning change that would create a Planned Unit Development District for the properties involved in the project.

The planning board held an informal public comment session on the project at a special meeting Dec. 3. Roughly a dozen people spoke, some of whom said the hotel could be a much-needed economic driver for the community. Others said its nearly 60-foot height would block people’s view of the lake, create pedestrian safety issues and worsen traffic congestion.

After months of review, the planning board issued a sketch plan report to the village board following the Dec. 3 meeting.

“While the Planning Board believes that several elements of the project will necessitate careful ongoing review and discussions with the applicant, the Planning Board also found that with modifications and refinement during the PUDD formal application and site plan review stages, and with conditions, the project can meet village planning objectives,” Chairwoman Leslie Karasin wrote in a letter to Mayor Clyde Rabideau.

Public hearings will also be required during the formal PUDD application phase, which will culminate in a decision by the village board to either approve or turn down the zoning change, and the Planning Board’s normal site plan review process.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or