Planning board should require alternatives

To the editor:

Much has been said about the new hotel proposed for the Lake Flower site, less than 3 acres between the highway and the lake. More needs to be said.

I believe that many of us in the village would agree that a smaller hotel – built in a manner that would retain (at least) the current views of Lake Flower, keep traffic flow manageable (or not worsen it) and keep Lake Flower clean, and in an architectural style consistent with the character of our historic village – would be good for Saranac Lake.

I believe the developer cannot accomplish this on the site he has chosen. The existing motels on this site have managed to have ample parking and, with layouts leading back from the highway – not block views of the lake. If this developer wants more rooms, a restaurant, a small marina, more parking and more amenities, he simply needs more acreage to achieve his goals. There is other land (a 6-plus-acre site) currently for sale on Lake Flower Avenue that might provide an appropriate site for this developer’s proposed “destination resort.”

The developer should be required by the planning board (in the formal application process) to demonstrate real alternatives to the current proposal for rezoning:

1. a smaller hotel which meets current village zoning requirements for height, bulk, setbacks and parking, thereby requiring no rezoning

2. his “destination resort” sited on the available 6-acre site a short distance away.

Only with these alternatives demonstrated will the planning board, the village board and the public have the information necessary for a solid analysis and a decision whether to rezone prime lakefront land so drastically.


Sue Abbott-Jones

Saranac Lake