Saranac Lake may amend code for new Dewey ski lodge

SARANAC LAKE – The village Board of Trustees is considering amending the village land-use code to accommodate a proposed new ski lodge at Dewey Mountain Recreation Center.

Village Community Development Director Jeremy Evans said Monday that the proposal from Dewey Mountain Friends and the town of Harrietstown to replace the two outdated buildings at the base of the cross-country ski center with a new ski lodge will require approval from the village planning board. Although the facility is owned by the town of Harrietstown and most of its trails are outside the village, the Dewey base area is in the village, Evans said.

“Because the new lodge is a different footprint and bigger, they’d be replacing the two buildings there now, and (because) the position’s a little bit different, it requires going in front of the village planning board,” he said.

It wasn’t until recently, however, that village officials realized the facilities at the base of the mountain are not a permitted use in that district of the village, “which means technically it can’t happen,” Evans said.

“It’s been that way forever,” he said. “It seems like an oversight when they did the list of uses in the previous code.”

At its meeting Monday night, the village Board of Trustees agreed to set a public hearing on a land-use code amendment that would add “Open Space Recreation Area” as a permitted use in the J1 zoning district. The hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. April 14 in the village offices on the second floor of the Harrietstown Town Hall, 39 Main St.

“This would make it a legitimate permitted use in that zoning district and that would allow them to then seek site plan review from the planning board,” Evans said.