The Town of North Elba and the Village of Lake Placid consist of a community of less than 9,000 full time residents. The population substantially increases in the summer months with the arrival of visitors and vacation home-owners. The Lake Placid area is a four season vacation destination within a half-day drive of three major metropolitan areas; New York, Boston and Montreal.
Lake Placid is famous for being the site for the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games and the venues are still used today. New York State is in the process of a multi-million dollar reinvestment/revamp of the facilities in anticipation of the 2023 World University Games. Lake Placid will serve as the host for those Games. These factors have created a thriving tourism and recreation-based economy and made the area an economic generator for Essex County.
The Comprehensive Plan adopted in 1996 by both the Town and Village called for the consolidation of their Land Use Codes. As a result a Joint Code was adopted in 2000. The 2000 Land Use Code consolidated the two jurisdictions, added to protections for the environment and sought to maintain the character of the community in the face of rapid development.
The current version of the Land Use Code was adopted in 2011. It was designed primarily to reflect the principles of Smart Growth Development, encourage affordable housing, increase environmental protections and streamline the permit process.
The current Land Use Code has been amended a number of times since its adoption in 2011. The most recent amendment added a provision regarding short term rentals. The adoption process for that amendment included a number of public hearings and a great deal of community discussion. Those discussions generated a desire to review the 2011 Code to ensure the existing provisions are consistent with the new approach to short term rentals.
In March of 2020 the Town Board of North Elba and the Village Board of Lake Placid both directed the Community Development Commission to spearhead an initiative to review and revise the 2011 Land Use Code. That Development Commission was established when the communities adopted a common Comprehensive Plan in 2014. It was basically created to promote the implementation of the goals and objectives of that then new Comprehensive Plan.
The Development Commission, in turn, has created a Land Use Code Revision Committee. This smaller group consists of individuals with first hand knowledge the existing Land Use Code. It also includes representatives of the Town and Village Code Enforcement Office as well as the Town and Village Boards. This group will serve as the steering committee for the initiative.
PHASE 2 PROGRESS REPORT
In May of 2020 the Town of North Elba and the Village of Lake Placid established a committee to review the Town of North Elba / Village of Lake Placid Zoning Code and recommend revisions.
Since then the Land Use Code Review Steering Committee has met on a regular basis. They have created a strategy for moving the process forward and solicited suggestions for possible changes to the Code from the general public and stakeholders.
The Code Steering Committee is currently reviewing all submitted suggestions in order to provide a realistic scope of work when hiring a consultant. A Request for a Proposal as part of the bid process is expected to be completed by the fall. The goal is to have a professional consultant hired and move to public informational meetings this winter.