LAKE GEORGE -- A second six-story hotel has been proposed for Canada Street, but this one is outside the village’s new zoning district that allows buildings of up to six stories in some areas of the village.
Salim Amersi, owner of the Surfside on the Lake resort on the east side of Canada Street, is proposing a project that would see the current resort demolished and replaced by a six-story hotel with a carport. The Surfside property wasn’t included in a new zoning district the Village Board approved this summer.
“We’re trying to upgrade the facility to meet the demands of the customer,” Amersi said this week. “We want to keep up the standards and be able to compete.”
The village Zoning Board of Appeals will consider the proposal at its meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Village Administration Building. The project would require a height variance, as well as a variance for the proposed carport.
The Surfside property, located at 400 Canada St., is in an area where buildings are capped at three stories without a variance.
Developer Dave Kenny has proposed a six-story, 120-room Marriott Courtyard hotel and conference center for the west side of Canada Street, roughly a quarter-mile south of the Surfside. The parcel where the Marriott is slated to go is within the village’s district that allows for six-story buildings.
A few individual parcels on the east side of Canada Street were included in the zoning district the Village Board approved, including the Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center and the property where Scotty’s Motel sits, north of the Surfside.
But officials generally stayed away from adding swaths of land on the east side of Canada Street to avoid obstructing views, both from Canada Street and the lake.
“We think there will be no visual impact from the lake at all,” Amersi said. “If there is any visual impact, (it) would be minimal from the lake because of the elevation and where the property is located.”
Amersi said he’s been planning to upgrade the hotel for about a year and a half now. The plans call for demolishing some of the resort’s oldest existing units, and replacing them with a newly constructed building that would stand at 72 feet tall, which is 32 feet taller than what the village code allows for on that property.
Four stories of the structure would be guest units, with a carport located on the bottom level. The carport would be necessary to meet the village code for how many parking spaces would be needed for the hotel. Amersi considered underground parking, but found it wasn’t feasible.
“I think we can do something that can be very attractive and appealing,” Amersi said. “The building is not a very appealing building as it is.”
Amersi said he doesn’t have a second option beyond the configuration of the new hotel as it’s currently proposed, and said he’d likely continue to maintain the current property if his plan isn’t approved.
“It will be interesting to see what everyone’s opinions are,” Amersi said.
Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said Thursday he hadn’t seen the plans for the Surfside and declined to comment on the proposal.
“I’ll leave it up to the ZBA to make their decision,” Blais said.