LAKE GEORGE -- Some village Planning Board members want more information before taking a vote on the proposed Canada Street Courtyard Marriott project.
At the conclusion of a more than three-hour meeting Wednesday night, the Planning Board sent developer Dave Kenny and his team away with a list of requests, including a “balloon test” to simulate the height of the proposed six-story hotel and conference center.
Lawyer Jon Lapper said the project’s backers came away from a series of Planning Board workshops in the fall with the feeling most of the board was content with the project. He said developers were responsive in making changes based on the feedback.
“That’s what I thought we had the workshops for,” he said.
Following the workshops, the project’s exterior design was changed significantly to meet desires voiced by board members. But concerns persist among some board members, about the view of the building from the back on Ottawa Street to specifics about how the roof will be used.
They also voiced concerns about the location of a patio that overlooks the nearby school’s play area and said they wanted something in writing from the Lake George Fire Department indicating how they’d service the tall building.
Board members Patricia Dow and Dan Wolfield both said they’d like more height simulations to be done, while the other three board members said they didn’t feel the need to conduct a balloon study to visualize the building’s height.
“I thought we were a lot further than where you’re stating,” Planning Board Chairman Robert Mastrantoni said to a fellow board member.
Developer Dave Kenny has proposed a six-story Courtyard Marriott hotel and conference center for the west side of Canada Street, located on the block between Amherst Street and Lake George High School.
The door for the 120-room hotel and conference center swung open this summer when the Village Board changed local code to allow buildings of up to six stories in some areas of the village, including Kenny’s property where the hotel would go. Previously, building heights were capped at three stories, which is still the case for other areas of the village, particularly lakefront properties.
“Is it big? Yeah, it’s big,” Planning Board member Dean Howland said of the proposed building. “But that’s what they approved with the zoning.”
Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky raised a few concerns about the project, including increased sewer flow to the Lake George Wastewater Treatment plant, which has been flagged in past years for higher nitrate levels than the state allows.
Navitsky also suggested changes in the parking lot to improve drainage, and putting some plants and landscaping atop the building’s roof — measures that could make it a “model project,” he said.
“We feel there should be consideration for a green roof,” Navitsky said. “Why not?”
Ethan Hall of the Rucinski Hall Architecture firm said some rooftop planting would be doable. The Planning Board also requested some type of buffer be put between a patio off the hotel’s pool on the north end of the building, which abuts the school’s property line.
The goal is to have the project completed in May or June of next year, Kenny said.
“If the process goes much longer, it will be into 2016,” Kenny said.
The Planning Board held a public hearing Wednesday night, and only a handful of people attended. The board left the public hearing open, and scheduled another meeting on the project for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10.
For the project to move forward, it needs the Planning Board to approve a special use permit and a site plan for the project, and the Adirondack Park Agency must also approve it, which is expected to take a few months.