December 5, 2013

Hotel on Lake Flower begins village review

SARANAC LAKE — Proposed construction of a waterfront hotel here is proceeding to review as a Planned Unit Development District.

Malone hotel developer and Realtor Chris LaBarge delivered illustrations of the project to the Village Planning Board on Tuesday, complying with the initial review phase.

“We submitted an application under the Planned Unit District Development (PUDD). What that does is allow us to request a zone change for specific uses of the property,” LaBarge told the Press-Republican on Wednesday.


“In particular, we are looking at two major items that don’t comply with current zoning.

“First is the height of the proposed structure, being four stories and 59.5 feet. Current zoning only allows for two stories.

“Secondly, we are proposing structures within 50 feet of the water — that would be the viewing deck and the detached restaurant.”

LaBarge is actually requesting a zoning change under the Planned Unit Development District process, a step wholly different from seeking multiple variances.

“We chose not to go the variance route because we are developing the project in concert with the Village Planning Board and Village Board, the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers,” he said.

Planned Unit Development condenses the need for variance review.

“It takes the project as a whole and looks at the components of it. If approved by the municipality, then the property becomes a specific zone for that project,” he explained.


The proposed Lake Flower hotel is not yet named, but it is designed to hearken back to historic turn-of-the-century inns that once graced the lake and other nearby shorelines.

LaBarge has contracted to buy three motel properties near where Lake Flower Avenue turns west toward the village proper.

“We’re working to build an iconic destination resort in Saranac Lake — on the water — that provides a unique building reminiscent of the historic hotels characteristic of the Saranac Lake area,” he said.

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