By Gwendolyn Craig
The owner of a former Quality Inn on the shore of Lake Placid is looking to build a Cambria hotel and more than double the number of guest rooms, according to the Adirondack Park Agency’s Thursday agenda.
Bhavik Jariwala, proprietor of Lake Placid Hospitality and Dual Development, plans a 36,000-square-foot hotel with 183 guest rooms in the Town of North Elba. The former Quality Inn, which had 73 guest rooms, has been razed except for three smaller buildings. Located on Saranac Avenue, the property is assessed at $3 million, records show. The Cambria brand is part of Choice Hotels International based in Maryland.
The hotel will be on 6.25 acres and has about 200 feet of shoreline on Paradox Bay. It is also near public trails in Saranac Lakes Wild Forest.
“We’ve been working on it for several years now,” Jariwala said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “We felt the previous main building was outdated, and we feel that the market could use some new inventory.”
Jariwala did not have a timeline on opening. He did not expect it to be ready for the 2023 World University Games.
The APA will review and vote on the project at its monthly board meeting on Thursday. The project is in a hamlet, where the agency has jurisdiction because the structure will be 53 feet high. APA jurisdiction kicks in when structures in hamlets are over 40 feet in height.
The APA received one public comment on the project from neighboring hotel owners. Stuart Hemsley, resident manager of Wildwood on the Lake, wrote the APA that the summer was difficult due to the work happening next door, adding that there was “little to no regard to our paying guests.”
The Town of Warrensburg is hoping to weaken the APA’s development protections for two parcels of land near the town’s hamlet.
The town submitted an application to amend the Official Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan Map, which outlines different development intensities within the boundaries of the Park. Amendments to the map require a public comment period and public hearing. The town is requesting the changes to increase the availability of public water and sewer service and to expand the existing hamlet, APA records show.
Warrensburg officials have proposed weakening protections on 22 acres along state Route 418 and the Schroon River between Johnson Drive and Milton Street. The land is classified low intensity use, meaning it can accommodate a maximum of 200 principal buildings per square mile. The town is hoping to make the area hamlet, where there is no building density limit.
In a draft environmental impact statement, agency staff noted the change could harm the Schroon River and groundwater and lead to loss of habitat for plants and animals. But staff doubted it would change the character of the area.
Warrensburg officials also want to change the status of about 66 acres of mostly forest near Main Street and State Route 9. The area is classified as rural use, which means it can accommodate a maximum of 75 principal buildings per square mile. Warrensburg officials seek a hamlet designation for the land.
Agency staff appeared to have more environmental concerns about this proposal. They noted less than half of the area has adequate soil and slope conditions to support wastewater treatment systems and that nearly all of the land is forested. The area is also known to cultivate purple rock cress, a flower with a vulnerable conservation status in New York. The board will meet at 9 a.m. through virtual format with remote, live public comment at the start and end of the meeting. Those who wish to speak or to submit comments should email firstname.lastname@example.org. To attend, go to tinyurl.com/MeetingDec2021Thu. The public may also dial 1-518-549-0500 Access code: 2345 752 9241.