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After Court Rejects Eminent Domain, Lake Placid Now Seeks To Purchase Land Parcels

Main Street, Lake Placid, NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Main Street, Lake Placid, NY

In May, the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court threw out an effort by Lake Placid to obtain two parcels of land on Main Street by eminent domain. This month village officials approved a bond resolution to purchase the property.
Last year Lake Placid officials began implementing plans for infrastructure upgrades along Main Street in the center of the village. The "Lake Placid Main Street Reconstruction Project" includes plans to add parking. The village board had attempted to purchase two parcels of land owned by the Adirondack Historical Association, aka the Adirondack Experience the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake.  The museum had hoped to open a branch in the village.  But the village wants the land to build a parking garage. Initial negotiations to purchase the property fell through and the village began eminent domain proceedings. In May 2018 the state court ruled in favor of the museum.

Earlier this month the village board approved a resolution that authorizes the issuance of bonds to finance the purchase of the property. Mayor Craig Randall says the village and museum renewed negotiations this summer.  “One of the officers of the museum came to the village midsummer and indicated to us that the museum had come to the conclusion that they wanted to put the property on the market and offer it for sale and they felt that at least one of the viable buyers to the property would be the village. Ultimately this summer we were able to reach a number that they’ve indicated is agreeable. I believe the contract of sale has been prepared. We’re simply waiting for the permissive referendum period to run out before we execute it.”

The bond resolution passed by the board authorizes up to $990,000 for purchase of the parcels. Mayor Randall says they have to wait 30 days to see if any residents petition for a referendum before they move to the next step.  “The next step would be for the village at its October meeting to enter into a formal purchase agreement. Once that contract has been authorized by the board the specific terms of the transaction will be public. Following that we’re hopeful to be able to do some preliminary work with the property so that it can be leveled and used for temporary parking next spring.”

Although the resolution states that the bond is “for land acquisition for a proposed parking structure,” Mayor Randall says construction of a major parking facility isn’t on the drawing board yet.  “I anticipate before we make any decisions of that nature that first of all we will have received an updated traffic impact study. Once that’s been determined I have no doubt that the site that involves the museum property will see some further expansion. But we’re not on a timetable with any building projects at the moment. It might well be another year before anything of that nature is finally determined. The important thing is we can use the existing site that would be acquired. We just have to level it a little bit and put a surface on it that would be suitable for parking at least in the short term.”

Calls to the Adirondack Historical Association/Adirondack Experience the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake were not returned in time for broadcast.

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