The Village Board of Trustees adopted the Village of Saranac Lake Housing Plan on January 10, 2022. The plan proposes concrete, viable solutions to housing issues (some of them long-standing) that undermine the Village of Saranac Lake’s commitment to building a sustainable community with a wide range of housing options. The process of drafting a final plan included the following public outreach activities:
- An online survey for collecting public feedback on the plan was open to the public for a total of five months.
- The Housing Work Group worked to collect pubilc comments on the draft plan throughout Fall 2021 with public forums and stakeholder input sessions.
- Comments were emailed to the Village Clerk and the Community Development Director
Housing Task Force
On April 25, 2022 the Village Board of Trustees established the Housing Task Force to track progress, assist with completion of action items, and study best practices and successful strategies for housing development. The village issued a call for candidates representing housing organizations, finance, realtors, construction trades, major employers, or those with a passion for addressing housing needs. The board appointed the following individuals for a two-year term:
Matt Scollin, Ex-Officio
The Housing Task Force is meeting one time per month while they establish priorities and create a work plan. Trustee Scollin provides quarterly updates at village board meetings.
Housing Task Force Updates
Worked with former community development director, Jamie Konkoski, to update the village’s land use table – which is massive – to encourage increased density throughout the village.
HTF members have been working closely with VSL code enforcement officer Chris McClatchie on a substantial list of vacant/derelict properties in the village – and then working with property owners and landlords to bring them up to code and/or list for sale.
The most recent numbers I have related to this effort:
- 33 properties have been improved through code enforcement intervention. 26 of these properties have been issued building permits, while the remaining seven are waiting on stamped plans/contractor availability/owner logistics.
- 16 vacant properties are currently identified and verified (down from 19 a few months back). Four of these vacant properties are bank owned and awaiting foreclosure proceedings.
13 new certificates of occupancy have been issued, related to this effort.
Following robust group discussion, several individual members of the HTF publicly weighed in on the proposed APA project at 1-3 Main St. They weren’t speaking on behalf of the group, but it was a healthy and amicable discussion to get to that point.
HTF reviewed the village’s draft STR law at length, providing suggestions and feedback.
HTF has invited and heard from a number of guest speakers, including local developer Jacob Wright, Franklin County Land Bank chair Harry Gordon, and Harrietstown Housing Authority executive director Sarah Clarkin.
Exploring opportunities for collaboration with entities such as the Franklin County Land Bank – had a great conversation about deed restrictions when Mr. Gordon joined us.
HTF continues to seek out and identify properties for future development in the village.
- Discussions ongoing about HTF’s future role – perhaps, among other ideas, serving as a welcoming committee for developers interested in the construction of year-round homes and long-term apartments in the village.
Short-Term Rental Update
A report on existing short-term rentals and recent trends was compiled using data from the Rentalscape subscription platform. Click here to view the report which was completed on October 7, 2021.
Community Development Director
FINAL Housing Plan adopted by Board of Trustees at January 10, 2022 meeting. View HERE
FINAL Housing Plan (January 2022)
STR Report (October 2021)
Resolution to Establish Housing Work Group (12/10/18)