Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Lake Placid housing co-op aims to play role in housing solutions

cooperative housing flier

Dear Editor:

A housing cooperative (“co-op”) is forming in North Elba, NY on 100 acres of undeveloped land. The co-op seeks interested individuals to join the conversation about establishing a community. A free information session is being held Sunday, January 7 from 330-5 at the Lake Placid Beach House, 31 Parkside Drive. The co-op’s mission is to build and maintain a sustainable community on Averyville Road in Lake Placid, North Elba, New York. The purpose is to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for residents of an estimated 20-40 households.

A housing cooperative (or “co-op”) is the legal term for housing and land that is owned and controlled jointly by a group of people who have equal shares. Collective ownership in the land lends itself to the cultivation of pride and concern of property which result in a successful and sustainable community. The co-op is governed by a board of directors.


President – Stephanie Sears

Vice President – Martha Pritchard Spear

Treasurer – David Genito

Secretary – Dylan Urquhart

Directors – Ellen Collins & Allegra Freier


The project is advised by Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and the Cooperative Development Institute. The project is at the early stage of design, bid and construction. The location has been chosen. We believe that finances should be no barrier to entry into the cooperative community, and we are exploring a variety of financial solutions so that shares in ownership will be affordable to ensure a diverse community.


Core Values:

SAFETY AND SECURITY – Our members understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we have a safe and secure living environment for our community.

ACTIVE AND DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION – We are committed to the ongoing well being of our co-op, actively participating in and openly communicating about the developments that affect the co-op and the environment.

FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY – We are committed to maintaining a co-op that continually makes sound financial decisions about its future.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY – We conduct ourselves and co-op business in a manner that actively reduces our impact on the environment (minimizing environmental harm, maximizing long-term environmental benefit.)

FORESIGHT AND ADAPTABILITY – Our decision-making is rooted in long-term thinking and also adapting to the evolving needs of our members and the community shared spaces.

RESPECT AND INCLUSION – We are a community that embraces diversity and treats each member with respect.

COMMITMENT TO SUBSIDY – We believe it is important to provide attainable housing to eligible members.


Letter to the Editor of the Adirondack Explorer written by Martha Spear
Lake Placid NY Housing Co-op
December 8, 2023


Image at top: A flier from a cooperative housing learning session held on Aug. 17 in Lake Placid. Provided by ANCA

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The Adirondack Almanack publishes occasional guest essays from Adirondack residents, visitors, and those with an interest in the Adirondack Park. Submissions should be directed to Almanack editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com

12 Responses

  1. Bob Meyer says:

    This is a great idea reminiscent of the Bungalow colonies established in Westchester Putnam and other upstate counties in the 1930s.
    At risk of being ridicule by some I will just say this is a good example of democratic socialism that works in a free society.
    I live very near a 97-year-old Bungalow colony. That is a thriving example of this kind of cooperative.

  2. Dan Vitale says:

    Once you start embracing concepts like affordable housing and diversity, the Adirondacks are pretty well screwed. Leave well enough alone, the north country is fine just the way it is.

    • Bob Meyer says:

      That seems to be easy for you to say. Try being a seasonal worker or one of the majority of folks who live in the Adirondacks and are in-service jobs and trying to afford decent housing let alone everything else for themselves and their children.
      It’s a selfish viewpoints. The world is changing it’s time you start catching up.
      Happy holidays

    • Boreas says:


      Are you speaking of the Adirondack mountains, or the Park?? How can the the Park be “fine” if it lacks affordable housing and diversity? The Park is not a gated community.

  3. Christine says:

    Sounds incredible. Would it be possible to attend online? Or a place we can follow up?

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