Cortlandville zoning board denies developer's variance after residents' objections

CORTLANDVILLE, N.Y. – About a dozen residents spoke out against a developer's plans to build two duplexes in the town of Cortlandville during a public hearing at Cortlandville Town Hall Tuesday night.

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Local developer Art Bell had asked for a variance from the Cortlandville Zoning Board in order to build two duplex homes on property located at the intersection of Blue Creek Road and Cosmos Hill Road. The variance was required because the plot of land was smaller than the amount required to build the two homes.

During a public hearing Tuesday night, many residents said the duplexes would not fit in with the character of the neighborhood, noting that the surrounding area is made up of mostly single-family homes. The duplexes were designed for senior citizens, according to the developer's application.

The zoning board received signatures from more than 100 residents opposing the developer's plans.

Zoning board chair David Plew said Tuesday he felt the board made the right decision.

"We have 102 people against it," Plew said. "This board would be in pretty bad shape to approve it."

Public hearing set on Starr Road housing project

Following Tuesday night's zoning board meeting, the Cortlandville Planning Board revisited plans by a developer to build an affordable housing project on Starr Road.

Robert Ferris, the owner of the 11-acre property on Starr Road, is selling the property under a purchasing contract by the Leonidas Group of Virgil LLC. Former Greek Peak CEO Al Kryger submitted the plans on behalf of the group.

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The site for the proposed Starr Lite Ridge project on Starr Road, across from Abdullah Avenue, in the town of Cortlandville.

The "Starr Lite Ridge" project call for six single-family homes, six duplex homes and eight six-family buildings for a total of 66 units on a 12-acre site. The developer has said the target demographic is "downsizing empty nesters" and young working families.

Residents who live near the proposed project have raised concerns about the size and density of the project and how it would fit into the existing neighborhood. In its application to the planning board, developers said the project would meet the need for more affordable housing in the county while providing an estimated $6 million in new tax revenues to the town of Cortlandville.

The town planning board voted Tuesday to send the project back to the county planning board. A public hearing on the zoning change that would be required for the project will be held on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Cortlandville Town Hall.

Planning board members also voted Tuesday to recommend that the town board seek outside help from Clough Harbour, an Albany-based engineering consulting firm, to see if the project is appropriate for the neighborhood.

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