October 24, 2021

Homer resident raises issues with proposed development

Concern over condos

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

This field off North Main Street in Homer would become 40 condominiums under a plan the village is considering, a vision that has drawn support and opposition.

Sharon Shattuck’s home at 136 N. Main St., Homer, is her private getaway. She loves seeing the animals that visit the property near the Tioughnioga River, most recently a fox and deer.

But she said the quiet, peaceful escape could become a nightmare if a condominium development is allowed on property just west of her home. She’s already experienced issues with past construction of the property.

“My piece of land was my own piece of the Adirondacks,” she said tearing up as she spoke Tuesday. “It was private — it’s not private anymore. It’s just changed.”

Plans to build on the land, on Dee Street off North Main Street and just past Rob-San Drive, have changed over the years since the project first began in the 1990s by Ken DeMunn, who owned the property at the time. In the 1990s, DeMunn, the owner of JTS Lumber, presented the village a plan for 24 units in 12 buildings, which was approved by the county planning board then and again in 2014.

DeMunn died in 2018, but the property remained with his estate. Previous plans to develop the land have already caused problems.

At a village board meeting in November Vince Patriarco of Arbor Brook Flats LLC presented the board with a conceptual idea.

The new plan calls for 40 condos in 13 two-unit buildings, two four-unit buildings and one six-unit building.

The two-unit condos would be one floor and the four-unit condos have one bedroom on the second floor. Each condo would have an attached garage, link to the village sewer and water.

Shattuck is concerned about how the project would affect the neighborhood and her home, which sits next to the only road leading in and out of the area. The traffic alone could be a lot, she said.

“You get 40 condos, you got potentially two cars per family — that’s 80 people coming in and out one entrance and exit next to my house,” she said.
She also said that when previous construction was done the essentially flat land created slope. Now when a good rain falls, water runs down to Shattuck’s home.

“Now I get a lake,” she said.

Shattuck also noted that a neighbor, although she’s not sure who, bought a piece of land near where the project would be developed so DeMunn couldn’t purchase it for development.

“We will not let the development move forward without plans in place to address all known issues and concerns as well as simply the normal design and build plans,” said Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe in an email Tuesday, adding he’s trying to arrange a meeting between Shattuck and the developers, who include Jerry Contento and Eric Barden.

“We are dealing with professionals with decades of experience who live here in Cortland County, so I don’t anticipate they will attempt to do anything other than the most professional, comprehensive and thorough job of not only planning the entire development but also in being open to feedback and communicating with the public about it,” he said.

The county planning board will meet tonight to review the project and will consider a decision to change the project from a single-family development to a condo development contingent upon an environmental assessment. The board also noted that a final project proposal with detailed plans must be submitted and approved.

McCabe said a detailed plan of the project must also come back before the village planning board and the village board for approval.

Arbor Flats is looking to get approval by the board in January to begin construction.