October 22, 2021

Apartment complex proposed in Dryden

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DRYDEN — Both the Dryden Planning and Town Boards will be looking for more detailed plans on a recently proposed 28-unit apartment complex on Dryden Road in Dryden, Ray Burger, the town planning director, said Tuesday.

According to submitted documents by developer Richard Wawak, the project would entail the removal of a dilapidated greenhouse at 1279 Dryden Road, near Irish Settlement and George roads, and the construction of the $1.5 million apartment complex, projected at occupying 14,250 square feet across three buildings.

Plans call for 16 studio lofts in the main building; four one-bedroom, two-story units in the main building; and eight one-bedroom, two-story units in the two side buildings.

The proposal was first introduced at the Dec. 16 planning board meeting for board members to respond, Burger said.

It was introduced the next day at the town board meeting, said Town Supervisor Jason Leiferr.

“I welcome anything that adds to the diversity of the housing stock in our town,” Burger said.

Between 2000 and 2017, Dryden’s population grew 10.1%, double the growth rate of Ithaca, and 40 times faster than Cortland County, U.S. Census data show.

The people are coming from Ithaca’s sprawl, as growth there pushes past Lansing, lured by lower-cost housing and a more rural way of life.

Housing in the town ranges from farms, to single-family residences and a number of high-density residential projects.

Also under development is a 17 building, 220-unit complex in Varna, the Trinitas development.

Wawak said the project, especially the studio lofts, would be different than what is now available in the town but declined to comment further on the project, which is still in the initial stages.

Leifer said the project would need a special use permit because it is larger than other projects in that area, but fits the residential tone that surrounds the planned site.

He agreed with Burger’s views on housing in the town.

“There’s needs for all types of housing,” he said.

Burger said the next step for the project to advance is for Wawak to bring the planning board more detailed plans, such as a stormwater plan because of the potential for flooding in the area.

Burger said Wawak may return in January or February with detailed plans but was unsure.

Wawak said he might have more detailed plans “in a few months” but didn’t provide a specific timeline.