Letter from Beth Glynn
My husband and I own 41 Lake Street, the Crooked House, and One Chestnut, which is located at the corner of Lake and Chestnut streets. The Crooked House is directly across the street from 40 Lake, and One Chestnut is separated from the Crooked House by only 43 Lake. We are extremely exposed to the goings on at 40 Lake.
We bought the Crooked House in 2016 and have since re-sided and re-insulated the house and garage, restored the windows to their original 1825 and 1900 condition, upgraded the driveway and the all the interior and exterior light fixtures. All these improvements were done with the expectation of living a quiet life among the single-family homes in the neighborhood.
The new owners at 40 Lake have neither lived in the house nor made any improvements to the house that can be seen from the outside. The owners seem only to want to turn this historic house into a boarding house for transients. The Zoning Board of Appeals took the correct action by denying the first application made by 40 Lake. But in the process, Ms. Schwartzman suggested that the 40 Lake owners could re-apply and rent one room. There is no way to police how many rooms would being rented, if permission were granted to rent one room.
All of Lake Street would be directly affected by a rooming house in the neighborhood; to state the obvious, noise, parking, car lights late at night, and partying would result. The traffic on Lake Street in the summer is heavy. In front of the Crooked House and hence 40 Lake, where there is street parking, two SUVs cannot pass. This makes backing out into traffic difficult from either 41 Lake or 40 Lake. More cars backing out from 40 Lake would be unwelcome, indeed. Furthermore, if 40 Lake were turned into a rooming house, reduction in value of houses and perhaps inability to sell houses would be other considerations. If the developers were successful at 40 Lake, others of the same type would smell the opportunity for profits. Cooperstown could become another upstate town ruined by opportunists.
The Village Board has the responsibility to act now to stop developers from skirting the laws.