By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www. AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – For Josh Edmonds, the lot at 10 Chestnut St. represents a chance to solve two problems in the village – adding housing and reducing energy consumption.
“The village needs long-term rentals,” he said. “And I see a need for more energy-efficient construction.”
Edmonds, a passive-house consultant through, Simple Integrity, his contracting company, has proposed a two-story, 12-unit building on the lot at 10 Chestnut St, next to the Inn at Cooperstown.
At the Village Board meeting on Tuesday, May 28, Edmonds revealed details about the proposed project: 12 two-bedroom units, with the six apartments on the first floor designated as handicap-accessible. There will also be 24 parking spaces.
He plans to price his apartments at approximately $1,350 a month, calculated as 30 percent of someone making $54,000 a year. “’Affordable’ housing is a moving target,” he said. “We want it to be someplace that people can afford, and we feel like that will work in Cooperstown.”
It will not, however, use federal funds designated for low-income housing. “There’s limited housing for people in the middle-income range,” he said.
“It’s a great concept,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch. “Our housing survey shows that there’s a real need for apartment housing, such as with Bassett employees.”
But more than affordable, the building will also be a net-zero building, meaning that it produces as much renewable energy as it uses. “I have a background in net-energy buildings, and I think it is a positive for the village.”
Though there is currently a vacant structure on the property – originally a car dealership – Edmonds plans to tear it down and build his building on a smaller footprint. “We’ll only use about 49 percent of the lot,” he said.
Fenimore Lane will be the building’s entry, and an egress will be built out onto Chestnut Street. “The building currently touches the house between it and the Inn at Cooperstown,” he said. “The egress will create a buffer. It’s important that we protect the Inn at Cooperstown’s property.”
Though Simple Integrity will do the design and construction, Edmonds himself will own and maintain the property.
He shared the project with the trustees at the Village Board meeting on in hopes that they would consider re-zoning the property for multi-family, rather than single family housing. The board recommended he take the project to H-PARB and Planning boards for their recommendation as a next step.