At the Cooperstown Village Board meeting Monday, June 24, many residents voiced concern regarding a proposed project to build a 12-unit apartment building at 10 Chestnut St.
A core complaint was that this high-density residential project was too massive and not compatible with their neighborhood.
The proposed planned development contains two properties. Construction is only being proposed for the larger of the two. It is 50 feet wide and 280 feet deep.
Currently, two structures having a combined footprint of 8,730 square feet are located on this parcel of 14,000 square feet. So, over 62 percent of its area is built upon.
These buildings are to be demolished and in their place an apartment building having a footprint of 6,084 square feet is being proposed. This will cover 43 percent of the lot.
Therefore, the area covered by buildings will be reduced by almost 20 percent.
Viewed from Chestnut Street, the structure to be removed is 48 feet wide. The proposed apartment will be 26 feet wide. That is more than a 50-percent reduction. The proposed apartment will be two stories high, but so are the adjacent homes.
To implement the Village of Cooperstown Housing Committee’s recommendations, the Village might start by being a bit more receptive to the demolition of derelict buildings for new development.
Since the village can’t grow outwards, it must grow upwards via infill redevelopment.
The density of the village’s building stock has probably decreased slightly from its peak – as evidenced by archival photographs of hotels that burned and larger buildings that were torn down and replaced by lower density structures such as the CVS building on Main, the under-utilized TJ’s building, or the abandoned car dealership on Chestnut.
New construction should be compatible with the neighborhood and historic context of the village, but the determining factor should be whether the proposed redevelopment is better than what’s there now – which in many cases is junk.
Disallowing redevelopment guarantees the decline and underuse of derelict buildings, to no good end.
A sitting-room-only-on-the-floor crowd Monday, June 24, at the Cooperstown Village Board’s monthly meeting had a point: Why put an apartment house in the middle of one of the village’s finest single-family-home neighborhoods?
There it is. That said, who doesn’t have some mixed feelings, given that the developer, Josh Edmonds, intends to build a complex that is supremely energy efficient, as is his new home at 45 Delaware St., and to price it so young families with incomes in the $54,000 range can afford it?
Nonetheless, don’t village trustees have a stewardship responsibility: to preserve Cooperstown as it is known and loved? Do they have to destroy the village to save it?
With some emotion, Sherrie Kingsley, co-proprietor of the Inn at Cooperstown with her husband Marc, read a letter he co-signed that contained a chilling conclusion: Concerned about “our quality of life as well as the value of our properties,” the couple had met that morning with Altonview Architects to discuss how they might convert two houses they own, 12 Chestnut and 180 Main, into apartments if necessary.
COOPERSTOWN – The 12-unit The Grove apartment complex – unprecedented in Cooperstown – just surfaced, but neighbors packed the Village Board’s monthly meeting Monday, June 24, to denounce it.
“We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the village would consider a 12-unit apartment complex within a block of primarily single-family homes,” said Sherrie Kingsley, co-owner of The Inn at Cooperstown with husband Marc. “Is there really a need for more housing in Cooperstown?
“Surely there are locations in other areas of the village or the outskirts of the village that would provide a much better fit for an apartment complex if one is truly needed,” she said.
Sherrie Kingsley, above, proprietor of The Inn at Cooperstown with her husband, Marc (seated to her right), reads a three-page letter to the Village Board this evening raising concerns about impacts of The Grove, a 12-unit apartment complex developer Josh Edmonds is proposing at 10 Chestnut St., next to single-family homes on lower Chestnut and Pine Boulevard. Several neighbors seconded Kingsley’s concerns. Others, including Bill Rigby, inset at right, opposed a PDD (a planned development district) that would allow expanded parking at New York Pizzeria, across Elm Street from his house. On a third matter, Eric Olson, inset left, said loud music and noise emanating from the Pratt Hotel, a tavern across from his Pioneer Street home and business, is awakening him as late at 3 a.m. as much as three times a week; he calls police, to no avail. Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch reassured the crowd that The Grove must go through several steps and public input before a decision is made. Olson said he was looking for help from a 2001 noise ordinance; Tillapaugh advised him that a new law setting noise levels at an 80-decibel maximum may help him, but that devices to read noise levels has not yet arrived at Village Hall. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – A proposed revision to the Zoning Law that will allow two-family and apartment houses throughout the Village of Cooperstown will be presented to trustees for the first time tonight.
Also under discussion at the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m at Village Hall, 22 Main St., will be a parking plan for New York Pizzeria at Elm and Main, and Josh Edmonds’ 12-apartment house, The Grove, proposed for 10 Chestnut St.