DAN HEATH Press-Republican
PLATTSBURGH — Some changes have been made to a plan for a large apartment complex in the City of Plattsburgh.
Lewis Heights, named with a nod to the late Clyde Lewis, would be built on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base property at the southeast corner of Route 9 and New York Road.
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The developer, who has not been ideintified, is being represented by local attorney and former City Court Judge Gary Favro.
At a recent City Planning Board meeting, project engineer Aaron Ovios of Robert M. Sutherland PC detailed changes to the sketch plan that was presented for informational purposes last month.
It now calls for 88 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.
Construction would take place in four phases spread over several years, fueled by demand, and the buildings are now slated to be two-and-a-half stories high, down from the three levels originally planned.
The structures would now cover less than 20 percent of the 5-acre property. In addition, the amount of green space has been increased to slightly more than 50 percent.
“With a 5-acre lot, 50 percent green space is substantial,” Ovios said.
He said the units are expected to rent for between $800 and $1,200 a month.
‘GIVING UP FUTURE’
Several neighbors voiced concerns about the proposal.
Gerald Eagan, who lives on Kansas Avenue, said Carol Klepper asked him to read a letter to the Planning Board, as she was out of town. Even with the reduction, she still believes the project is too large for that area.
The project needs to be reviewed with a view toward the effect on surrounding developments, her letter read. Additionally, she is concerned about a lack of space for children to play.
“The units do not seem to have the same living space as other units near it,” she wrote.
Mary Jo Juneau, a resident of Iowa Street, said one of her big concerns is the large amount of low-income housing in that area.
“There is nothing there that speaks to family,” she said of the plan.
John Burdo, who lives on Maryland Road, suggested the applicant find a different location, as the property is a key to development of that part of the city.
“I think you’re giving up the future if you do this,” he said.
DETAILS TO COME
Henry Ward, also of Kansas Avenue, said he is worried about the negative effect on nearby property values if the project moves forward.
The property is owned by the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corp., and Ovios said the developer has a purchase contract based on his ability to get approval for development that makes sense economically.
Ovios said more details on items such as storage, lighting, landscaping and materials will be provided when the applicant submits a detailed plan for approval.
Planning Board member Bill Ferris said he would like to see a defined outdoor space for residents to use. He suggested moving the parking lot to the rear of the building to create a common area out front.
“I think a nice design would really go a long way (toward approval),” he said. “I think it’s going in the right direction.”
The project still needs Planning Board approval of a final detailed design plan.
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