Arbor Housing looks to redevelop land in Bath
Elmira, NY (WENY) - A plan to develop low income housing in the Village of Bath was unveiled to the public. After extensive research into a property, the not-for-profit, Arbor Housing presented the idea to the Village's planning board.
Arbor housing proposed, the new construction be a low income housing project, with them looking to redevelop 7181 state route 54. Its right near a dollar general and what used to be, what looked like a tops market. The hope is to turn the 16 acres of real estate behind them into low income housing and possibly redevelop the the two abandoned buildings.
The existing site is about 6-acres or so. There are nine buildings, eight of them residential one of them kind of a multipurpose clubhouse room but we're will to reconsider and redevelop that.” said Arbor Housing President & CEO Jeff Eaton.
The project was unveiled at the village's planning board meeting and potential renderings were shown off. The meeting was open to the public and as such gave people and residence the chance to weigh in. Some were for it, others against it. District representative, Michael Sweet argued more low income housing isn't the solutions to the villages problems. He argues those who need affordable housing sometimes do spend their disposable incomes downtown. Instead the planning board should focus on getting those people better, higher paying jobs.
“We have an abundance of low income housing so lets create jobs and opportunities for these people so they don't have to depend on low income housing.” said Sweet.
But there where others who defended the plan. Those on the other side argued the cost taxpayers are currently putting towards housing for homeless. Around a million dollars of tax money a year is going towards housing those deemed homeless. But for some like mayor William von Hagn, he said more discussions are needed.
“We're so early in the project that i think it was a great opportunity for, to get some information out there to the public and let them know just exactly what's going on.” said Mayor von Hagn.
“We understood that there would be a number of people who were upset with the concept. I think part of that comes from not having the facts and information.” said Eaton.
The board took no action because part of the issue is the projects zoning restrictions.
“We can't take our last large parcel of commercial property and turn it into low income housing.” said Sweet.
But as the project stands, it's still just a proposal.