Proposed Homer Housing Project Advances, Trustee's Seek to Limit Number of Apartment Units
A planned multi-unit housing project targeted for the Village of Homer took a step forward last night. The Homer Board of trustees approved a zoning change that advances the development to the next round of review.
Following more than a year of review the Homer of Board of Trustees voted unanimously last night to change the zoning on an over four acre parcel from a commercial designation to planned development district residential.
The zone change was requested by local developer and building supply store owner Ken DeMunn. DeMunn is looking to build up to 40 apartment units on the site, which is located near the intersection of Route 281 and Route 41.
The project goes back to 2008, at that time DeMunn sought the same zone change to build 28 apartments there. The project never advanced and the zone change reverted back to the original commercial designation.
In 2012 DeMunn revised his plan and added more apartments to reflect the increased cost of the project. In order to facilitate the development DeMunn is required to install a new road along with water and sewer lines before he construct any dwellings.
Several neighbors living along Route 41 and Miller Drive which borders the site have objected to the project. Some neighbors feel that a multi-family residential development is incompatible with the surrounding single family homes, while other neighbors have raised concerns about the increased traffic the project could bring to the area.
Prior to adopting the zone change the board approved a State Environmental Quality Review that was conducted in connection with the zone change. The board hired local attorney Patrick Snyder to conduct the analysis. Snyder found no substantial environmental impacts that would prompt a more in depth review. Snyder says the State D-O-T, looked at traffic concerns, and felt the project would not create a negative impact.
The agency has requested that traffic accessing Route 281 be restricted to right hand turns only, with northbound traffic exiting onto the Route 41.
Homer Trustee Andy Brush raised concerns with the project, he feels the development will have negative impacts on traffic and aesthetics in that area.
DeMunn's project will not be subsidized and he is not seeking any tax breaks in connection with the development.
Following the zone change, the Board of Trustees passed another resolution asking DeMunn to reduce the number of apartment units from 40 to 36. Mayor Genevieve Suits says the request is aimed at reducing density on the site, and to give the planning board some guidance as it reviews the project.
The project will be subject to review by the County and Village Planning Boards.
The Village Board will also have another chance to review the final proposal.