"There is no intelligent argument that kind of backs up the fact if I build an apartment building, the value is going to go down," said Barber. "It is very difficult to intelligently debate people when they don't have any legitimate and factually based concerns."
Barber said residents are waging an emotional debate about the proposed apartments and the Town Board should look past emotional concerns of a select few residents.
"Not only are you blown away by the vigor of these people there is not a lot of factually based arguments there. The board is supposed to separate out the emotional concerns of one-tenth of 1 percent of the population," said Barber.
Even though Barber might not agree with the residents' concerns, he said he is willing to reach a compromise on the apartments. One suggestion he is open to would be restricting the apartments for senior living.
"I'm trying to build a relationship, not this adversarial situation. I would entertain any reasonable discussion on how they would be happy with me moving forward there," said Barber. "I would work with them to try to make them happy."
Had Barber been able to stick with an earlier plan to build single-family homes, residents would have had fewer concerns, but that plan was denied by the Town Planning Commission.
"Everybody in the town when I first went to the town they said, 'No, we would not approve a single family residence there,'" said Barber. "The only use the town would approve the land for is multi-family."
Due to its drastic elevation changes, the property would have to be excavated to remove the large slope to build any housing, but the planning commission said there would be no backyard and the house would be pushed close to the yard, said Barber.