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Target age subject of apartment review

Murray Manor Apartments would be for 55-and-up

— Members of the Colonie Planning Board have reservations about an apartment complex proposed to be built on Boght Road after learning the developer’s intended tenant demographic.

Victor Caponera, of the Caponera Law Firm PC, came before the board on Tuesday, March 12, seeking concept approval for Murray Manor Apartments. The complex would feature a two-story, 12-unit apartment building at 616A Boght Road, a former lumber yard.

The new building would be designated for adults 55 and older, or “active adults.” But board members said they were under the impression the project was intended to be “family-friendly.”

The applicants, Russell Harding and Eric Tanski, said the building was always going to be for adults 55 and older. On Oct. 6, 2012, Caponera spoke before the Planning Board for a sketch plan review on the project. But according to the meeting’s minutes it was never made clear whether the apartments would be targeted at seniors or families.

At the most recent meeting, Caponera said they discussed demographics with the Zoning Board of Appeals under the understanding the apartments would be for tenants 55 and older. Planning Board Chairman Peter Stuto said the Planning Board doesn’t review the Zoning Board’s minutes.

“You’re surprising us with the 55 and older. We didn’t get to think about (the project) in a thoughtful way,” Stuto said, adding it wasn’t clear in the application that the apartment would be for active adults.

Changing the apartment to 55 and older requires specific legislation, Planning and Economic Development Director Joe LaCivita said.

“It’s not an easy switch,” LaCivita said. “There’s a whole process they have to go through outside our boundaries. They’ll have to file the application, make sure it’s not discriminatory.”

The Planning Board granted the project concept approval, but the developer will have to return for final site plan approval.

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