Discontent brewing over Guilderland apartments

Developer’s study claims fiscal benefit greater with apartments over homes

— There are still several hurdles before a 210-unit apartment complex off Western Avenue is approved, but a bevy of people have already expressed disapproval or support for the project.

Wolanin Companies is scheduled to present an updated site plan on its proposal to build a luxury apartment complex at the Guilderland Planning Board’s Wednesday, May 14, meeting. The Town Board last month conditionally approved the rezoning of the 22-acre property in the hamlet of Westmere. Once the Planning Board approves a final site plan, the Town Board would then have the last say over the final site plan.

Spotlight News obtained several comments, along with a petition holding more than 80 signatures of neighboring residents in opposition, through a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request on April 17. Additional documentation on the project, such as fiscal impact, was also obtained.

Sandy Smith of Church Road claimed she called every apartment complex in the town and found only two did not have openings. Smith also said homeowners would pick up the tab for any children from the apartments attending the school.

The project developer has contested a minor amount of children would be added through apartments, but single-family homes would generate a great amount more of children.

Some neighbors were concerned about the character of the community changing after the apartments are built.

“These have been quiet neighborhoods for a long time, and I would not like to see that change,” Church Road resident Don Govel said in an email to the supervisor.

Rachel and Kevin Megyesi said they purchased their home on Janet Lane three years ago with the intention of “really growing our roots.” They said in an email to the town supervisor that the proposed project “really dash those hopes.”

Jeffrey and Lynn Kline sent the Town Board a letter with similar concerns, having also purchased their home around three years ago.

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