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Residents object to senior apartments

Residents gathered Thursday night at the Lysander Town Hall to voice concerns about a potential project.

A public hearing was held regarding a land use change from commercial to residential at a property on the corner of Willett Parkway and Deep Glade Drive.

Longley Jones Management owns the controversial property and is in the process of developing phase one (of two) of their Silverwood Apartments project.

The board previously approved the land use change for the first phase.

The Royal Scarlet Association, a group of residents who reside on Royal Scarlet Drive, the street that backs up to the property, presented the Lysander board with a protest petition regarding the land use change.

"We are not against development, we are against high density development," said Mike O'Shea, the spokesperson for the RSA.

Residents expressed concerns that the development would negatively affect property values and would increase safety and traffic problems. People were also concerned that renters would not properly care for the property.

"When you don't own something, you don't treat it the same way," said Bob Burns, a Radisson resident.

"Renters have no vested interest in property they rent," added Joan Swift, a Radisson resident. "It is a travesty to continue with this development that is not wanted by residents."

"Part of the concern is that if you say multi-family, it could mean anything," said Town Attorney David Twichell. He suggested placing covenants to restrict it to senior living. However, residents argued that if the developer was granted the land use change with restricting covenants, the board could eventually overrule the covenants if the developer asked.

One resident said, "What happens if a 55 and older covenant is placed on the property and several years down the road the property is at 20 percent occupancy; the market analysis was wrong and the developer asks to change the covenant or face an abandoned building. Any covenant that is placed on this property can be changed, just like the developer can request a land use change."

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