Caz College sprawl leads to senior housing crunch

"Responding to the college's inquiry, I approached then Mayor Tom Clarke with a plan to sell the property, but I didn't want the tenants out on the street," Christakos said. "I wanted to purchase the land where the old town garage was, give half of it to the village and library for parking and build senior housing on the other half for the 12 tenants and maybe another 12."

Christakos said Clark rejected the idea because it would take the Sullivan Street property off the tax rolls even though it would be adding new senior housing to the tax roll.

"It would've been a wash, but I guess he wanted both," Christakos said.

After Christakos sent a letter to the tenants alerting them to begin searching for new dwellings, the college sent a letter to notify them of the students moving in and about the security officers that will routinely be checking the hallways on the premises. The tenants were given until November of '08 to move, and an extension period of another year if necessary.

"Our letter was us reaching out," Westervelt. "We notified the Mayor, Bill Hall of the planning board and neighbors."

Westervelt claimed that there would be no use change to the apartments. They will be available for students age 21 and older with high grades. These apartments will become the highest quality student housing available for the college.

"Some people are saying I sent my tenants eviction notices," Christakos said. "But most of those tenants are leased month to month and the others are up in a few months. What they got was a lease extension and they can leave at any time without any penalty."

Judy Butler attended Caz Central School for 12 years, moved away for college and then back and forth until she moved back again to raise her children in '94.

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