Clay senior housing proposals spark debate

— About 150 people packed into Clay Town Hall Monday night to hear two proposals for senior housing, both of which were met with significant opposition from neighboring residents.

Though the two properties are in different locations, the reasons voiced in opposition were the same — traffic, property values and drainage.

The first application was brought by Lakewood Development LLC and Richard L. and Arlene DeSocia, who requested that property at 8198 Soule Road, a little over 3.8 acres, be changed from R-100 Residential District to R-SR Senior Residence District. Surveyor Hal Romans and Sue Kimmel of Lakewood Development spoke on behalf of the applicant. Romans said the parcel, which backs up to Strawberry Farms, would be developed into an apartment building with 35 units and townhouses. Because the parcel is less than the five acres called for in the R-SR zone, the applicant would need a variance to go ahead with the zone change.

Romans said a traffic study completed by his client had determined that the project would have no significant traffic in the area.

Immediately, the project was met with resistance from the neighbors.

“Please vote no,” said Karen Kendall, who lives on Elaine Circle. “Don’t devalue my property. We have invested everything we have and then some.”

Kendall also said she had a bad experience with senior apartments.

“When I was 21 years old, I moved into a ‘senior apartment complex,’ and I was far from the youngest one there,” she said. “But I was the cleanest one there.”

Supervisor Damian Ulatowski encouraged those in the audience to visit Toll Road Park in the village of North Syracuse, another Lakewood property which would be similar to what would be developed on Soule Road if this project were to be approved.

“I think that would take away some of your fears,” Ulatowski said. “You could get a visual of what it is rather than have what’s in your mind.”

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