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Michaels Farms withdraws again

— For the third time in two years, Michaels Farms LLC is withdrawing its proposal for a zone change to construct senior housing on Morgan Road in the town of Clay.

At the Clay Town Board meeting Monday, Sept. 16, Town Supervisor Damian Ulatowski said Michaels Farms had withdrawn its application for a zone change from RA-100 Residential Agricultural to R-SR Senior Residence District at 8073 and 8097 Morgan Road, on the west side of the street opposite Waterhouse Road. The application was made last April. The developer will have to resubmit to proceed with the zone change.

Michaels Farms has previously applied for the zone change on these parcels twice; both times, they withdrew their application amid widespread criticism of their plans.

The last time the developer applied for the zone change last fall, residents panned their plans for a gas station and some commercial development, as well as three apartment buildings. The previous proposal also planned for the extension of roads within Fairway East and Cross Creek to connect with Waterhouse Road and the construction of signal lights at that intersection.

In the April application, Michaels Farms was looking to build approximately 20 patio homes (all rentals), two two-story buildings and a few three-story buildings on the 69.3-acre parcel, making a total of approximately 450 senior housing units. The new plan included a community building for all residents and other area seniors as well as significant green space. It would have entrances on Morgan and Waterhouse.

The Onondaga County Planning Board recommended rejecting the proposal, citing a lack of access to public transportation and the possibility of a dangerous entranceway on Waterhouse. The county also objected to the development on the grounds that it would strain the already overtaxed Oak Orchard wastewater treatment facility.

Representatives from Michaels Farms were not present at Monday’s meeting.

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