Saratoga Springs

New lawsuit filed in Spa City over shelter for homeless

City Council set to meet Tuesday night
Residents stand outside of the Code Blue shelter in Saratoga Springs at 62 Henry St.
Residents stand outside of the Code Blue shelter in Saratoga Springs at 62 Henry St.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Residents opposed to the construction of a permanent cold-weather shelter for homeless people are pushing back — again.

A group of about 20 residents recently filed a lawsuit that challenges a Jan. 8 Zoning Board of Appeals vote to approve the Code Blue shelter’s construction next to the Shelters of Saratoga’s Walworth Street headquarters. 

It is the second time neighborhood residents have filed a legal challenge to the shelter’s establishment.

The first challenge was addressed by the ZBA in the Jan. 8 meeting, where the board ruled that the shelter can be classified as a “neighborhood rooming house,” which is an allowed use in the neighborhood.

The new legal challenge was filed by Claudia K. Braymer, of Braymer Law PLLC, and John J. Henry, of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP, on behalf of residents who are seeking to overturn the council’s Jan. 8 decision. 

“The construction and operation of a large, non-sober proposed shelter expansion adjacent to the existing Shelters of Saratoga facility does not comport to the neighborhood’s support capacity,” states an announcement of the legal action by the residents’ group. “With a new administration at City Hall, it is the residents’ hope and goal to bring together a coalition of partners — from the Shelters of Saratoga, Franklin Street residents, donors, religious institutions, community organizations, and any and all engaged parties — to develop a long-term, adaptable approach to addressing homelessness in Saratoga County.”

Michael Finocchi, executive director of Shelters of Saratoga, said he would not comment on the lawsuit until after he speaks to his lawyer. 

Mayor Meg Kelly, who said the city hadn’t been served with the lawsuit as of 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, also would not comment on the filing.

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