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Neighbors unhappy with plan for Glenville group homes

Neighbors unhappy with plan for Glenville group homes

'It's essentially bordering on being a medical facility'
Neighbors unhappy with plan for Glenville group homes
The proposal, if it moves forward, would be for the former site of the Woodlin Club, seen here in 2015.
Photographer: Daily Gazette file photo

GLENVILLE — Some neighbors are unhappy with plans for four memory-care group homes at the site of the former Woodlin Club, on St. Anthony Lane.

About 15 residents turned out for a town Planning Board meeting Monday but were told they'd have to wait until a March 12 public hearing to express their concerns to the board.

The board, which first saw the group homes plans last month, granted a preliminary subdivision approval for the plans for four seven-bedroom homes and could finalize that approval in March, depending on public hearing comments.

"Next month, you can speak until the cows come home. We want to hear what you have to say," Planning Board Chairman Michael Carr told residents Monday night. "You're the ones who live there."

Outside the meeting room, residents said they're concerned about increased traffic on their quiet street, along with police and ambulance calls to the homes and that any residents who leave the facility could encounter steep slopes that lead down to a Schenectady County nature preserve along the Indian Kill.

"It's essentially bordering on being a medical facility," neighbor Jennifer Dominelli said.

State law, however, requires that community group homes — including those for people with Alzheimer's disease and other memory issues — be treated under town zoning as though they were single-family residences.

David Karasz, of Glenville, who has developed other memory care group homes in Glenville, Niskayuna and Rexford, is proposing the development on the 11.82-acre site that was formerly the Woodlin Club, a private recreational organization that closed in 2011. The four houses would be on a new cul-de-sac near the St. Anthony's Lane end of the property.

Karasz said group homes typically generate few ambulance calls because most of the residents are elderly and have do-not-resuscitate medical orders. He said the homes are not locked facilities, but fencing may be installed so residents can go outside without wandering off.

Construction on one of the four lots is conditional on a land swap between Karasz and Schenectady County that will require approval from both the county Legislature and the state Legislature, because state-designated Indian Kill Nature Preserve parkland is involved. The county has yet to initiate action, and it was unclear whether a land swap could be approved during this year's legislative session, which will end in June.

In other business, the Planning Board gave preliminary approval to plans for the Veterans' Motorcycle Club to establish a clubhouse at 6437 Amsterdam Road (Route 5) in West Glenville. Club members said the group holds events to raise money for charity but expects to use the clubhouse, a former single-family residence, only for meetings and family activities.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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