SARATOGA SPRINGS — Four years after receiving approval to add nearly 300 units to Prestwick Chase, the CEO of the independent living community is changing his plans.
Prestwick Chase, which boasts 200 residents who are 55 and older, is comprised of 176 units that are spread throughout two-story apartment buildings and cottages.
Property manager and CEO Fred McNeary Jr. said he received approval in 2014 from the town of Greenfield to add 284 units to the 120-acre property that runs along Denton Road.
"We went to the town and asked to build three-story buildings with 284 units total," he said. "After we were approved, I didn't feel good about it."
McNeary said he started searching for a better expansion plan.
"I've come to know our residents really well and we're one big family here," he said. "I realized there's nothing like a 1950s true residential community."
McNeary has gone back before the town of Greenfield to propose the addition of 213 units — eight two-story cottages, 88 apartments and 117 single-family units.
The single-family units would house amenities on the first floor including the master bedroom and laundry room with a spare bedroom on the second floor.
"It'll take us from just senior housing to a senior housing campus," he said.
McNeary added that 10 acres of Prestwick Chase is developed and if the proposed project is approved, that total would climb to approximately 30 to 40 acres.
Aside from the units, McNeary said, he plans to build a clubhouse with a pool as well as exercise and community rooms.
"This plan fits more with the neighborhood," he said.
Rosemary Jensen, owner of the nearby Saratoga Farmstead Bed and Breakfast on Locust Grove Road, doesn't agree.
The 10-acre property is an Audubon Cooperative Wildlife Refuge and is home to several species, including Monarch butterflies.
"We're a country-style bed and breakfast with walking paths and gardens, which has become a peaceful sanctuary, but that ambiance will be gone," she said. "We will be devastated by this addition.
"Fifteen years of what we've worked to create will be gone."
Jensen said she anticipates the added units at Prestwick Chase would impact the water table as well as bring construction noise and more traffic.
"I guarantee every person in those homes will have a car, which means there will be more cars on Locust Grove and Denton [roads]", she said. "Denton Road has already become a freeway with more people using it as a shortcut into Saratoga Springs."
Jensen said she anticipates that the proposed expansion would impact her livelihood.
"I believe it will destroy our business," she said. "We moved to the country and it's getting overdeveloped very quickly."
McNeary said the Greenfield Planning Board has determined there would be no environmental issues caused by the proposed project.
The proposal will be sent to the town board for approval before the planning board conducts a final site plan.
Town Supervisor Daniel Pemrick said he doesn't anticipate that the proposed project will make it onto the town board's March agenda.
"It hasn't come before the town board yet," he said. "We do hope to proceed by April."
McNeary said he'd be happy to break ground by this summer.
"The sooner the better," he said.