South Utica residents still have concerns about new housing project

Residents in south Utica are still concerned about the new apartment complex being built where the old Sunset School sits.

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 11:29 PM

UTICA, N.Y. - Emotions ran high during an informational forum at the Kelberman Center Thursday night. 

South Utica residents attended the meeting to ask questions and voice their concerns about the new Sunset Ave. apartment complex that will be built where the old Sunset School sits. 

Dr. Robert Myers, the executive director for the Kelberman Center, says the complex will be called The Link at Sunset. The building will be a four-story complex with 60 units. 12 of those units will be designed for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The other 48 will be, what Myers calls, workforce housing, and space for Kelberman Center employees.

"It is not low income, this housing is whats called workforce housing, so there are income thresholds, approximately $25,000 - $55,000 a year," Myers said.

Many residents, like Lindsay Bonanza, say they are not opposed to the project, they just believe the project is too large.

"If you told us tomorrow that you were moving this project to 50% smaller than what it is, we'd cheer, we'd get our shovels out and help you build it," Bonanza said.

Others agree with Bonanza.

"My grandson has autism, I'm in favor of the project, it's just been poorly presented and as everyone said, it is too big," William Blanchfield, south Utica resident said. 

One of the biggest questions being asked is why does it have to be so big, and why 60 units?

"The project was fully funded for 60," Myers said. "It allows us to support 12 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. which was the goal of the project all along. It's appropriately zoned, it went through all the public process."

Residents are asking for the project to be scaled down, but Myers says it is too late for that.

"No, we can't, I mean developing a project to this nature is not simple, it's a lot of architecture and a lot of study and a lot of design and those things are tremendously expensive and they're all done," Myers said.  

Another concern is traffic. Many residents were wondering why there was not a traffic study done. 

David Harding, a landscape architect says a traffic study was not necessary.

"As far as traffic studies, when you're going through the environmental review process, if you have parking lots that are less than 100 cars, you don't have to get into a full-blown traffic study," Harding said.

According to Harding, there will be 94 parking spaces for the building. 45 spaces will be for residents, 20 for resident visitors, 24 for Kelberman employees, four for Kelberman guests, and one parking space for a maintenance person.

Residents are also concerned with infrastructure.

"How can this project be in this little residential, low zoning area, and are we going to be able to accommodate that between the sewage, not just with the water but that bathroom facilities are going to be a huge issue," Samantha Schreck-Ivey, south Utica resident said. 

Matthew Klucznik, an architect working on this project, says all of the infrastructures has been verified.

"Our project team contacted all the local municipalities to determine if the infrastructure would support a building of this size and based upon that analysis and based upon the comparison of the existing use of the school which housed 100 individuals compared to the apartments, the infrastructure is adequate to support the building," Klucznik said. 

Myers says construction is expected to start this fall. 

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 376208

Reported Deaths: 30236
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City20594021782
Nassau407972132
Suffolk402391918
Westchester338541389
Rockland13297655
Orange10484444
Erie6359549
Dutchess3984142
Monroe3117230
Onondaga2329149
Albany1941112
Ulster171177
Sullivan140931
Putnam127060
Niagara109970
Oneida107758
Schenectady70630
Broome60552
Rensselaer49728
Saratoga49614
Columbia41134
Madison32315
Warren25628
Orleans24741
Steuben24641
Greene24218
Washington24013
Fulton21924
Ontario2199
St. Lawrence2072
Genesee2055
Tompkins1670
Chemung1372
Tioga13422
Chenango1335
Wayne1223
Livingston1217
Herkimer1153
Oswego1123
Cayuga982
Clinton974
Chautauqua974
Montgomery964
Cattaraugus925
Wyoming885
Delaware844
Jefferson750
Otsego735
Seneca610
Schoharie510
Allegany510
Cortland410
Yates396
Essex380
Franklin230
Lewis200
Schuyler120
Hamilton50
Unassigned00
Utica
Few Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 65°
Oneonta
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 65°
Herkimer
Few Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 65°
Thendara
Few Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 65°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
Apply to Go the Distance 2020
23 courses for only $79.99