The 40-unit apartment complex planned for Richmondville inched forward again Monday night.
Agreeing that concerns had been addressed, the Schoharie County Planning Commission reversed its previous stance and approved the project. Now the Richmondville Village Board must act.
The commission’s vote was 9-0, with two members recused, according to Zach Thompson of the Schoharie County Planning and Develop Agency. Mr. Thompson advises the commission.
The approval is only a recommendation; final approval rests with the Richmondville Village Board.
However, if the commission had rejected the project, the village board would have needed a super-majority––four of five members––to override. Now, only a simple majority is necessary.
The complex, called Candlewood Court, is planned for a cornfield between the new Dollar General and Radez School.
Earlier, the commission had disapproved the complex because there was only one access road to it, and sidewalks weren’t connected to village sidewalks.
Faced with that disapproval––and using suggestions from the Richmondville Village Planning Board––the developer, Housing Visions, amended its plans.
The company added a second access road for emergency purposes, will link its sidewalks to village walks and will also connect to a trail planned by the village to reach Dollar General.
Those changes satisfied the planning commission, Mr. Thompson said.
Because the village board acts next, Mayor Kevin Neary scheduled a public meeting about the complex for Saturday, August 19, 9am at the firehouse.
Housing Vision reps will make a presentation, and residents will have another chance to speak, he said.
But before that, Mayor Neary said, village officials want to learn more about payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs.
Housing Visions is a not-for-profit and may qualify for a PILOT, which is essentially a tax break.
Mayor Neary is planning a conference call today, Wednesday, with Housing Visions’ attorney, village attorney JR Parshall, Ron Filmer of the Industrial Development Agency, Lisa Thom of the county Real Property Tax Office and county Treasurer Bill Cherry.
Mr. Cherry recently negotiated several PILOTs beneficial to county taxpayers and also met with the village board to describe PILOTs.
Mayor Neary also asked Mr. Cherry to represent Richmondville in future PILOT talks because of his past success.
“We want Bill in on this,” Mayor Neary said. “He’s already been very gracious giving us assistance.”
And assuming all comes together for the 19th, Mayor Neary hopes the board makes a decision then.
“I don’t want any more meetings,” he said, noting there have been many about the project. “Maybe that will be the day.”