Working-Family Housing Proposed

The view of the proposed 40-unit family housing project is from N. Warner Street.

By Margo Frink

(Oneida, NY – Nov. 15) A new housing project is in the planning stages and was presented to the Oneida Planning Commission at its Nov. 15 meeting.

Robert Napoli, executive director of Stoneleigh Housing Inc. and board member Donna Bonfardeci along with the project’s architect and head of construction explained details of the project.

Napoli said he reviewed the city’s comprehensive plan and approached the city’s Planning Director Cassie Rose who suggested the site selected at 106 N. Warner St. at the corner of W. Elm Street for a 40-unit, working-family housing development.

A purchase offer of $100,000 was made to the city, owner of the lot and accepted by the Common Council. Nothing has been decided as of yet, Napoli said, but the city would like to remain owners of a “tiny” piece to use as a turnaround for snowplows, or an easement agreed upon. Either way, a turnaround for plows will be worked into the plans.

The property will not be purchased until funding can be secured. The application process for funding is underway.

The housing units are not low income but for working families.

“There are no subsidies,” Napoli said. “Income limits are pretty high.”

Bonfardeci explained the plans.

Four residential units, one community center and a playground will sit on 5.2 acres of property. The $8.6 million investment includes new sidewalks, a bus shelter, 60 parking spaces, a detention pond and trees planted around the grounds.

Napoli said a market study was done and showed Oneida needs housing.

“Everywhere in Madison County needs housing,” Napoli said.

Tenants will be recertified every year, Napoli said.

Plans are to construct eight one-bedroom apartments 725 square feet and rent for $500 a month; 22 two-bedroom apartments 800 square feet and rent for $620 a month and 12 three-bedroom units a little more than 1,000 square feet that rent for $740 a month. Tenants will pay their own heat and electric bills.

The community center will house an office, kitchen, restrooms and a community room.

Stoneleigh asked for a zone change request from light industrial to R-3 (multi-family residential) for the site, which the Commission gave a positive referral for.

There was some discussion about Liberty Street access to the development; however from a safety standpoint the 18-foot width of Liberty Street presents a safety issue for emergency personnel, according fire Chief Greg Myers.

City resident Joe Magliocca, who complimented the team on the project, said he felt ingress and egress should be through Liberty Street and said the pros outweigh the cons because it would promote traffic patterns to the downtown area. He encouraged the team to approach the Common Council and see that goes forward.

Commissioner Geoff Snyder and Chairman Fred Myers had some concerns about the driveway, located on the plans on Elm Street being too close to the intersection. Moving the driveway further north or on N. Warner were options discussed.

Magliocca also said that 99 percent of the time the pond would be empty and a fence around it, which is required, would eventually become an eyesore, with litter and high weeds growing up along it and that kids would climb it.

“I’d like to see something different, a natural barrier maybe,” Magliocca said.

All recommendations were noted and will be taken into account, Bonfardeci said.

Margo Frink is vice president of M3P Media LLC and publisher of the Madison County Courier. She can be reached at Margo@m3pmedia.com or 315-481-8732.

 

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