The village Planning Board officially approved Country Meadows, the 55-unit senior and affordable housing project proposed for North Street, at a Jan. 24 special meeting. Premier Development is seeking state funding for the project, and will find out the results of its application within a few months.
Like all affordable housing projects, Country Meadows has attracted opposition. Local realtor and landlord Steve Hubbard believes the project is unnecessary. He said the village has plenty of affordable rentals sitting vacant. “These people have no idea what they’re doing,” he said, as planners signed off on the project.
Meanwhile, Saugerties Assertive Citizens for Responsible Economic Development [SACRED], a group that was active in the fight against the Dickinson’s Keep affordable housing project in Glasco, has joined the fray, distributing a flyer detailing the woes of subsidized housing.
“Single family homeowners … It’s time to take action!” the pamphlet reads. “Kingston, Newburgh and Poughkeepsie didn’t see it coming. Don’t let this ‘affordable’ housing bubble spread through Saugerties! Break the bubble before it makes you broke!
“Nearby cities have become saturated and in a state of urban blight. Saugerties and other small towns are the new target and, if allowed to continue unabated, these projects will soon engulf our landscape, lower our property values, bankrupt single family homeowners and bring unmanageable crime to our once peaceful and beautiful town,” the pamphlet reads.
The pamphlet did not contain the names of any group members, though in the past Gaetana Ciarlante spoken on behalf of SACRED. Emails to the address listed on the pamphlet were not returned.
Village Mayor William Murphy said opponents of the project don’t understand that the government’s role in a project like this, which is to apply the zoning law.
“I’m on the fence about affordable housing. Do we have enough? Probably, but you can’t tell people what they can do with their property if they meet the law,” he said.