Dozens of Residents Oppose Huge Housing Project

11:23 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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HAMBURG, N.Y. - Residents who have lived in a suburban community in Hamburg for decades are upset over a proposed plan to build a huge housing project in their neighborhood.

Some residents are even coming together to stop the project. As one small sign of solidarity, homeowners have created a mass email system so all homeowners know what's happening with the project with constant updates.

"We feel like under siege," said JoAnn Greiner, who has lived here on Heatherwood Drive in Hamburg for 14 years, along with many other long-time residents. Many have had to pay for the lots behind their homes, which bring them peace and nature. The housing project that's under consideration could ruin one of the benefits of living here.

"It will increase the traffic. It makes it dangerous. You can barely pull off Howard Road onto Camp without waiting five minutes," said Greiner.

But between these roads, a developer wants to put a huge 11-building residential community on 10 acres of land. It would be called Howard Greens. 66 units would be created and a new street would be made, so the town homes can be built.

If the project's approved by the town board, traffic could spike. On traffic congestion, the developer says no major issues will arise.

Before any construction could begin, the company, Boston State Holding Company, based in Blasdell, needs the board to rezone the land so the estimated $6 million project can be approved. Right now, the land is zoned for duplex apartments.

"I can appreciate what they're saying because the proximity of this project to some of the residents will be close to them, but there's projects like this in the area," said Joe Russo, a developer for the company.

Meantime, many of the same residents have been pressuring the town board not to approve the plan. Residents add that there's plenty of other vacant properties that's available. The developer promises it won't touch any of the woodlands that attracted these owners to their property in the first place.

"We've done our due diligence, we've done market studies on this and we've found that there's a need for something like this," said Russo.

But the town board is uncertain and is gathering information about the project, which has gotten planning board approval.

The units will be geared to seniors and professionals. Boston State Holding would like to begin construction this summer.


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