RAVENA — Albany contractor Joe Futia came before the Ravena Village Board at their December 20 meeting to gather input and advice about possible development of a five-acre parcel he owns on McConnell Avenue.
The property lies parallel to and just east of Magnolia Circle.
Futia initially described a 40-unit modular park consisting of prefab homes with uniform siding and shingling in an adult setting, with a recreation center and possibly a swimming pool.
He stated he envisioned it as a semi-gated community with all units bought by the tenants.
Indicating he was in the preliminary stages of planning for the property’s use, he stated he would present an artist’s rendering if needed.
Trustee Bill Bailey stated such a plan would require a change in zoning from its current industrial use and stated he would not favor a mobile home park behind Magnolia Circle.
Trustee Bruce Roberts stated the use of the term “trailer park” had negative connotations for
many in the village who had experienced problems with other such parks.
Mayor John Bruno stated he would prefer to see single family homes on the property and Bailey agreed.
He stated that building four homes on the property would be acceptable, but if he lived on Magnolia or McConnell and heard about a proposed trailer park going up he would be upset.
“I do not think the village could do that to the 90 or so people who live there now,” he said.
Bruno stated that if a mobile home proposal was put before him for that property he would turn it down.
Trustee Bruce Roberts pointed out the enormous amount of work involved in such a project, including laying down water lines, sewer lines, storm water lines, access roads, setbacks and other considerations.
He also stated the increase in traffic and parking from 40 units would meet with tremendous resistance from village residents.
Futia stated he appreciated the village board’s comments and he was simply seeking advice. He asked whether townhouses would be a more acceptable alternative and most on the board stated yes.
Futia reiterated he did not want to use the property for a warehouse or for industrial use, but was looking into providing residential units.
Mayor Bruno suggested Futia think about using the parcel for senior citizen housing, saying there was tiny available stock in Ravena, forcing many seniors to move elsewhere.
“Civill Senior Housing is full,” he said. “Louis Apartments are full and even Oakbrook Manor has fewer vacancies.”
Bruno stated a new senior citizens’ housing project under consideration already had a waiting list.
“We are a bedroom community,” he said. “Many seniors want to stay in Ravena but we need somewhere for them to live.”
Roberts also stated the senior housing concept was excellent.
“One bedroom units with a den, a kitchen and a living room would be great,” he said. “We are looking for growth in the community but we want to make sure it’s the right kind.”
Roberts cited the long drawn-out Western Avenue Extension project, which had only recently been resolved over issues ranging from plowing responsibilities to road maintenance.
Bruno stated that trailer parks often end up resembling campgrounds, but suggested duplexes such as those on Winne Avenue might be another way to go.
“I will try to work with the village,” Futia said.
The board urged him to discuss the matter further with Building Inspector Joey Burns.
Bailey stressed that while the board appreciated Futia’s inquiries, the Village Board could only approve or disapprove recommendations from the planning board and the zoning board of appeals.
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