Controversy Over Proposed Housing Development

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Aug 20, 2008 at 11:20 PM EDT

A proposed low-income and senior housing development in Apalachin is met with stiff opposition Wednesday night.

A special meeting was held to discuss the project.

Action News Reporter Caitlin Nuclo has reaction from people living near the proposed site.

This 7 acre piece of land in Apalachin, which borders route 434 and Glann Road, could be the site of a new senior and low-income family housing complex.

Some neighbors aren't thrilled with the idea.

"Our neighborhood is nice and sweet and quaint and quiet and we have a neighborhood school and we would just like to keep it that way," said Celeste Stockwin of Apalachin.

Stockwin was one of many people who opposed the project at this Tioga County Planning Board meeting in Waverly.

Still, the board voted 7 to 3 in favor of recommending the Town of Owego go forward with the rezoning.

It would be built by Housing Opportunities, Incorporated.

Project Manager of Tioga Opportunities, Therese Gallow, says there is a need for it.

"We have to a lot of families that are issued a voucher that cannot find affordable housing for the bedroom size they need. So on our end in that respect we are in favor of the project," said Gallow.

But some neighbors are saying they still don't want it in their backyard.

For reasons like increased traffic, crime and more students in their schools.

"I see no benefits and when we ask the board that they say wait and see, and I'm not willing to take that chance with my family and my kids," said Stockwin.

The Town of Owego has the final say, and must still approve final development plans.

But Stockwin says it's not the end of their fight.

"I think we need to all band together and show them that we're not going to back down," said Stockwin.

Again, the Tioga County Planning Board's decision tonight is only a recommendation to rezone the land, allowing the project to move forward.

The Town of Owego has the final say on the project.

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