Opposition To Proposed Town Of Union Retirement Community

By James Gaddis

July 22, 2010 Updated May 16, 2007 at 11:54 PM EDT

The signs on Farm To Market road, say it all.

And in case Town of Union Board members didn't notice them, these people made sure they got the message.

"The reason I moved up there and built a house, is because I wanted to have a semi-rural setting," says Eugene Cartie of the Town of Union.

That could all change.

Good Shepherd, a non-profit, is proposing to build a retirement community called Good Shepherd Village.

It would be built on 120 acres between Farm To Market and Cummings Road in Endwell.

It includes:

An 80-unit apartment building, 70 cottages, a residential health care facility, an assisted living center, nursing facility, community center with shops, dining room, pub, and swimming pool.

People who live near the proposed community, say it doesn't belong here.

"The very thing that you're building that's enticing your clientel, the astetics of the neighborhood, is what you're taking away from us," says George Bagnetto of the Town of Union.

The apartment building especially isn't sitting well.

"The top of which will be towering 185-feet over the elevation of the intersection of sally piper and cummings road," says Ray Berchtold of the Town of Union.

And, because Good Shepherd is a non-profit, that's 120-acres, off the tax rolls.

"And that's why I'm here. If they were tax paying you wouldn't see me here," says James Simeck of the Town of Union.

The planning board already gave it's approval of the plan.

It's now up to the Town Board to accept or reject the proposal.

Supervisor John Bernardo says the board will hold a work session with the planning board and Good Shepherd to discuss tonight's issues, before making a final decision.

That work session has not yet been scheduled.

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