Hainesport Board Approves Affordable Housing Project

The Hainesport Land Use Board recently approved a affordable housing project proposed by Hainesport Family Apartments LLC, which aims to provide 72 units for low to moderate-income families. The board’s approval followed a detailed review process.

During the meeting, the applicant’s attorney emphasized the project’s adherence to site plan ordinances and the absence of a need for variances, referencing letters from professionals confirming compliance. Alongside the legal discourse, the board scrutinized various technical aspects of the project, including stormwater management, dam safety standards, and the proposed community’s integration with its surroundings. The development’s site plan featured storm management systems, landscaping, and pedestrian connectivity, with the applicant’s engineer addressing the board’s inquiries and concerns in detail.

The discussions also covered the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, with the engineer explaining their phased implementation plan.

Ed Spite, Vice President of Development for the Walters Group, presented the company’s extensive experience in developing and managing affordable housing. The Walters Group’s involvement underscores the project’s credibility, given their history of focusing exclusively on affordable housing for over a decade. Spite ensured the board that the Hainesport development would be managed with the same rigor and attention to detail as their other properties.

Addressing the issue of community amenities, the proposed development includes a range of facilities like a Tot Lot, grills, benches, and a clubhouse with a fitness center and computer area. The management of the property was also discussed, with the Walters Group handling 24/7 maintenance and the board exploring the potential for on-site management and staff availability.

The Walters Group confirmed that the community would cater to a mix of moderate, low, and very low-income individuals, in line with State regulations and the settlement agreement with the Fair Share Housing Center. The tenant selection process was described as thorough, involving credit checks, criminal background checks, and income verification, with no preferences given except the possibility of a Veterans Preference, which the board showed interest in.

Architectural details were also a point of interest, with the board reviewing different styles of units, building materials, and the required bedroom mix for affordable housing. Questions were raised about the square footage of the units, the purpose of the community room, and tenant regulations, such as the use of porches for storage.

The board was satisfied with the traffic impact study presented by a traffic engineer, which examined the project’s effects on traffic volumes, generation, and intersection analysis. The study suggested minimal changes to existing conditions and recommended improvements for motorist safety. Moreover, the engineer assured the board of the site driveway’s efficiency and safety, with adequate parking supply and controlled traffic measures in place.

Public concerns were also addressed, ranging from the potential increase in children in the local school system to the need for public transportation access for residents. The length of the tax abatement program for the development and the accuracy of the traffic study were questioned as well. The board and professionals provided responses to these concerns, reiterating the development’s compliance with zoning changes made to fulfill affordable housing obligations.

As the discussion extended into environmental considerations, questions about the use of native plant species and the removal of trees were raised. Safety concerns regarding fencing around the basin and potential traffic and speeding on Creek Road were also discussed. The board acknowledged the concerns and the need for compromise and integration of the development into the town’s fabric.

In the meeting’s concluding stages, the applicant underscored the time-sensitive nature of the site plan approval, vital for securing funding from an affordable housing production fund.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Leila Gilmore
Land Use Board Officials:
Paula L. Kosko, Karen Tordy, H. Krollfeifer, Jr., Thomas McKay, Letitia Kelley, Patrick Tricocci, Irene Baggio, Chris Murphy, Gus Bradley, Howard Holden, Steve Noworyta, Bruce MacLachlan, Paula Tiver (Secretary), Robert Kingsbury (Solicitor), Martin Miller (Alaimo Assoc. Engineer), Scott Taylor (Taylor Design Group, Planner)

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