Spring Arbor residents object to apartments in their neighborhood.
Residents of Spring Arbor, a luxury community for people over age 55, showed up at the August 4 Middletown mayor and council meeting to object to proposed apartment buildings near their neighborhood.
Rick Woodin of Woodin & Associates opened the public hearings seeking approval from the mayor and the council on the housing development plans and requests of clients he represents.
Woodin explained that one of the developers, Louis Capano, wished to no longer build townhomes at The Parkway at Southridge Residential, a housing development west of Route 301. The developer had previously received approval from the town to build a mix of single family homes, townhomes, and apartments.
“The developer wants to modify it to suit this particular market,” Woodin said. “The demand for high quality apartments is rising.”
After Woodin spoke and showed photos of what the two-story apartment buildings would look like, Spring Arbor residents took to the podium to express their opposition.
“We don’t want this to happen,” said Spring Arbor resident Deborah Thomas. “But if it does, can we have those be 55-plus apartments?”
Other residents weren’t as open as Thomas to allow for the construction of the apartments. They were concerned with the types of people the apartments would attract, the devaluation of their properties, and the children that would allegedly “run through their yards.”
One of the residents mentioned that there were even “rumors” that the apartments would become Section 8 units – government-subsidized, low income housing.
“Now you’re getting carried away,” said Mayor Ken Branner. “I don’t deal in rumors.”
Branner repeatedly defended himself from residents’ accusations that he wasn’t being truthful with them about the project.
“We’re not here to screw you as a result of this plan,” Branner said. “All we’re doing is the subdivision.”
Woodin’s request on behalf of his client was granted by the mayor and the council after Spring Arbor residents concluded their comments.
According to the council, the next step in the process will entail consideration of what will be built on the property.