Beacon Meadows will be mixed-income housing

— Site plan dated June 2019, on file with the town 

Beacon Meadows will have a combination of single-story cottage-style buildings, two-story townhouse-style buildings, and two-story buildings each with 12 units. Its residents will be people aged 55 and older; adoptive families; and young adults with developmental disabilities.

GUILDERLAND — Beacon Meadows, formerly called the Guilderland Intergenerational Community, has received approval from the zoning board as the town’s first development created for people aged 55 and older, adoptive families, and young adults with developmental disabilities. 

Guilderland’s zoning board voted on Nov. 6 to grant the project a special-use permit. Four on the five-member board — Thomas Remmert, Sharon Cupoli, Sindi Saita, and alternate Stephen Albeaart — voted in favor of the permit. Jacob Crawford abstained because, he said, he had been absent from several meetings at which the project was discussed. Board member Elizabeth Lott was absent.

The applicant is BCREI New York LLC, a New York-based affiliate of Beacon Communities Service, LLC, in partnership with Northern Rivers Family of Services and the Center for Disability Services. 

Beacon Communities is under contract with First Columbia to purchase the property. 

The 65-unit project, on two parcels, at 6 and 10 Mercy Care Lane, will extend over 11 acres from the corner of Winding Brook Drive and Mercy Care Lane to behind Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, will include 65 units.

Fifty-two of the units will be age-restricted, for people aged 55 and older; all of these will be one-bedroom units. Five units, each with four bedrooms, will be for foster, adoptive, or kinship-care families. Eight units — seven one-bedroom and one two-bedroom — will be set aside for young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. 

Beacon Meadows will have 7 single-story cottage-style buildings, 2 two-story townhouse-style buildings, and 3 two-story buildings, each with 12 units. 

Northern Rivers will provide services to the adoptive families, and the Center for Disability Services will provide services to the residents with disabilities. A full-time resident-services coordinator will provide aging-in-place services to the older residents and will coordinate with the staff from Northern Rivers and the Center for Disability Services.

A clubhouse will serve as “the core of Beacon Meadows,” according to a project narrative by the town planner, Kenneth Kovalchik. The clubhouse will include a commercial kitchen with a separate gathering space for events, a library, a lounge with a television, a computer lab with four stations and a printer, laundry facilities and offices for the property-management staff and supportive-service providers. 

Residents will be encouraged to help one another through volunteer opportunities with, for instance, older adults offering adoptive families help, at the clubhouse, with homework. 

Beacon, which is modeled on Treehouse in Easthampton, Massachusetts, will be the first project of its kind in New York State. 

It is intended, according to Kovalchik’s narrative, to benefit the three resident groups by: 

— Tackling issues of loneliness and detachment in older adults through volunteer opportunities within the Beacon Meadows community; 

— Offering a stable and permanent home with a loving family environment to children from the public foster-care system; and 

— Allowing for self-sufficiency and independence for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

The fire district requested 15 to 20 feet of level grade around all buildings, for fire access. At the fire district’s request, retaining walls were included in the site design to allow level grade around all buildings. 

Beacon has not indicated to the town when construction will begin, Kovalchik said. 

Omni Senior Living PILOTs 

In a separate issue also related to senior housing, the town board voted unanimously on Nov. 7 to extend two Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreements for Omni Senior Living, which offers rent-controlled, age-restricted apartments to older residents. 

The amount of the PILOTs will be increased 2 percent for each of the additional five years. 

Omni Senior Living has two parcels, at 3485 and 3489 Carman Road, each with 41 units. Rents are about $300 to $400, and residents have an income limitation. 

Owner Omni wants to sell the complex to Vesta Management Corporation, but encountered a problem when it was discovered that, while the mortgages from the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation each have 30-year terms, the PILOTs issued by the town had 25-year terms. 

Vesta requested that both PILOTs be extended an additional five years, to match the terms of the mortgages. The new lender also requested the extension. 

The agreements date from almost 20 years ago, so the extension will begin more than five years from now. 

The payment amount is currently $6,100 on each parcel, for a total of $12,200, which if increased by 2 percent would rise to $12,444. 

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