[Return to Home Page] [Subscriptions] [Newsstands] [Contact Us] [Archives]

New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 10, 2005

In New Scotland GOP’s Clark and LaGrange victorious,
Dems celebrate majority with Neri win

By Holly Grosch

NEW SCOTLAND — Election results were mixed in this rural town on the edge of suburbia where enrolled voters fall roughly into thirds — Republicans, Democrats, and those enrolled in small parties or no party.

Board member Andrea Gleason was ousted from her post in Tuesday’s election after eight years as a GOP council member; the Democrats maintained a three-to-two majority on the town board with attorney Margaret "Peg" Neri securing a seat; and Republican Douglas LaGrange received the most votes of the four town-board candidate after marginally losing two years ago.

According to unofficial results yesterday from the Albany County Board of Elections, in the council race: LaGrange received 1,618 votes; Gleason 1,493; Neri 1,562; and Democrat Wayne LaChappelle 1,384.

Supervisor Ed Clark was re-elected on the Republican line and he will start his third, two-year term, in January. According to the board of elections, he received 1,846 votes and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Stewart received 1,265.

Two unopposed incumbents were re-elected to their jobs as well: Town Clerk Diane Deschenes received 2,129 votes, and highway Superintendent Darrell Duncan 2,240 votes. Both are Democrats.

For town justice, Republican newcomer Susan Aron-DeFronzo lost with 1,102 votes; incumbent Judge Thomas Dolin, endorsed by the Democratic, Independence, and Conservative parties won with 1,925 votes.

The GOP loss

As the last votes were being tallied at the Republican camp in the American Legion Hall in Voorheesville around 9:40 p.m., about a dozen men, on edge, gathered around Peter Belenchia, who was typing the results into a lap-top computer.

Gleason was down by 60 votes with results from two districts still to come in, Belenchia announced. Belenchia used to be the Republican Party chairman and was Clark’s campaign manager this year.

"I’m ahead but it doesn’t do me any good without Andrea," LaGrange said with a sideways frown to a friend standing nearby.

The female candidates were not clustering around the results but rather lingering in the room, greeting supporters.

"I’m very fatalistic about it," Gleason said, explaining: If she wins, she wins; if she doesn’t, then there’s a reason for it.

When asked what she did that day, when some might expect pacing, Gleason said she went around to the voting districts and then went home and did some laundry.

"I had a really good team...a really strong team that worked together, campaigned together, and really wanted to win," she said. This year, there were more pressing issues in town, she said, "with some big decisions to be made, things to plan for, with more futuristic planning than there has been."

About five minutes later, the rest of the election results were tallied and Gleason had lost to Neri by 69 votes.

The hall took on a somber tone then, although LaGrange had won with the most votes, and Supervisor Clark won his re-election by 581 votes.

Clark, who previously served as Voorheesville’s long-time mayor, said he was gratified that the town of New Scotland supported him, but he "certainly would have preferred" if Gleason had won.

Gleason was a great board member, Clark said. She was very caring, and did a lot of things for the public, "...She always voted her conscience — I don’t know what we’re going to have now," Clark said.

An obviously heavy-hearted Gleason was asked if she had concerns for the future of the town and the board: "Not at all," she quickly responded. With Clark as the steering force, he’ll keep his ethics and will lead the board, she said. "I’m glad he’s still the leader."

Gleason, a retired Voorheesville school teacher, had touted herself as a candidate for senior citizens. When asked if she was worried now about a voice for the elderly, Gleason said that there will always be someone for them, and added, "I’ll still be there for them." Gleason is very active in the town’s senior-services programs and the Community Caregivers, she said.

"I liked being there for the people...I liked talking to the people, representing them," Gleason said through welling eyes; she gently wiped a forming tear away. "It was an important part of my career, here — working for the people," she said.

Dems celebrate

At the Democratic headquarters, across the street at Herbert Reilly’s home, the mood was one of jubilation.

"We’re very excited to have a majority on the board," said an enthusiastic Elizabeth Stewart, who had just lost her bid for supervisor.

The most important thing was keeping a Democratic majority on the board said Stewart who works as a business-development manager and ran a campaign questioning Clark’s competency in dealing with such issues as public water.

"Things can move forward with the board forcing the issues," she said. Stewart said she anticipates some very "energized meetings."

The board might be able to make things happen, when the supervisor hasn’t, Stewart said.

"I look forward to working with Peg," Councilmen Richard Reilly said. He is the son of Herbert Reilly, formerly New Scotland’s supervisor and currently an Albany County Legislator.

Neri has integrity and doesn’t have an ax to grind, he said. The Democratic majority "will allow us to keep trying to move issues like water forward," Reilly said, which is "difficult when there’s a sense that the supervisor’s office is totally disengaged."

Neri’s plans

"I’m thrilled that I won..." Neri said, promising to work really hard on things like the complex land issues. "Working hard but listening very hard as well," she said. Of immediate interest to her is land use in the town’s commercial area and keeping spending low.

Reilly said, "I can speak for all of us when I say we’ll miss Scott." Reilly will now be the most veteran council member with 6 years experience.

Democratic Councilman Scott Houghtaling chose to not run again after serving for 12 years on the board.

During Neri’s campaign she stated she was running because she wanted to take off where Houghtaling left off, modeling her public service after him.

On the campaign trail, Neri said she heard from many people who expressed an interest in leaving the hassles of a large home to move into senior housing.

The senior townhouses and condos in the proposed planned unit development on Route 85 and the senior apartments in the village, are things that New Scotland needs now, Neri said.

With the Kensington Woods proposal for 286 up-scale residences, a compromise needs to be made, Neri said. All the board members need to be informed and educated. In order for everyone in town to compromise — everyone has to talk honestly about what they want out of the project, Neri said.

She wants to enact laws to preserve and protect green space, she said. There is a lot of wildlife on the old Tall Timbers property where Kensington Woods is planned, she said, and, rather than rezoning, the town board should create and pass conservation laws which will have the same effect as zoning laws, Neri said.

Neri is a good addition to the town board, said Councilwoman Deborah Baron, a Democrat. Neri has an open mind and "isn’t afraid to jump in," she said

"I’ll miss Andrea," Baron said; she filled an important slot for the town.

LaGrange said, he hopes Neri will leave party politics behind when she sits on the board.

LaGrange said that he is going to pattern himself after some of the elected board members who have come before him and worked hard in a non-partisan way.

Conflict of interest"

Neri’s husband, Louis Neri, is employed as the zoning board and planning board attorney.

This legal counsel position is a yearly appointment, voted on by the town board. The post pays $11,181 annually.

Clark said that it is a conflict of interest for Neri since board members organize and vote on the budget, and do the appointing.

"Can’t do it," Clark said. She’ll be "voting on matters of significance to her family’s interest."

Clark said that Louis Neri should not hold the post at all, and that it is not possible to just have Peg Neri abstain from voting on matters pertaining to her husband.

Neri said, when she initially discussed with her husband running for town board, he did contact the Association of Towns and asked for an informal opinion about her running — the request had to come from a current town employee, Mrs. Neri explained.

"They were of the opinion it wasn’t a conflict of interest," Mrs. Neri said, she had the right to run.

When asked if they had asked for an opinion on, if she wins, as she has, would it be a conflict of interest for them both to hold their post at the same time — Neri said that the association of town’s wouldn’t issue an opinion on that one.

Neri said that she and her husband will together make a decision.

She added that they did not yet know if he would even be appointed. When asked if she would abstain from voting, Mrs. Neri said, "We haven’t gotten to that point at all yet."

She said that about 15 years ago, though, there was a Republican town board member, whose husband was either the planning board or zoning board chair.

New York State’s General Municipal Law defines "interest" as "a direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a municipal officer...as the result of a contract with the municipality which such officer...serves."

A municipal officer is "deemed to have an interest in the contract of his spouse... except a contract of employment," the law reads.

The town of New Scotland’s Ethics Law says that no employee "shall have any interest financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business transaction or professional activity, or incur any obligation of any nature which in substantial conflict with or reasonably gives the appearance of being in conflict with the proper discharge of his duties..."

Judges race

"I want to thank everyone for their support," said Democrat Thomas Dolin, New Scotland’s Judge for 12 years.

When asked if he was going to try anything new for his 13th year, Dolin responded, "I’m always trying to make it a more user-friendly experience."

Appearing in court is not a pleasant experience, he said with a smile, but he wants to make it as comfortable as he can, such as by offering alternative court sessions at times working people with children can attend.

"I’m happy with the results," Susan Aron-DeFronzo said of her first run for judge. "I did fairly well" against a long term incumbent and former democratic party chairman.

Aron-DeFronzo received 1,102 votes against Justice Thomas Dolin’s 1,925 votes.

She said she worked really hard campaigning and met a lot of great people — it was a great experience, she said. Aron-DeFronzo said she looks forward to getting back to some of the things she enjoys, like spending more time with her elementary-school-aged daughter

Aron-DeFronzo congratulated her opponent — and then added, "He’s a good person and has been a gentlemen throughout the whole process... I respect that."

Campaign letter centers on re-zone request

By Holly Grosch

NEW SCOTLAND — Republicans were distressed by a last-minute campaign letter sent to New Scotland residents by the Democrats. They called it "a blatant distortion of facts" while the winning Democratic candidate responded that the letter was accurate and informative.

The letter centered on a planning board decision last week to not re-zone an area in the northeast part of town slated for dense development.

The mailed letter is dated Nov. 2, the day after the planning board meeting. It was signed by all three Democratic candidates: Elizabeth Stewart, running for supervisor, and Margaret Neri and Wayne LaChapelle, running for town board. Only Neri was elected.

By the time that residents received the letter on Friday or Saturday, there wasn’t enough time to send out a response, said Supervisor Ed Clark, who won his reelection bid on the Republican line.

About 170 residents petitioned the town board in October asking for two-acre zoning on land where a development of 286 upscale homes on 267 acres is planned. The town board sent the petitioners’ request to the planning board which recommended, by unanimous vote, the area should not be rezoned. (The meeting was covered in a Nov. 3 Enterprise article.)

"I do not think it was an above-board campaign tactic," Clark said.

Councilman-elect Douglas LaGrange said he saw it as a direct attack against him since it names him solely as a planning-board member.

The letter starts off, "This week, the town planning board, which includes Doug LaGrange and other members hand-picked by Ed Clark, voted unanimously against changing the zoning in the Tall Timbers area to a more restrictive two-acre zoning."

The letter goes on to say that the Democratic candidates find the density proposed for Kensington Woods to be "unacceptable," and, as town officials, they will scale it down.

The letter suggests that the candidates disagree with the planning board’s decision, and also suggest that the planning board’s recommendation to not re-zone will prevent the control of the size of the proposed development.

But the main message in the letter is one of planning. The candidates pledge to work with developers and the planning board to build in "harmony with the character of New Scotland."

"I felt totally misrepresented," Clark said. He also said that the letter indicates that the Democratic candidates support a rezone, when that’s not the case.

"It’s a Johnny-come-lately to the issue," Clark said. It was obviously sent to sway the voters and pander to the 170 petitioners, Clark said.

Clark said it was not correct to identify him as the person who "hand- picked" the people on the planning board; the real opponents to the rezone are planning board members who have been on the board since before his administration, Clark said.

Also, in recent years, many of the appointments to the planning board have been made with split party votes, with the Democrats’ choice winning out.

It wasn’t fair to point out LaGrange in the letter when there are six other planning board members who agreed with the recommendation, both LaGrange and Clark said.

"I took it a little personally because I thought I had a great relationship with Bob Stapf...I didn’t think he was so political," LaGrange said of the board’s chairman. But, now, LaGrange said, looking back on last week’s planning board meeting, "There was a little more exuberance on his [Stapf] and Louis Neri’s part," to force a vote from the planning board before the election.

Louis Neri is the husband of board member elect Margaret Neri, he works as the attorney for the planning and zoning board. (See Related Story). Stapf had endorsed Neri for town board.

"I wonder what their motives were," LaGrange said. While he hopes that it was innocent, he said, "I have my doubts." LaGrange said that he has no solid proof that Stapf and Louis Neri where in cahoots, but it does raise the question in his mind, he said. Forcing a vote and then taking the opportunity to send out a misleading letter that says "Douglas LaGrange is for high density," when that’s not the case at all, LaGrange said.

Stapf could not be reached for comment this week, because he is vacation in California for the rest of the month.

Neri gave his legal opinion on procedure at the board’s request last week. He said that the planning board did not have to hold a public hearing on the matter and that the petition request was forwarded to the planning board simply for a recommendation. The public hearings will be held at the town board level, he advised.

"I don’t know where Doug is coming from...I don’t know how he could possibly come to that conclusion," Louis Neri told The Enterprise yesterday. The board opened it up to discussion and planning board member Robert Smith, a Republican, moved the board to vote on it, Neri said. He added that he is shocked by LaGrange’s accusation.

At the Nov. 1 planning board meeting, The Enterprise observed the board members were in favor of making a recommendation right away; no one requested that the board wait on the vote, and there was no disagreement among the board members on the opinion that this area of town should not be re-zoned.

The only planning board member who didn’t speak individually and explain his position was LaGrange, although he did vote in favor of the recommendation to not change the zoning.

Additionally, while Stapf is regularly a vocal and dominating chairman, he attempted to solicit numerous times from the other board members their views on the matter, more so than usual.

Planning board member Robert Smith was just as, if not more, vocally adamant about not changing the zoning. He along with Stapf were planning board members in 1994, when a comprehensive plan for the town was drafted.

LaGrange had the ability to make a motion to table the vote or to amend it, Neri said. He said it sounds like LaGrange is now trying to make up excuses, but, "He won — so what’s his problem"" Neri asked, an excuse for why Gleason didn’t win" "It makes no sense," Neri said.

Neri called back a few minutes later to add, why was it so important to LaGrange to not vote before the election. "Did he have something to hide"" Neri asked.

LaGrange said the discussion of a zoning recommendation was the last thing on the agenda at the Nov. 1 planning board meeting and board members received just one sheet of the many pages of petition, with a dozen or so names on it. LaGrange said he didn’t have enough information to support warranting a zone change so he had to vote with the board.

Margaret Neri said that one of the reasons the Democrats wanted to send out the letter about the planning-board decision is because that Nov. 1 meeting had been poorly attended, with the petitioners not being present, and the Democratic candidates wanted to let New Scotlanders know what had happened.

None of the Democratic candidates had been in attendance at the meeting either.

The letter just describes the action of the board, Mrs. Neri said.

Neri said another reason she wanted to send the letter is because LaGrange has been going around expressing a different mind-set than what he voted on, Neri said.

Clark said that the letter misrepresented his position on the whole thing. He disapproves of the way the planning board handled the situation: Discussing the re-zone hadn’t been placed on the agenda until the day of the meeting Clark said; the planning board didn’t tell the town board it would be on the agenda; and none of the 170 petitions were informed the discussion was going to happen.

The planning board members should not have made a recommendation without any input from the petition sponsors, Clark said.

"Their approach was totally contradictory to good public policy," Clark said. Sponsors should always have the opportunity to represent their side, he said.

While Clark and LaGrange criticized the Democrats for pulling LaGrange’s name out of the board and pinpointing him in their letter, the Republican candidates wrote a response letter, which they handed out door-to-door, since there was not enough time to mail them before Election Day. In their letter, the Republicans single out planning board Chairman Stapf.

"Don’t be fooled," their letter reads in bold, "The most ardent opponent of the rezoning proposal has been the Democratic appointed chairman of the planning board Bob Staph (sic)."

"Again, no one I’ve appointed," Clark said.

"They are talking out both sides of their mouth," Clark said on Wednesday; on one hand, you have the chairman saying no rezoning and then in a flyer sent out by Neri, Stapf is publicly endorsing her.

"She’s taking his endorsement, but refuting his position," Clark said.

"It’s a complete smoke screen of policy" that contradicts itself, Clark said.

"That is an unfair characterization," Neri responded. She said that she and Stapf have never talked about the Kensington Woods proposal. He is a qualified person, who "endorses me based on my qualification," Neri said.

The Democratic candidates sent the letters because they wanted to tell voters what had happened at the planning board meeting, Neri reiterated. "There was nothing derogatory in the letter," Neri said.

She said that she just wants to see the process move forward, and get to the bottom of how everyone in the community feels about Kensington Woods and re-zoning. She said, for the people that feel short-changed, a compromise needs to be made, and the letter was saying the same thing: compromising and working together, Neri said.

Neri said that she wants to start out on a positive note with her fellow board members.

The rest of the Republicans response letter highlights ways that the Republican candidates "actively pursued" strengthening the town planning documents to prevent urban sprawl. It lists appointing a professional planner to the planning board, creating and supporting the Residents’ Planning Advisory Committee, and moving the petition to rezone into deliberation quickly.

The letter concludes with a promise from the Republicans, when they win, to update the comprehensive plan.

Tuesday night, despite their loss, Clark said he’s still going to pursue updating the comprehensive plan, "I don’t know where the Democrats will be," Clark said, but their letter "seemed to indicate an accord with the need to review zoning...I would hope they continue to support that view."

Questions on water district merger

By Holly Grosch

NEW SCOTLAND — About 40 people attended a public hearing on consolidating the Clarksville and North Road water districts last Wednesday at the Onesquethaw firehouse.

While the legal reason for this month’s meeting was to discuss consolidating the two districts into one — so that North Road residents will pay their share of infrastructure cost — residents had many other questions. They asked about the needed maintenance, upgrades, and proposed extensions.

For a water tank to only last 12 years is "appalling," said Clarksville resident Russell Shaver, stating other tanks last 20 to 30 years. He wanted to know: Had the town not maintained the tank properly over the years or was it constructed poorly to begin with"

"We need to find out the root of the problem," he said, suggesting "legal recourse," if the tank were poorly constructed.

The water committee chairman and town engineer, R. Mark Dempf, said, "Maybe there is."

A number of Clarksville residents remember the problems they had with the construction company when the original water district was built in the late 1980’s.

Last time around, Shaver said, "It was horrible." He would like to see more quality control from Town Hall with this project, he said.

"The first district was slipshod," he said as murmurs of agreement came from the rest of the audience. "It was a fiasco," he said.

People asked how long the new second tank will last before they have to attend another meeting.

Dempf said another 15 years.

One of the reasons Feura Bush’s tank has lasted a little longer than Clarksville’s is because the water quality is different, Councilman Scott Houghtaling said. Clarksville’s water is harder, for example.

Dempf referred to a handout that charted six various projects with differing costs. He said the town has to pick one of the options, and the idea is to include as many new users as possible, which will help pay for the overall project.

For example, to just make the needed improvements — replacing the tank, upgrading the booster pump, and repairing the well house — the project will cost $446,000, meaning an average annual user cost of $661.

However, if the town makes those improvement plus allows the 43 residents with direct access to the existing mains and extends the district to the lower half of Upper Flat Rock Road and a few people along Route 32, the overall project would cost $702,000, but individual user cost would be only $632.

The town board is considering 20-, 25- and 30-year bonds and refinancing the debt.

Resident Susan Dee said that taking out a 20-year bond for maintenance scares her.

"That’s a very bad thing," she said; bonding on capital improvement projects is okay, but to bond on maintenance is a very bad idea.

It’s always cheaper to do maintenance along the way, she said. "As a responsible citizen...I would rather pay to expand the life of the equipment," Dee said.

Supervisor Ed Clark responded, "I agree, that’s not what we should do." The current town board cannot explain or speak on what has happened in the past with other elected officials, he said, concluding, "I do not believe we advocate for that anymore," Clark said.

The current board has discussed setting a higher water rate to set aside a reserve fund, to pay for regular maintenance; currently there is no reserve.

Houghtaling said that, while the extension of the district is the long-term goal of the town, it is realistically two or three years out.


But this year, Houghtaling said, the board needs to decide on consolidation.

The town wants the consolidation to go into effect Jan. 1.

Houghtaling said that consolidating the two districts will raise the rate for those currently in the North Road district and lower the rate for those in the Clarksville District. North Road users will start paying into the current infrastructure cost, including sharing the debt.

When the North Road Water District was formed in 1995, the town received a grant because of pollutants and contamination in the groundwater. One of the conditions of the funding was that North Road would, after three years, have to be consolidated with Clarksville — it’s past due, Dempf said.

Houghtaling said, with the grant, Clarksville residents did benefit at the time as well, because an additional well was drilled on Winnie Lane for backup.

North Road benefits

But, for a number of years now, users in the North Road District have been getting their water through Clarksville pipes and not helping to pay for the upkeep of those pipes and the wells.

One resident from the North Road Water District was among the three dozen attending last week’s public hearing — Larry Baumgartner.

At a Sept. 29 informational meeting, only one couple from North Road attended — the Wellers.

Houghtaling said that it was a problem for the town board that more North Road Water District residents are not taking an interest in the meetings and becoming informed about the project.

"I don’t want to pay any more than I have to...but if we’re using the water and facilities then we should pay for them," Baumgartner said.

Houghtaling said that he was glad to hear that was his sentiment.

Town attorney Michael Mackey said that, if the town board resolves to consolidate, North Road residents could petition to put the consolidation to a vote to overturn the board’s decision.

Houghtaling stated that, if North Road residents petition and the result of the citizen vote prevents consolidation, the board has decided that "we would raise your water rate" so that one way or another North Road residents will have to start paying more.

Mike Mullen, of Lower Flat Rock Road, pressed the board to find out how he can make the proposed extensions happen as soon as possible. He said that the pipe is right in front of his house but he still doesn’t have public water.

The process takes years, Houghtaling said.

Clarksville residents were hesitant about last week’s meeting supporting extensions. They were concerned about the cost of extending pipe lines, their continual upkeep, and the yield capability of the well.

Dempf said that there is plenty of water in the wells; the difficulty is getting it out to people.

Self-storage units planned for condos on Route 85

By Holly Grosch

NEW SCOTLAND — The development proposal for Route 85 next to the vacant Saab dealership, has been revised once again by the applicants seeking town approval.

Now, along with senior townhouses and condos, self-storage facilities are proposed for the back of the commercial space.

More than a year has passed since Donald Zee, an attorney from Chazen Companies, originally introduced the joint venture between Gordon Brother Development Company and Amedore Homes for residences on the 74-acre lot, which lies half in a commercial zone and half in an industrial zone.

Last week, Zee was before the planning board once again with a revised plan, hoping to receive a positive recommendation to go back to the town board and receive the necessary zoning change.

The newest diagrams show the whole development surrounded by a buffer of trees and shrubs, which was at the planning board’s request. Planning board Chairman Robert Stapf said that the plans now show preservation of the woods between the development and the existing private homes to the east along Route 85 and about a 30-foot thick greenery screen around the rest of the development.

Concerns town officials have expressed to the applicant over the course of the year’s planned-unit development review have been: reducing overall density, including affordable housing, providing recreational green space, and preserving commercial space.

Last week, Zee announced that Gordon Brothers wants to fill 55,000 square feet of the reserved commercial space with self-storage buildings. It is anticipated that most of the storage units will be used by the residents of the proposed condos, Zee said, which was the case for a similar Amedore Homes-Gordon Brothers development in Rotterdam.

Zee said that self-storage was perfect for the town of New Scotland because it adds to the tax base without adding traffic, since the self-storage units will be used by the owners of the housing in the development.

Planning board member Kevin Kroencke said that he is hesitant about slightly less than half of the 125,000 square feet of commercial space being used up by self storage for the condominium owners. He said that he would like the commercial space to serve the existing residents in town as well.

The front of the commercial space is still reserved for businesses like restaurants, barbershops, and movie theaters, Zee said. The proposed PUD legislation of permitted uses in that commercial space lists what is already part of the town’s commercial and industrial zoning ordinance, Zee said, but he would like more feedback from the town on what types of commercial development the town would like to permit in this area, and which types of uses would be undesirable.

A businessman with franchise rights for two types of food service has spoken with Gordon Brothers stating an interest in developing the front of this commercial area, Zee said.

What will drive the project is public water and sewer, Zee said.

The town required more research to examine the sewer options.

Last month, the town board commissioned the town’s engineering firm, Vollmer Associates, do a sewer study, which will be paid for by Gordon Brothers. The applicants have set aside $24,000 in an escrow account to pay for Vollmer’s study of Bethehem’s sewer capacity and capability to service this and the surrounding area of the proposed development.

Since Zee’s last appearance before the town, a Chazen engineer has done a rough analysis of where the wetlands are on the property, Zee said. He is trying to avoid having to do an official wetland delineation until after the zoning change is granted and it comes to the site plan review phase of the project.

The proposed housing has remained virtually the same since the last visit to the planning board: 206 units in total for people 55 or older. How many children to be permitted per unit is still to be worked out.

The development includes: 40 two-bed-room condominium flats without garages to cost $140,000 each; 100 condos with garages to cost $180,000 each, and 66 townhouse units where the homeowners will own both the first and second floor and a garage. Housing in each price range is clustered together, with the cheapest residences abutting the commercial space and now the proposed self-storage buildings.

Planning board member Robert Smith asked if Amedore Homes would be willing to eliminate its cheaper condominiums to leave more room for commercial development.

"Yes, we would consider it if it makes us money," Zee said. But, he went on, he is confused and receiving mixed messages because other town officials told him that they wanted affordable housing.

[Return to Home Page]