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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 1, 2009

Plans to develop Voorhees property
Historic house on the hill may soon have new neighbors

By Philippa Stasiuk

VOORHEESVILLE — Troy Miller is planning a major subdivision for the historic Voorhees House property on Prospect Street.

Glenn Hebert, superintendent of Voorheesville’s building department, told the village board at its September meeting that the owner, Harold Veeder, is dividing the 16-acre parcel into six lots and is in contract to sell five of them to Miller. While Veeder will maintain ownership of his Victorian house, Miller says that he plans to build single-family three- to four-bedroom homes on the other five lots.

“The parcel is zoned for a lot more lots but we wanted to keep a lot of open green space preserved,” said Miller. “We haven’t specifically come up with designs for the houses yet. We’re thinking of doing house designs that keep a lot of character of older style homes but we’d also like to build to suit, depending on what the client wants.”

Alonzo B. Voorhees, an Albany lawyer, built the house in 1867 on a five-acre property overlooking the junction of Prospect and Main streets. Through two later land buys, he amassed a total of 16 acres. Although Voorhees lived in the village for only four years before returning to Albany, the village was named for him after he successfully convinced the postmaster general in 1868 that the train stop in New Scotland needed a post office.

In 1879, the Voorhees House became a boarding house run by Mrs. Mahula Hoes, wife of S.V.R. Hoes. According to Dennis Sullivan’s book on the history of Voorheesville, the house attracted wealthy vacationing Albanians who took the train to Voorheesville to escape the city’s heat in late summer, and who appreciated the house for its convenient location near the train depot.

Miller said that plans for the subdivision are in the early stages but that he hopes to break ground on the building in the spring. The planning board meeting addressing this project will take place on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. upstairs at the village hall and is open to the public.

Other business

In other business, the board:

— Heard from Trustee William Hotaling that, at the September planning board meeting, the board approved a new sign for the First Niagara Bank on Maple Road and granted a 180-day extension to Claude Rodrigue to begin construction on his previously approved cluster development at 101 Maple Ave.;

— Heard from Trustee John Stevens that he will be researching parking tickets and will report to the board on numbers of  fines and reprieves that are being processed in Voorheesville’s court; 

— Heard from Department of Public Works Superintendent Will Smith that the village’s brush cleanup has been completed and leaf pickup is beginning;

— Heard from Mayor Robert Conway that the village offers its condolences to the family of Ann Roberts; and

— Heard from Bill Garvey during the public comment portion of the meeting recommendations for how to save the village money.

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