DRYDEN, NY – On Thursday, the Dryden Town Board voted unanimously to approve a housing development project that had faced prolonged opposition.

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A 10-unit, 32-bedroom townhouse development with a 25-space parking lot will be coming to 902 Dryden Road in the Hamlet of Varna (which is in turn part of Dryden).

The project had faced opposition since Oct. 2015, as some residents argued that it did not fit in with the area it was planned for, which is zoned for “traditional” use. There were also concerns it would draw student renters, who might not be a good fit for the quiet, rural area.

Others had opposed the project due to environmental concerns regarding the flood plain on the north end of the property along Fall Creek.

Town board members praised the developer Modern Living Rentals and architects from STREAM Collaborative for being receptive and willing to adjust their original site plan to attempt to address the community’s concerns.

The team had made multiple changes, including scaling back the overall scope of the project and moving further away from the flood plain. Dan Lamb noted how the newest version of the site plan called for buildings that reflected some of the traditional design aesthetics that would help it better fit in the neighborhood.

One person, Todd Bittner, Director of Natural Areas at Cornell Plantations, spoke during public comment. He commended the changes the designers had made, but said he was still concerned about the stormwater plan, as well as some other smaller concerns.

Others who had been opposing the project from the start did not speak at this meeting.

(Featured photo courtesy of the Humerez family)

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.