TRUMANSBURG, N.Y. — The Trumansburg Planning Board and public got a look at revised site plans for the Hamilton Square project (though it’s not using that name anymore) on Thursday that attempt to address some concerns from community.

The proposed housing at 46 South Street in Trumansburg would bring 17-market rate for-sale units, 10 affordable for-sale townhomes, six affordable rental townhomes and 40 rental apartments in a two-story building, Joe Bowes, director of real estate development at Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services told the Planning Board on Thursday.

“By clustering the majority of the rental units in a larger building, what we’ve been able to do is basically disturb the site less,” Bowes said.

Nearly 100 people came to hear the proposal update Thursday evening in the auditoriums of Trumansburg Elementary School. The proposal, which is a collaboration between Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services and developer Claudia Brenner, has been hotly debated by the community. The site is 19 acres in the Village of Trumansburg, a short distance from downtown.

The goal of the project, plan documents state, is to “create an intergenerational, mixed-income community where seniors can age in place and young families can purchase homes in the very competitive local housing market.”

Some of the biggest highlights of the revised plan includes more clustering of apartments, a more senior friendly building and handicapped accessible units and less site disturbance overall. The changes reduced the number of people that would be living there from 188 to about 140 people. The number of buildings decreased from 29 to 19 in the latest version of the plan. Less people means less cars. The plan estimates the number of vehicles will be about 104.

The main apartment building will include a large community lounge with a kitchenette and laundry room, plus maintenance offices. The plan still includes space for a nursery school, which would be operated by Trumansburg Community Nursery School.

The updated plan responds to some concerns raised by the community so far, including drainage, density, compliance with the village’s affordable housing requirements and traffic. The detailed response to those concerns is available in the full updated plan is available here.

Here is a quick look back at past concepts for the site:

On left, old concept from Aug. 2017. On right, concept presented Oct. 2017.

And the latest concept:

Concept Dec. 2017

Since the latest concepts no longer resemble a square layout, the developers are moving away from the name Hamilton Square, though they don’t have a replacement yet. The updated concept, dated December 2017, makes the entrance to the housing a private road. It also adds a wooded nature path that would be open to anyone. The path would lead to an open public space, presenters said, which could have an amphitheater, a playground or gazebo.

About ten people spoke at the meeting Thursday evening, with voices for and against the project.

One speaker handed the Planning Board a petition containing 669 signatures opposing the proposal, including 432 local residents who reside in Trumansburg and Ulysses, or are part of the Trumansburg Central School District. The petition states “We, the concerned citizens of Trumansburg, implore the Village government to reject the Hamilton Square proposal as currently designed and to proactively consider better options for addressing the development of our village and neighborhoods!”

The petition lists 13 top issues, including there being too many rental units bringing too many residents and cars that will overwhelm the neighborhood, and that it does not fit “village character” and Village Comprehensive Plan priorities. The petition also lists several environmental concerns regarding drainage and wildlife habitat being cut down.

Several people at the meeting did speak in support of the proposal, pointing to a clear need for affordable housing in Trumansburg and Tompkins County.

The notion of what the housing will do to the character of the community has been referenced repeatedly. While some people say the dense housing and affordable housing will hurt the character of the neighborhood, a few members of the public Thursday argued the opposite. Adding more people, including young families to the neighborhood, would bring more patrons to local businesses and add more children to the school district.

The plan for 46 South Street is still in the very early stages. Members of the Trumansburg Planning Board must now review the latest plan containing hundreds of pages. There will be studies and input from a number of involved agencies, such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Town of Ulysses, and several others.

For more information and updates about the project, visit here.

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.