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Modular home development project in Coxsackie still stalled 10 years later

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    A proposal to build a 280-modular home park in the Village of Coxsackie has been awaiting approval for 11 years.
  • Empty
    A proposal to build a 280-modular home park in the Village of Coxsackie has been awaiting approval for 11 years.
  • Empty
    A proposal to build a 280-modular home park in the Village of Coxsackie has been awaiting approval for 11 years.
October 5, 2017 - 11:30 pm Updated: October 6, 2017 - 11:45 am

*Editor's note: This story corrects an earlier version. The open house will be held Sunday at 25 Van Dyck St. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

COXSACKIE — More than a decade after starting plans for a $32 million modular home park, a private developing firm based in New Jersey is still waiting approval to go ahead with the project.

UMH Properties, a real estate investment trust based in Freehold, New Jersey, first proposed building Mountain View Estates, a 280-unit modular home park on a 110-acre former dairy farm at 25 Van Dyck St., in 2006.

But the project, which received the approval of the state on the basis of its environmental review, has since been dormant.

There has been no explanation as to why advancement of the project has stalled, according to UMH officials.

The model homes, built on traditional concrete foundations, would be either single-floor or two-story homes, with attached two-car garages.

The plans also include a modular community clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pool, walking trails and community gardens. A community manager will live on site to ensure services and security, according to a company flier advertising Mountain View Estates.

The project is expected to generate property tax revenue of more than $2 million a year, according to UMH.

The publicly traded company owns and operates more than 107 manufactured home communities and more than 19,000 homes in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana and Michigan.

Sam Landy, president and CEO of project development for UMH, said what first attracted him to Coxsackie was its proximity to the New York State Thruway, the Hudson River and other locations.

“It’s a half-hour from Hunter Mountain, 18 miles from Albany, just off Interstate 90, and it’s some of the best local real estate in the eastern half of the U.S.,” he said. “The growth in the economy there and the demand for property could be incredible if you had a pro-business mayor and trustees.”

Employees at warehouses or distribution centers such as Ferguson Plumbing Supply, Save-A-Lot, Serta Mattress — all located in the town of Coxsackie — and the prisons which employ about 2,200 workers, would supply a market for the homes, he said.

The project is in the hands of the Coxsackie Village Planning Board.

Village Mayor Mark Evans said he is in support of development in the village but stopped short of endorsing the project.

“I support any type of development in the village or around or near the village, but we have had other projects in the village such as the JCB development, which was not well-constructed, and it is our responsibility as the village government to make sure we don’t have a situation like that again,” Evans said.

The project was halted in 2011 after a sewage overflow into the Hudson River and a moratorium was imposed in the village by the state Department of Environmental Conservation which prevented any major projects from being built that would require sewer hookup.

That could change in 2018 when the village begins work in the spring on a $10 million sewer project.

Landy said he is hoping to gain approval for his development this year before the sewage work begins so that the first 100 houses could be ready to be hooked up by the time the sewage project is completed.

An open house will be held Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 25 Van Dyck St. to give neighbors a chance to ask questions about the project.

On Monday at 6:45 p.m., a public hearing will be held to introduce Local Law No. 6 of 2017 which would “repeal Local Law No. 4 of 2008 and replace Chapter 87 of the Village Code of the Village of Coxsackie in its entirety,” according to a public meeting notice.

A copy of the proposed replacement ordinance is not available on the village’s website, but Landy said he believes the ordinance would allow him to build 80 homes on the entire 110 acres. His current proposal is to build 160 homes on 64 acres, with 50 additional acres for potential future development.

Evans said the local law change has nothing directly to do with UMH, but it “could affect them.”

Landy disagreed.

“If they adopt the new ordinance, it is absolutely clear proof they don’t want to work with UMH,” Landy said. “For them to adopt this ordinance would be contrary to what they were promising us the last two years. If they adopt this, it means they were lying to us and they had no intention of approving.”

If the law is approved, Landy said he will begin litigation or mothball the project.

“Someday there will be a mayor and the village that will be pro-growth,” he said.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.