INHS email: meetings, listening sessions, open house, and concerns

Below is an email sent today from Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, the affordable housing developer for the Hamilton Square project.


We’d like to announce several upcoming opportunities for participation. First, a big thank you to everyone who attended the July 13th community meeting – we were impressed with the turnout! For those who couldn’t attend, we compiled the questions and comments from the Q & A session into several themes, which can be found further down in this message.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, July 27:
We will attend the Planning Board meeting and provide a “sketch plan” presentation. This is merely to update the Board on where we are in our process and how we’re addressing concerns – the presentation will be roughly the same as that given at the July 13th community meeting. The Planning Board meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. at the Fire Hall.

Tuesday, August 8:
Attend a listening session! We heard requests for more listening sessions with evening time slots, so here’s your opportunity for a 30 minute small group conversation with Claudia Brenner and INHS. These sessions are for those who were unable to attend our first set of sessions in early July. Sessions will be from 4:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Village Hall. SIGN UP HERE, or email Alena Fast / call her at 607-277-4500 ext 236. Couples: please sign up as two people to avoid us inadvertently having larger groups.

Thursday, August 17:
Attend our third community meeting! This meeting will focus on traffic, with a presentation including Steve Ferranti of traffic engineering firm SRF & Associates, followed by a Q & A session. The meeting will be from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts.

Saturday, August 19:
Attend an open house at our newest development in downtown Ithaca! You will have the opportunity to tour two new for-sale townhomes located at 206 and 208 Hancock Street (part of the larger 210 Hancock development). The open house will be from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and is only being advertised to Trumansburg residents.

Thursday, August 24:
We will appear before the Planning Board to present a revised subdivision sketch plan. This is our first official step in what will be a several month-long Planning Board process with several opportunities for public comment. For more information on the process, talk with Matt Johnston, Village Planner.

What We Heard at the July 13th Community Meeting:

Traffic: Residents are concerned that Hamilton Square will increase the volume of traffic along South Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Village members were also concerned about children walking to school along South Street and questioned whether additional traffic calming measures would be needed to ensure their safety.

Taxes: Some residents believe that 46 South Street, if developed as planned, will fail to realize its full tax generating potential. Others feel they need more information before they can determine whether the project will create a tax benefit or burden.

Support: A number of residents said they would like to see the project move forward and that Hamilton Square would help families and individuals currently living in the village access healthy housing.

INHS’s Role: Residents asked questions about INHS’s role in the management and maintenance of rental properties. There were additional questions about the development timeline and the land lease agreement for the Community Housing Trust.

Project Pace: Some residents stated that the development process has progressed too quickly and that they felt blindsided at the initial community meeting.

Density: Some residents expressed concern about the number of units at Hamilton Square and believe that the development is not in keeping with the Comprehensive Plan or the character of the village.

Meetings tomorrow (Monday, July 10)

There are two meetings tomorrow, Monday, July 10, at the Village Hall (parking lot next to the Episcopal church and across the way by the old post office).

6pm: Zoning Board of Appeals meeting

Requests for variances (exceptions) from our zoning regulations are made here, and either approved or denied.

Current Trumansburg zoning allows “care cottages” in someone’s back yard, to allow families to house aging parents close by. They need to be temporary and removed after they’re no longer needed.

There’s a house on Whig St that has one, which was built as a permanent structure and grandfathered in as a care cottage. They want a zoning variance to convert it to a secondary dwelling unit, so it can be rented out.  The lot size is about 11,000 sq ft, so it’s not to current code even for one dwelling (minimum lot size 15,000 sq ft). Two dwellings require a lot size of 22,500 sq ft.

This particular variance request may set a precedent, in the direction of increasing density. Converting a care cottage to a secondary dwelling, particularly on a lot that’s already out of compliance, would create a loophole that circumvents our density regulations.

There should be an opportunity for the public to provide input at the meeting.


7pm: Village Board of Trustees meeting

This is the draft agenda:

There currently isn’t an agenda item directly related to Hamilton Square, but items can be brought up under New Business or Old Business without being on the agenda.

Indirectly related is an agenda item about a Planning Board alternate (the Planning Board determines whether Hamilton Square goes forward). Also indirectly related is an item about adding new member from the community to the zoning revision committee.

While there are other agenda items that are relatively mundane, personally I find it interesting to learn more about all aspects of village management.  Hope to see you there!

Nancy Tubbs

Major Development on the Horizon!

This is the flyer handed out in Trumansburg yesterday.  If you’d like more, email me at and I’ll get you more.

There is one date change (already!).  The developers were planning to submit a plan on July 13 and present it officially at the Village Planning Board meeting in July.  The developer has moved this to August.  There is still a Planning Board meeting in July, just not an official presentation from the developers.

There will still be a public community meeting July 13, where the developer will present their latest plans!!  Now the developer can incorporate feedback from this community meeting, as well as another round of Listening Sessions later in July, into their plans.  The community meeting is Thursday, July 13, 7-9pm, at the Conservatory (corner of Congress and McLallen Streets).

Links to pdf files for printing:

HS Development Info Flyer

Questions+Choices Flyer

flyer 1

flyer 2

flyer 3

Free Press/ write-up from Planning Board and Village Board meetings

Trumansburg Residents Want Answers to Hamilton Square Questions

The Village Board of Trustees has reached out to Brenner and INHS to offer a possible relationship. At the June 12 meeting of the trustees board member Rordan Hart argued that if the plan could move forward without tax payer money he would not have suggested the idea, but in order to build the necessary road through the property that will be given to the village the trustees might be involved in accessing state funds and it will then be maintained with tax payer money. Because of this situation, Hart argued the trustees should offer to work with the developers if they were open to the idea. It has been confirmed by INHS and Brenner that the representatives from the trustees will be sitting down with the developers to discuss how the two bodies can work together on this project, the trustees acting as representatives of their constituents who have voiced concerns.

Tonight’s Planning Board Mtg: developers off, big letter presented

The agenda for tonight’s Planning Board meeting has come out.

The developers will not be presenting.  However, a letter signed by 72 community members will be presented to the board.  And there is time set aside for both comments from the Planning Board chair, and for community comments and questions (3 minutes per person).

It should be a great opportunity to learn, ask questions, and to share thoughts and concerns. See you there!

Nancy Tubbs