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Wayne Post
  • Canandaigua Happiness House project moves ahead

  • The Canandaigua Happiness House will be expanding.



    The first phase of the expansion — the construction of a 20-unit apartment building for low-income housing — will be about $3.8 million estimated Happiness House CEO Mary Boatfield. The goal is to begin construction toward the end of summer, she added. It’s expected to take about a year.

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  • The Canandaigua Happiness House will be expanding.
    The first phase of the expansion — the construction of a 20-unit apartment building for low-income housing — will be about $3.8 million estimated Happiness House CEO Mary Boatfield. The goal is to begin construction toward the end of summer, she added. It’s expected to take about a year.
    The plan is to completely fund the first phase through grants, Boatfield said. The organization — which is a non-profit that offers programs and services for children and adults with disabilities — is aiming to fund the project through state grants.
    The move was made official earlier this month when the Canandaigua Town Board passed a local law that would change the zoning for Happiness House to a Planned Unit Development (PUD).
    The group’s Canandaigua location — and the spot that they’ll be expanding at — is at 5415 County Road 30.
    The total expansion — which includes six low-income housing apartment buildings, three transitional apartment buildings, an administrative building, a community center, and a storage/facilities barn — passed 3-2. Councilmembers Pam Helming and Greg Westbrook voted against the resolution.
    The concern with the expansion — from both residents and some members of the Town Board — was the additional development on County Road 30, specifically across from the newly added Richard P. Outhouse Memorial Park.
    “I can't get past this density,” Helming said. She added that allowing the change would set a precedent of development, and added that there is nothing aesthetically pleasing about the buildings that will be constructed.
    “The four buildings look like barracks,” Helming said.
    Some residents at the Town Board meeting agreed with Helming.
    Keith Cutri, of Canandaigua, said the two-story buildings simply do not fit the area. He added that the change could have an impact on city residents as well, due to its close location to the city’s borders.
    Many who were against the expansion, such as Helming and Cutri, noted that they supported the Happiness House and its mission, but said they are not in favor of the additional development.
    The other members of the board — Sam Casella, Ralph Brandt and Terry Fennelly — were not concerned by the aesthetics of the project.
    “Clearly there is a need for this,” Casella said. “I have no problem with the density. I think this is a great location.”
    Brandt added that the addition will allow a community asset to continue to thrive.
    “Sometimes we have to make a decision for the greater good,” he said. “This is not just the greater good for the county, but also for New York State. This is the right thing to do.”
     
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