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May 15, 2013

City to weigh requests for housing permits

The Oneonta Planning Commission will meet tonight for public hearings on multiple student housing requests.

The meeting will be in the Asa C. Allison Municipal Building at 4 Academy St. At 6 p.m., hearings will be for five Greek-life organizations seeking special-use permits.

At 7 p.m., a hearing is scheduled for Hillside Commons, a mandated State Environmental Quality Review and general issues about the proposed project.

Newman Development Group has proposed a four-story, 330-bed student apartment complex to be built on Blodgett Drive, and the project has generated mixed reactions from landlords, businesses, residents and organizations.

Newman Development seeks site plan approval for the project from the Oneonta Planning Commission, which first must complete a SEQR ruling on environmental impacts. 

Newman Development has plans to start construction this summer with occupancy set for the fall 2014 term. The proposed complex would be near the State University College at Oneonta.

Planning Commission Chairman Dennis Finn said commissioners won’t take any action on the SEQR or site plan applications tonight. If a report from Delaware Engineering, which was hired by the city to review the project, indicates plans are in order, the commission will consider finalizing a schedule to complete the reviews, he said.

Finn said the commission still is receiving and accepting letters with concerns and views about the project. The goal for the hearing tonight is to allow time for everyone who wishes to comment.

Five groups seek city-required special-use permits for a one-year period, from May 31 to May 31, 2014, to use residences as either a fraternity or a sorority, a hearing notice from the city said. The organizations and their addresses are:

• Phi Sigma Phi sorority at 6 Myrtle Ave.

• Alpha Omicron Pi sorority at 17 Maple St.

• Gamma Phi sorority at 23 Elm St.

• Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at 61 Elm St.

• Phi Kappa fraternity at 56 Maple St.

Planners approved permits last year for these organizations.

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