Stony Point debates future of Letchworth

The ongoing buzz surrounding Stony Point’s Letchworth property continues as plans to use the former site as a multi-generational community have caused quite a stir with residents and town council members as they are still not seeing eye to eye. The $3.1 million proposed project is currently under development with the Hudson Park Group who have worked on mixed-use properties in other parts of the state. 

This 30-acre new planned community is set to offer townhouses for those 55 and over as well as an assisted living facility which has sparked interest in local residents. A non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the Hudson Park Group and the Town of Stony Point in August with the proposal only having until December to be finalized. The project has received backlash from members of the community who believe that it will increase the cost of living as well as property taxes. A majority of Stony Point residents previously down voted a proposal to sell 26-acres of the property last year including the adjacent Patriot Hills Golf Course. 

The public, however, will have another opportunity to voice their opinions pending another vote on November 8. Activist groups such as SPACE have been attending town meetings in relation to the project as they have been taking a stand against the proposal and the town’s alleged decision of keeping the matter “hush hush” at the moment.    

  SPACE president George Potanovic addressed this sentiment to  Town Supervisor Jim Monaghan at a previous meeting earlier this month complaining  that Stony Point officials were not being “transparent” to residents and notifying the public about important developments in a sufficient time frame.

One of the meetings mentioned by Potanovic involved a presentation with Hudson Park Group developer Glen Vetromile to further discuss the detailed plans for the community with Stony Point residents at the Patriot Hills Golf Course only a few weeks ago.

At the meeting, Vetromile and Monaghan addressed the public’s questions following the presentation noting the cost, size and length of the construction process which are considered one of the town’s largest and most expensive investments.

Monaghan has stated that all meetings were meant for residents as he wants the town’s citzens to be informed and is open to feedback regarding their opinions on the matter. He also noted that most of the residents present at these public gatherings were simply there “to learn and listen” a process he accommodated  by opening up the floor for questions and commentary.

Before this proposal, Monaghan said that there has been interest in the property over the past few  decades since Letchworth was left abandoned in the late 1990’s. Monaghan said that the town was approached by various interested buyers who were interested in turning the property into a gas station, recreation center and even a Great Wolf Lodge.

Letchworth Village was originally conceived as a mental institution that opened in 1911 with approximately 130 buildings on the property at the time. Throughout the years, there were reports of alleged misconduct involving the staff members and patients which led to the institution’s decline. The property was closed and left abandoned in 1996 leaving it in dilapidated condition.

The future use and development of this historic property still hangs in the balance as town officials and residents continue to debate this hot button issue. As a part of this ongoing discussion, a meeting was held on Tuesday, October 25 to go over the town budget in relation to funding for this particular project.

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