Tiny Timber and other tidbits from the year’s last Planning Board meeting

first_img The board gave generally positive feedback for the Collegetown proposal but suggested Demarest and the project team think more creatively about the building’s footprint and color scheme while fitting it into the site.Sketch plans for an infill building at 238 Dryden Rd. (Provided sketch plan)Community concerns about East Hill characterBy the time new projects were revealed Tuesday night, the meeting room had emptied but members of the public brought concerns earlier in the evening about projects in East Hill and Fall Creek.At 2 Fountain Place, also known as the former Ithaca College president mansion, Ashleigh and Ryan Zimmerman have been waiting for permission to operate a bed and breakfast there before finalizing their purchase of the property from Ithaca College.Related: Ithaca College president’s mansion set to become B&BThe nine-bedroom mansion served as the Ithaca College president’s home for about 80 years before the college put it on the market. While the Zimmerman’s initial plan to operate a bed and breakfast with 10 guestrooms would have required zoning variances, Tuesday they brought a scaled-back proposal for a four-guestroom bed and breakfast to the board.The mansion at 2 Fountain Place long served as the Ithaca College president’s home. (Provided image) The mansion at 2 Fountain Place long served as the Ithaca College president’s home. (Provided image)Planning Board members raised serious questions about plans for parking, emergency vehicle access and the business’s impact on neighbors, but all but board member Emily Petrina ultimately voted in favor of granting a permit to run the B&B, conditional on word from Ithaca Fire Chief Tom Parsons that plans do not create new emergency access problems.Some neighbors were not satisfied with plans for the B&B, however. Five spoke in opposition to the project at Tuesday’s meeting and about 30 signed a letter to the same effect. Commenters said they worried about increased traffic, parking congestion and noise from short-term guests. Board members said it was regrettable that the Zimmermans had not spoken with neighbors before the meeting to get on the same page.“Everyone would feel better if applicant and neighbors had sat down and had a long conversation before this meeting,” said Garrick Blalock, the board’s public works liaison.The board urged the Zimmermans and architect Jason Demarest to meet with neighbors as the project moves forward, but decided neighbors had not demonstrated that the project violated any conditions of the special use B&B permit.Small Fall Creek project met with some questionsA small residential project from Stavros Stavropoulos at 815-817 N. Aurora St. was met with concerns from neighbors, too, related to maintaining the character of Fall Creek. Three commenters alleged the two proposed two-unit homes would attract high turnover renters and contribute to rising prices for families looking to buy homes in the neighborhood.As at past meetings, the board urged the project’s developer and architect to rethink the siting and design of the homes to better integrate them with the current streetscape and encourage family occupancy.The board heard updates on the large Chain Works District and Falls Park Apartment projects, but actions weren’t on the table for either this month. Both will return in January for further discussion.Featured image: A Tiny Timber home. (Provided by Tiny Timber, LLC) Tagged: development, housing, ithaca, ithaca college, planning board, projects, tiny timber Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] or 607-391-0328. More by Devon Magliozzi center_img Your Economy & Development news is made possible with support from: ITHACA, N.Y. – The City of Ithaca’s Planning and Development Board closed out 2018 with a packed five-hour meeting. While their decision to advance Cornell’s North Campus Residential Expansion without an environmental impact statement drew the biggest crowd, the agenda also covered new projects for West Hill and Collegetown, a contentious bed and breakfast permit decision, and updates on the Chainworks and Falls Park developments.Pocket neighborhood for West HillArchitect Noah Demarest, of STREAM Collaborative, unveiled sketch plans for two new residential projects in West Hill and Collegetown that may sound familiar.The West Hill proposal brings STREAM together again with Tiny Timber to build a pocket neighborhood of owner-occupied homes similar to the Fall Creek Crossing project that’s about to break ground in Varna. The tentatively named “Cottages at West Hill” development would feature Tiny Timber’s signature hemlock homes with footprints under 1,000 square feet and prices under $200,000.About a dozen Tiny Timber homes have been built in Tompkins, with the company’s signature hemlock timber and small-footprint design. (Provided photos) About a dozen Tiny Timber homes have been built in Tompkins, with the company’s signature hemlock timber and small-footprint design. (Provided photos)Related: ‘Tiny Timbers’ planned in Varna – a building project with a bigger take on tiny housesThe site for the project is a vacant six-acre lot off of West Hector Street. Demarest said the team sees opportunities to connect the site to the existing neighborhood and to transit via a network of trails. Preliminary plans include 20 housing units oriented toward each other and linked with pedestrian paths, with parking somewhat hidden at the edge of the site.“We’re trying to create a sense of community through design,” Demarest said.Homes are oriented around each other and footpaths in early sketches of the Cottages at West Hill project. (Provided sketch site plan)Members of the Planning Board said they were enthusiastic about the project, with JoAnn Cornish, the city’s director of planning and development, applauding the effort to bring mid-price owner-occupied housing onto the market. They cautioned, though, that West Hill neighbors might not be so keen on the new construction. Demarest said the project team has been in touch with the area’s Common Council representatives and will seek community input going forward to address neighbors’ concerns. The team expects to bring a formal plan back to the board in January to begin the approval process.Infill apartments proposed for CollegetownMeanwhile, in Collegetown, STREAM is likewise reprising a past project with Visum Development to add a third apartment building at 238 Dryden Rd. The team put up two buildings at 112-114 Summit Ave., known as The Lux Cornell, where rental rates currently start at $1,275 per bed. The proposed infill building will be smaller but similar, with eight 2-BR apartments stacked on four floors and a basement level lounge, spa and amenities space.Related: Gallery: See what’s being built in Collegetown Devon Magliozzi last_img read more