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Residents push back against Bunn Hill Road project in Vestal Town Hall meeting

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(WBNG) -- Residents are weighing in again on the Bunn Hill Road project in Vestal. The project would bring cottage-style homes for Binghamton University students and young professionals.

The current location for the proposed project sits at the top of Bunn Hill Road in a rural residential area. In order to build, the land needs to be rezoned to a planned development district (PDD).

"The project will bring sewer up about 4,500 feet up from Bunn Hill at the sole cost of the developer," said Sarah Campbell, special counsel with Hinman, Howard & Kattell, and legal representation for Landmark Properties.

However, all of these changes have many residents in the surrounding area concerned.

"I live here because of the rural residential zoning. It was a choice that I made, this is how I want to live in a rural residential area, and I trusted that the zoning was going to afford me protection," said one resident of Bunn Hill Road.

Campbell says there will be an estimated investment of more than 40 million dollars into the Vestal community, but that hasn't been enough to convince residents.

"It's an economic, short-sighted concept," said another resident.

If the project goes through, potentially hundreds of students could live in the housing complex. With more people, some residents have expressed a fear of crowding. Developers say they have data that shows otherwise.

"Two traffic impact assessments show that ample capacity exists on the road systems," said Campbell.

Some residents did express support for the project, saying it would bring tax revenue to the town and further support local businesses and the economy.

During the meeting, many residents say they were unable to attend the virtual meeting due to a maximum capacity of 100 participants. The Vestal Town Board says they are working to address this issue and will decide on further action at their next meeting.

Katie Jones

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