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Our View: Can proposal lead to a better Campana?

Hundreds of people attended a public hearing Aug. 2 regarding an apartment plan for the historic Campana building located near Route 31 and Fabyan Parkway in Batavia.

The hearing will be continued to Aug. 16, when more people are expected to voice their opinions on the proposal.

Have you shared your opinion?

At issue is Evergreen Real Estate Group’s plan to subdivide the former factory building into 80 apartment units. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a local landmark by the city of Batavia in 2003.

The proposal calls for 16 market-rate apartments, with the rest being income-restricted.

For the income-restricted apartments, that boils down to a family of four making about $47,000 or less a year or one person making about $33,000 or less a year.

Those in favor of the plan highlight how it will provide affordable housing and renovate an aging landmark building, while those against focus on surrounding property values, traffic and parking issues, and impacts on Geneva School District 304.

We would like to see more affordable housing in the area, and it doesn’t seem like the upper end of the income-restricted spectrum for Campana is unreasonable for the area. It also would be nice to see more of this beautiful building being used.

But the concerns are substantial.

For example, the number of parking spaces required for the building would be 301 under the city’s code. Evergreen has bumped up the number of spaces it says it can provide to 206 from the 146 originally proposed, but that still seems substantially short of the number of spaces required.

Potential traffic issues at Route 31 and Fabyan Parkway are another concern – and Evergreen contends that residential units would produce less traffic than more commercial units – as are the effects on District 304.

We want to see a project that is a good fit for the area – in terms of safety, equality, aesthetics and finance.

What do you want to see?

Attend the next public hearing on the Campana proposal at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 in the City Council chambers of the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave., and make your voice on the matter heard.

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