Woodland Pond in New Paltz hopes to add more cottages

Leaders at the Woodland Pond senior enclave in New Paltz are testing the waters with the idea of adding three more cottages. The Woodland Pond complex is within Village limits despite being on distant North Putt Corners Road, thanks to an annexation decision made decades ago. That made it possible to build this facility in what had previously been forested land. Several representatives of the organization pitched the idea of this expansion in the Village during the September 7 Village of New Paltz Planning Board meeting.

Each of the cottages would be a duplex, adding six more housing units for residents who continue to live independently. They would be added at different locations around the campus, filling in the ring of such little homes that are built around the larger central structures. Those buildings, which rise above the cottages and can be seen easily from atop the Ridge, are the site of more intensive support services for those in need, ranging from general activity and meeting rooms to a memory care center. The continuum of care that’s offered is a selling point for moving into this high-end facility, and apparently demand has well exceeded supply of housing.

A shortage of housing is not limited to Woodland Pond; this idea is being developed during an extreme housing crisis throughout the county. The tight housing market has forced prices up, but rising prices aren’t enough to get senior citizens to sell and downsize, if they wish to remain in New Paltz where other housing options are also hard to find. The push is to develop more elderly-only complexes, and more affordable housing. More units at Woodland Pond would serve one of those needs, but with only six units proposed there won’t be any legal requirement to offer any of them at a price deemed “affordable” under Village law.

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Board member Rachel Lagodka, recalling that the initial development of Woodland Pond was characterized by executives and consultants who were at times combative, sought to ensure access to the site both during the approval process and while inspections are conducted during construction.