DePaul Properties, a nonprofit organization in Rochester, has proposed a 60 unit supportive living development in Dansville. DePaul’s mission is to provide needed housing to encourage local people to stay in their community of choice. However, the housing development is a privately-run enterprise, not public housing nor Section 8 housing, although DePaul will in some cases accept Section 8 and veterans’ vouchers.
The proposed project would be in two locations, if approved: one 12 unit repurpose at the former King’s Daughters home at 26 Health Street, and the other, new apartments including studio and one and two bedroom units, in a development on Franklin Street, south of Franklin (Tops) Plaza. The units would house mostly seniors and veterans living independently but needing support, as well as people with mobility issues. The housing development would also have onsite housing specialists who will work with residents to link them with community services such as veterans’ services, transportation, physical and occupational therapy, medical appointments, legal services, etc.
Rents will be about medium range for the area, and tenants would be subject to background and credit checks, eviction checks, and criminal checks, before being accepted.
One hurdle that needs to be overcome before any building starts is that the village board must pass a law which would change zoning for those areas. At present, both areas are zoned for other uses. The Health St. location will need a variance, since the former multi-residence home has been out of business for more than a year, and the Franklin St. location, which is now zoned agricultural and general business, would have to be changed to high density residential. A public hearing on the matter was held March 23, and the comment period is still open. Following the hearing and presentation to the county planning board, some changes suggested by individuals the county planning board will be considered at the village’s next board meeting on Wednesday April 14.
The King’s Daughters home opened in 1859 as a Methodist seminary, but was later an assisted living residence for decades, until it closed in 2011. At its peak, it had 24 residents, and when it closed, it only had six residents. Since its closure, the building has remained vacant, with a sprinkler system pipe breaking in 2014 which caused major damage to the vacant building, putting its future “in Limbo.” The county foreclosed on it and was seeking buyers, and in 2019 it was named to the Western New York Landmark Society’s “Five to Revive” list, which brought notice and possible grant funding for it.
The location near Franklin Plaza is largely open land, and new buildings will be built, provided zoning approval changes are approved by the Dansville Village Board.
Voting on the zoning change cannot occur until after the comment period closes. If zoning changes are approved, DePaul will have to bring more specific plans to the planning board for their approval. DePaul has also recently completed another assisted living development in Livingston County, on Mustang Circle in Geneseo, behind Country Max. The name of that assisted living development is Skybird Landing.