Letters: The Trumansburg Way of Life

Recent discussion around a mixed housing development project between South Street and Pennsylvania Avenue has prompted some of our neighbors to voice their concerns about affordable housing. One concern about the project, proposed by Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services and developer Claudia Brenner, seems to be that project will attract new residents to the village who will threaten “the Trumansburg way of life.” But what is the Trumansburg way of life?

To us, the Trumansburg way of life includes people of all means and backgrounds. It prioritizes making our community more affordable, rather than more exclusive. It opens our community to more young families and seniors, so that our village institutions and businesses grow and thrive well into the future. It cares for current residents, while welcoming new ones.

There are people who currently work in Trumansburg but cannot afford to live here. There are seniors who wish to stay but cannot find affordable housing to do so. We embrace these groups as people who make village life better, and make valuable contributions to our businesses and our organizations. As such, we believe we should be exploring all opportunities to meet their needs. The proposed market-rate single family homes and affordable houses have the potential to fill this void for much needed new housing in our village, at a location within walking distance to our local downtown business district.

The village, INHS, and Claudia Brenner appear to be approaching this proposal thoughtfully, while ensuring that opportunities for public feedback are a top priority. We expect no less, and hope that all residents will participate with an open mind and an eye toward Trumansburg’s long-term future. We are excited to see the continued development plans, including the market-rate single family homes, green building infrastructure, and innovative water management strategies that utilize our updated and expanded water supply and sewer treatment facilities.
This project is in its early days. Let’s give it a chance. Let’s demonstrate the character of our community by showing an openness to socio-economic diversity. Let’s demonstrate leadership in the county by taking a stand against a “property values first” mentality, in favor of a vibrant future that helps lift up people from all walks of life. Let’s come together and start the conversation about how we shape the Trumansburg way of life.

INHS and Claudia Brenner anticipate submitting a formal proposal in July and we encourage all residents to attend the Thursday, July 20 planning board meeting at 7 p.m. as well as any public informational meetings held before then to share your questions and concerns with the folks working hard to address them.
Your Neighbors,


Keith Hannon, Cait Darfler, Erin Fierst, Sean Taylor, Dave Breeden, Maria Barry, Neil Shallish, Martha Kennedy, Chris Manly, Marlaine Darfler, Tim Bond, Don Kennedy, Casey Keller, Rick Darfler, Maureen Shallish, Sarah Kennedy, Michele Mitrani, Nicole McGuire, Alexis Alexander, Marianne Arcangeli, Michelle Paolillo and Patricia Conroy