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Facing opposition, Homeward Bound Adks drops plans for veterans center

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Homeward Bound Adirondacks has dropped plans to create its first respite center for veterans in a home in Saranac Lake. The decision came after neighbors voiced strong opposition to a plan to rezone the property. As Chris Knight reports, the organization says it will continue to host programs while seeking another location for its services.

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Chris Knight
Adirondack Correspondent

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The official end of this project comes less than a week after Homeward Bound withdrew a request to have the eight-bedroom home on Glenwood Drive and an adjacent vacant parcel rezoned from residential to institutional use. Neighbors had raised a series of objections to the proposal, calling it spot zoning and saying Homeward Bound had broken promises to keep them informed about the project.

In a Tuesday press release, Bob Ross, president of Homeward Bound’s board, said the organization, “would not attempt to force its way into a community that did not support and desire the project in their community."  Homeward Bound had been promised $125,000 in funding from a foundation headed by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who grew up in Saranac Lake, to purchase the house. At one time it was owned by his grandfather, Dr. Francis Berger Trudeau. Ross has said the site would have been home to an office and a small retreat center that would host programs for veterans and their families. The sale of the property had been scheduled to close on Tuesday.

Ross said he didn't know if the $125,000 from Trudeau’s foundation would still be available to Homeward Bound. He said the organization will continue to focus on developing and implementing its veteran reintegration programs, fundraising and seeking another site for its activities.

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