High-density housing project renews overdevelopment concerns in Monroe

A high-density housing project in Monroe is renewing ongoing overdevelopment concerns in Orange County. 
Activists with the community action group Preserve Monroe say the town is considering an application for a 491-unit housing development off Orange Turnpike. 
They say the 280-acre lot is currently zoned for rural housing, which is one house on each acre. 
Activists say the project calls for three- to four-story buildings with more than 1,000 bedrooms altogether. 
“It would change the landscape to be something that Monroe has never seen before,” said Maureen Richardson. “It would create high-density housing that just doesn’t appear to be sustainable to anybody who is here.” 
Critics say the project would negatively impact quality of life for neighbors, increase traffic and strain the water supply. 
Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone says the town originally opposed the developer’s plans but that the current proposed project could be a good fit for the community. Cardone says plans include apartments, townhouses, 100 units for seniors and more than 100 acres for park space.