Saratoga residents file lawsuit over new Code Blue shelter

SARATOGA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Saratoga residents who do not a new Code Blue shelter built in their backyard are now filing a lawsuit.

“We don’t think it’s comparable with the neighborhood.”

With the already approved new Code Blue shelter set for ground breaking any time now, those who live and work around the corner are making a last ditch effort to shut it down with a lawsuit.

Maise Center CEO Elliot Maise says his Saratoga company draws senior executives from around the world to train on emerging technologies. He says what he calls a wet shelter down the street would be bad for business.

“There will be a nightly parade, a morning parade of people who are at risk who will get here before it opens.”

Maise is just one of number of neighbors who have added their names to the suit, claiming the city rushed through the shelter’s approval process. He says while Shelters of Saratoga has seen success getting people off the street with its monitored programs, he believes an adjacent drop-in center with up to 40 beds is a step in the wrong direction.

“We could spend collectively $100,000 on legal fees; I’d rather spend that money to support better services for the homeless.”

Over the phone, Mayor Joanne Yepsen defended the Code Blue Shelter’s location.

“Well if you can’t build a shelter next to a shelter, I don’t know where you’re going to build it.”

The mayor says she hasn’t been presented with a lawsuit just yet and is supporting the city’s decision to move forward.

“This has been looked at thoroughly and with great amount of time that our volunteers have put into this, so it has been determined that it’s a go,” Mayor Yepsen said.  “I couldn’t be more excited as the mayor that helped start Code Blue because we are finally going to have a permanent solution to what’s going to be an ongoing problem.”

The city hopes to have the project completed by early November.

The lawsuit is in the process of being filed on Monday.

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