Schenectady County

Building boom means more housing for Glenville

Residential building is booming in Glenville.

Residential building is booming in Glenville.

The town ranked first among Schenectady County towns for single-family home permits, with 47 in 2007. Niskayuna was the next highest with 28. Glenville also had 19 multi-family permits for a total of 200 units.

Planning Director Kevin Corcoran said the 247 total residential units ranked third in the region behind Rotterdam with 280 and Wilton with 423.

“We had a lot of projects that have been in the works for a number of years. A lot of them came to fruition — either they got their permits from the town or they cleared financing hurdles or they got permits for other agencies,” he said.

He attributed the growth to Glenville’s zoning regulations to allow multi-family housing. He said it is fairly easy to get zoning changed to allow multi-family housing. The town’s master plan calls for a variety of housing types to provide options for all income and age groups.

in the works

Among the projects that have contributed to the boom is work on a 194-unit apartment complex called the Reserve at Glenville off Sarnowski Drive. Also, Shady Lane Realty received approval to construct a 12-unit apartment building behind Socha Plaza. Other projects are the final build-out of Willowbrook Estates off Pashley Road and Willow Lane, about 18 single-family homes called Lake Hill Manor and another build-out of Woodhaven subdivision.

Corcoran said he believes 2008 also will be busy despite the sluggish economy.

Site work has already started on Hampton Run, a project to build eight 10-unit apartment buildings off Glenridge Road behind Town Hall.

Belmonte Builders plans to construct 33 single-family homes and 16 duplexes off Swaggertown Road as part of a development called Glenview Estates.

This is phase two of the development.

Phase one involved constructing 26 single-family homes. Concord Development plans two- and three-bedroom townhouses called Yates Farm Townhomes on Maple Avenue.

Also, New York Development Group is proposing a project called Patriot Square to consist of about 250,000 square feet of commercial space and residential condominiums on a 39-acre parcel located behind the town’s municipal center on Glenridge Road.

Corcoran said multifamily developments are beneficial for the tax base because they generate tax revenue but typically do not burden the school districts with a lot of children.

Glenville’s lure

Town Administrator Tony Germano attributed the increase in permits to economic activity in town such as the new Lowe’s that will be constructed off Freemans Bridge Road and business activity at the Schenectady County Airport.

In addition, the town has tried to streamline its approval process.

Chamber of Schenectady County President Charles Steiner pointed to several factors behind interest in Glenville including affordable housing, excellent school systems and good quality of life.

The town has access to the Schenectady County public library system and other county services and is close to other communities like Saratoga and its attractions.

“I think it offers a wonderful opportunity for that kind of investment of housing by the builders and the response has been very positive,” he said.

Town Supervisor Frank Quinn said Glenville is a safe community with three top-quality school districts nearby. Also, senior citizens can get easy access to services.

Quinn said some of these projects have been approved for a while, but have not come to fruition.

The town will have to see how many get built and what type of units they are. Single-family homes are actually a net tax drain because of the need to provide water, sewer, plowing and other services.

“For each dollar of tax revenue the town takes in, it’s going to cost us about a buck-fifty,” he said.

police pressure

Also, Quinn said the addition of these units does not necessarily mean the town’s population will increase. People also leave the town as others move into it.

One department that could be affected by an increased population is police.

“Obviously, the more households, the more residents, the more it’s going to impact the need for police services,” said Police Chief Michael Ranalli.

Ranalli said he envisions more calls to respond to everything from accidental 911 calls to burglaries, as well as more traffic accidents.

The department is currently short-staffed. Ranalli last received approval to place Meredith Kaiser into the Zone 5 Police Academy.

This hire would get the staff back up to 22 officers following two recent resignations. Last year, the department had 23 officers and at one point, it had 26.

Ranalli said he could certainly find uses for additional staff including more traffic enforcement and partnering with the school districts for resource officers. However, Ranalli said he understands that with the economy struggling, he likely needs to live with his current manpower.

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