Schenectady County

Proposals eyed in Glenville dealership debate

Town officials are floating three proposals in an effort to help a used car dealer left without an a

Town officials are floating three proposals in an effort to help a used car dealer left without an approved site for his business.

Rick DiCresce was forced to move from the location he leased off Freemans Bridge Road because of the construction of the Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. He bought the former Enterprise Rent-A-Car location up the road near the airport, but it is not zoned for used car sales.

His plight has drawn sympathy from area business owners who have protested at Town Hall, saying he should catch a break from officials since his move helped clear the way for the major Lowe’s project. The town has resisted the pressure, citing concern over spot zoning to resolve individual problems.

Councilman Chris Koetzle had proposed a zoning amendment that would allow businesses on sites that are not currently in compliance with the zoning ordinance — and are displaced by a conforming business such as Lowe’s — to move to another nonconforming site.

DiCresce said the Planning and Zoning Commission, which makes recommendations to the Town Board on zoning changes, did not favor that idea at its meeting Monday. “I don’t understand why.”

Councilwoman Valerie DiGiandomenico is proposing to change the zoning outright to allow used car sales in the general business zone.

A third option being suggested is to rezone DiCresce’s new land to make it part of the airport zone.

The Town Board will discuss these proposals at a work session scheduled for 7:30 tonight at Town Hall.

Koetzle’s proposal is the furthest along in the process. A public hearing will be held on Dec. 17 and the board could vote on it as soon as that night.

Koetzle said he believes his proposal is the best because it deals with the root of the problem — not just this particular case.

“I’m worried about what’s coming in the future when this happens again and a small business is displaced. Do we give them an opportunity to go to somewhere else?”

He has said previously that changing the zoning for this situation would constitute spot zoning — which municipalities avoid doing.

He said he believes the proposal would help achieve a master plan goal of removing nonconforming properties.

He said he had concerns with making the parcel part of the airport zone because he believes it would severely limit what could be done on the property and possibly reduce its value.

DiGiandomenico said her plan would allow both used and new car sales in the general business zone, which is like most of the other municipalities surrounding Glenville. Town officials had worried about an influx of used car dealerships if the zoning were changed, which does not worry DiGiandomenico.

“I think we should welcome businesses — especially in this economy — anything we can do to help the tax base so it doesn’t fall on the taxpayer. We do need commercial tax base.”

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