After a chaotic spate of last-minute wrangling, members of the Town Board on Wednesday passed a zone change that paves the way for the Golub Corp.’s massive warehouse expansion.
Board members approved an amendment to Rotterdam’s comprehensive plan and rezoned roughly 15 acres of Golub’s property along Duanesburg Road. The change will allow Price Chopper’s parent company to move a 900-foot stretch of Dunnsville Road and relocate its intersection with Duanesburg Road about a quarter-mile west of its present location.
Board members Matt Martin and Robert Godlewski joined Supervisor Frank Del Gallo in approving the resolution during the lengthy meeting. Board member Gerard Parisi, an attorney whose firm represents Golub, abstained, and board member Nicola DiLeva cast the lone dissenting vote after a failed attempt at tabling the resolution.
DiLeva wanted to delay the vote for two weeks after a pair of residents raised concerns over whether Golub had fulfilled its promise to buy a cluster of Duanesburg Road properties that will be drastically affected by the project.
Del Gallo threatened to pull the zone change from the agenda this week until receiving a verbal assurance from the company that it would honor the agreements. The company on Wednesday said it would honor the agreements, but several residents on Thursday said they still hadn’t received signed contracts from Price Chopper, and they questioned the company’s sincerity.
“There’s FedEx,” said resident Michelle Guilbeau.
Instead, an attorney representing Price Chopper presented copies of the agreement to Town Attorney Joseph Liccardi prior to the vote. The property owners attending the meeting never had a chance to review the documents.
“You guys are looking at contracts we haven’t even seen,” Guilbeau said. “Our attorneys haven’t even seen them.”
Some of the homeowners in the Dolan Drive neighborhood — an area within close proximity of the proposed path of Dunnsville Road — attended the meeting without speaking. The resolution to approve the zone change followed a contentious public hearing on a separate project that lasted more than two hours and involved more than three dozen speakers.
Golub first pitched their project in February 2009. At the time, the company indicated it was interested in moving Price Chopper’s 180,000-square-foot warehouse in Voorheesville to its regional hub in Rotterdam.
The company offered the project as a precursor to roughly 410,000 square feet of warehouse expansion needed to advance Price Chopper’s long-term plans for growth. Dolan Drive residents were quick to criticize the project because the new road would be located within 200 feet of their homes and 30 feet away from National Grid’s transmission lines.
The residents complained the new warehouse would be a visual eyesore that would prompt a ceaseless procession of tractor-trailer trucks to rumble past their homes. Among other quality of life concerns, they feared the project would lower air quality, increase noise pollution and greatly diminish the property values of their homes.
Golub responded in March by offering a revised proposal that would also move the relocated road’s entrance about 250 feet east along Route 7, thereby creating a larger buffer between the planned warehouse and the homes. The company agreed to scale down its warehouse plans by up to 60,000 square feet of potential space — a roughly 15 percent reduction —from what the company had originally proposed.
The company also included a 20-year schedule of its proposed build-out, indicating that the estimated $20 million road relocation would occur by 2011.