Alplaus residents seek comprehensive plan changes

Opposition to proposed development remains strong
An anti-development sign appears on an Alplaus Avenue yard opposite Maritime Drive in Alplaus.
An anti-development sign appears on an Alplaus Avenue yard opposite Maritime Drive in Alplaus.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

GLENVILLE — Residents of Alplaus remain up in arms about a potential new development along the Mohawk River, and want the town’s new comprehensive plan to do more to protect their hamlet.

The land use map the town is proposing separates Alplaus from the contaminated former industrial area just to the south along the river where the Prime Mohawk project is proposing construction of 228 housing units, most of them apartments or condominiums.

“We request that adoption of this plan be delayed until the map of the hamlet of Alplaus is amended to include all of the hamlet of Alplaus as defined by the 12008 zip code map and described in the text of the comprehensive plan itself,” said Michael McHale, president of the Alplaus Residents’ Association, in a statement to the Town Board.

Comments from Alplaus residents dominated a public hearing on the proposed comprehensive plan held Wednesday night at Town Hall.

“One thing I don’t see much acknowledgement of is the flood plain,” resident Bob Winchester said. “Much of the Mohawk Industrial Park would be considered flood plain and underwater during a serious flood.”

Town officials, who have been working on the proposed new comprehensive plan for three years, indicated some changes could be considered, but they still hope to adopt a final version of the plan at the Oct. 18 Town Board meeting.

“Based on the comments tonight I imagine there’s some further revision to the document, potentially,” Councilman James Martin said Wednesday.

The Prime Mohawk project would require a zoning change, and the Town Board in July decided that a full environmental impact statement will be required on the controversial project. That environmental study is still in its preliminary stages, and Town Board members said they won’t state their views until the facts have been gathered.

“We have to get the facts. We have to go through the process to get them,” Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said.

Martin said the proposed map separated Alplaus from the industrial park and adjoining Mohawk Marina because they are so different.

“The comprehensive plan reads that way in the spirit of protecting the hamlet,” said Martin, who is the Town Board liaison to the planning process. “You cannot have more opposite uses than residential and industrial. The interest in separating the two is actually to protect the hamlet.”

Residents noted that the draft plan calls for the town to “preserve the character” of the hamlet, as well as clean up and pursue new uses for the Mohawk Industrial Park, but said the 228-unit development is too large for them to be able to preserve Alplaus’ character.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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