Saratoga County

Neighbors sue over Stewart’s warehouse approval

Stewart's plans 61,250-square-foot warehouse addition
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GREENFIELD

Three neighbors of the Stewart’s Shops manufacturing center in Greenfield are suing the convenience store chain and the town of Greenfield over the town’s approval of plans for a warehouse expansion on the property.

James Van Dyk, Jeffrey Brown and Patricia Hilleren, who live on Locust Grove or Daniels roads near the east side of the Stewart’s property, say the Greenfield Planning Board failed to adequately consider the project’s impacts on a wetland where Saratoga Springs once had a reservoir.

The Planning Board on March 12 approved the the 61,250-square-foot expansion, which was first submitted to the town for approval in 2017. All three neighbors who filed the lawsuit spoke out about a variety of concerns with the expansion at Planning Board meetings.

The lawsuit, which was filed last week in Ballston Spa and will be heard in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County, seeks to overturn the approval as “arbitrary and capricious,” and also overturn the town’s approval of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan for the construction project.

The Stewart’s manufacturing center, where it makes ice cream, bottles milk, and makes and stores other products sold its its convenience stores, is located on Route 9N, and extends eastward nearly to Locust Grove, which is a residential road.

The residents argue that the plan approved by the town calls for the building foundation cutting into an existing earthen dam that retains surface water and wetlands, and stormwater runoff could go into the wetland, in possible violation of federal wetland regulations. The plans were never submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees federal wetlands, for a determination on whether federal regulations should apply, the lawsuit contends. The lawsuit says the Planning Board could have required Stewarts’ to check with the Army Corps.

According to the lawsuit, the town’s Environmental Commission had concerns about the impact of the project on wetlands and neighbors’ wells, due to the anticipated increase in stormwater runoff from the site if much of it is paved. The neighbors say the area has shallow bedrock and a high groundwater table.

Asked about the lawsuit, Stewart’s issued a statement saying the town’s review was rigorous, and it expected the town’s approval to withstand the challenge.

“We were pretty shocked at this lawsuit given the overly rigorous process took 18 months for final approval, far longer than expected,” the statement said. “We patiently and thoroughly followed the process and feel confident that the Town of Greenfield will prevail and the expansion project will move forward as planned.”

“The Greenfield Town Board is confident that the Planning Board followed proper procedures,” said Town Supervisor Daniel Pemrick.

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

Categories: Business, News, Saratoga County

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