Clifton Park

Planning Board approves 23-home subdivision in Clifton Park

The original plan called for the construction of 14 duplex units on the site

CLIFTON PARK — Nearly two years after its initial proposal, a plan for a 23-lot cluster subdivision in town connected to John J. McKenna IV Way and Christinamarie Drive was finally approved by the Planning Board during its April 9 meeting.

The 20-acre project, developed by Clifton Park-based Abele Builders, consists of 23 single-family homes that will be constructed on lots that measure anywhere from 10,000 to roughly 20,000 square feet. The residences will be built in a cluster formation on about 7 acres of land, leaving the rest for open space. The largest lot on the site, according to project plans, measures 20,315 square feet.

All lots on the site will be connected to public sewer and water.

One final item yet to be determined is the exact placement of a communal gazebo on the property.

The plan for the 23-lot division is a second take on the project.

The original plan called for the construction of 14 duplex units on the site, which is zoned residential, or R-1. While the Planning Board approved that site plan, it hit a snag when the board did not grant the special use permit necessary to build the duplexes.

It was immediately met with opposition from residents of both John J. McKenna IV Way and Christinamarie Drive, as the project called for an emergency access road connected to Christinamarie Drive. 

Residents repeatedly expressed concerns about the amount of traffic the new development could bring to their streets, where many residents walk and children regularly play outside.

Abele Builders and the Planning Board went back and forth making various revisions to the proposed site plan for nearly two years. The duplex proposal remained in place until last December, when the town amended its R-1 zoning rules, doubling the amount of land required to construct duplex projects. 

The development company subsequently filed a lawsuit against the town, in which Abele claimed the law was changed by the town specifically to eliminate its duplex project. 

The lawsuit accuses the town of blindsiding Abele Builders and changing the law right before the company was to seek final approval for its project from the Planning Board.

However, in March, the company came back to the board with the amended plan for single-family homes, which was approved unanimously. The majority of the project’s key components, such as sewer and water plans, remained the same.

“I think we made a lot of progress and are in good shape on this,” Ed Abele, of Abele Builders said to the board at the meeting.

Residents, according to project officials, are compelled to pay membership dues to the HOA upon signing a contract for one of the homes, though they don’t necessarily have to play an active role in the HOA’s board.

Snow removal around the cluster subdivision and the mail service will be the responsibility of the HOA. The emergency access drive on the site will also be maintained by the HOA.

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