Clifton Park

Clifton Park Planning Board OK’s plan for new Neet’s shop

Business rebuilding after fire.
Neet’s Auto Body on Route 9 in Clifton Park is shown following a fire in March.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Neet’s Auto Body on Route 9 in Clifton Park is shown following a fire in March.

The Clifton Park Planning Board unanimously approved Neet’s Auto Body’s proposed rebuilding project during its meeting last Tuesday night. 

The owner of the longtime vehicle collision repair shop, which suffered serious damage during a March fire, says the project will get the business operational again.  

The shop on Route 9 has been out of operation since the fire, which caused the building’s roof to collapse.

According to plans submitted to the Planning Department, Neet’s new shop will be approximately 12,000 square feet, more than double the size of its old shop. In the original plans, the new structure measured 12,500 square feet, but the building’s size was reduced by 500 square feet to comply with fire codes.

There will be 18 parking spaces as well as an office in the shop. The new shop will use an existing septic system on site.
 
The project site, which measures about 1.5 acres and is zoned commercial, is 40 percent green space, according to project plans. The shop will have metal paneled walls and the front area and office will be stonework.

The new shop will not only provide more room to work on a larger number of vehicles, but also increase overall efficiency, according to owner Tim Neet. The shop also will be outfitted with the most modern tools, he said.

Neet was required to seek Planning Board approval to rebuild the auto body shop’s because of its increased size from the original. Had his plan been to rebuild the shop as it was before, he would have needed only a building permit.

Members of the board only required a couple of clarifications on how and why the proposed structure’s size was reduced by 500 square feet. 

Board member Andy Neubauer said that as long as technical concerns on the project were addressed, he was in favor of it.

“I basically agree,” board chairman Rocky Ferraro said, adding that when coming to the Planning Board, applicants have a responsibility to make sure that their plan’s details are all present and complete. Sometimes, he said, that creates a conflict with having a speedy approval process.

“It’s your business, you want to rebuild, you want to get going. I appreciate that,” he said.

Ferraro suggested granting preliminary approval with final approval contingent on finalizing minor technical details needed in the plans, including grading improvements.

Neet, after getting approval for the new building, thanked the Planning Board for understanding his situation.

“I know it’s been a very rushed process but, financially, if we don’t get up and running very soon, we’re not going to make it. Everyone’s been very good about helping me out,” Neet said.

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