Capital Region

Seniors oppose Druthers’ Clifton Park plan

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Categories: News, Saratoga County

CLIFTON PARK — The town Planning Board has delayed consideration of a proposed Druthers brewery and restaurant on South Side Drive until September, as opposition to the proposal from local senior citizens has grown.

 The Planning Board was to hear an initial conceptual presentation on the plan Tuesday night, but due to a full agenda of other business, decided not to begin a review that would have started close to midnight.

The matter was rescheduled for the Sept. 9 board meeting. Planning Board Chairman Rocco Ferraro indicated he was aware of the potential controversy over the application, which will probably require several months of review, if it moves forward.

Senior citizens who live in the nearby 168-unit Bentley senior condominium complex have submitted petitions saying a Druthers would be incompatible with the surrounding area, which includes not just the senior housing but an elementary school and a town-owned passive nature park. It also borders, however, a commercially developed area of large strip malls, and is in the town center zone.

 “We want the businesses to be sited so the businesses don’t take away from the quality of life for residents,” said Joseph Nial, one of the Bentley residents involved in organizing the petitions.

Druthers is seeking to build its fourth location on 5.31 acres of vacant land owned by DCG Development at the corner of South Side Drive and Maxwell Road, opposite a Staples office supply store. The land is zoned for commercial development.

Druthers has locations are in downtown Albany, Saratoga Springs, and at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady, all of which have proven popular.

Owners could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Plans submitted to the town of Clifton Park call for construction of a 10,000-square-foot building that would include dining areas, a kitchen, and brewery. There would also be outdoor dining areas with the potential for outdoor music. There would be parking for 120 cars, with additional overflow parking for another 130 vehicles.

Nial said the objections of the opponents aren’t to Druthers itself, but the seniors believe the use is too intense for the area, on the edge of the town center downtown zone, where it starts to give way to less-intense uses.

“There’s lots of uses for that place that would blend or be a transition to the residential area,” Nial said. “It isn’t just an outdoor concert venue, it’s a brewery, it’s parking for 250 cars, it just doesn’t work. We think it would be a nice asset to the town, but not next to a quiet [area] where the senior citizens are vulnerable.”

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

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