Schenectady

City Council tables plans to rezone Stadium Golf Club, citing lack of information

The Stadium Golf Club in Schenectady is shown Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The Stadium Golf Club in Schenectady is shown Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021.

SCHENECTADY — The City Council on Monday opted not to advance a proposal to rezone more than 50 acres belonging to Stadium Golf Club, citing a lack of information about plans to redevelop the property.

Scannell Properties, an Indiana-based development company, is seeking to change the zoning of 54.6 acres that make up part of the 18-hole golf course from multi-family residential to a C-5 Business District, a move that would accommodate dozens of commercial uses, including retail and light-assembly.

But it’s unclear what exactly the property would be used for should the zoning change be approved. A rezoning application submitted by Scannell states only that the company is seeking to use the property to accommodate commercial use but notes no “specific user” has been identified for the site.

The golf course’s owner announced plans to sell the 119 acre property to Scannell last year, though the sale hinges on the company attaining the zoning change.

The council’s Development & Planning Committee agreed to table a request to advance a necessary environmental impact study and forward the rezoning request to the Planning Commission for review.

Members instead agreed to send a letter to Scannell Properties seeking additional information on the project, a recommendation that came from Mayor Gary McCarthy, who said he also has concerns about the site’s redevelopment.

“Under the C-5 proposal, I personally feel it opens up too many options that would have negative connotations for some of the adjacent property owners in that area of the city,” he said.

The property stretches into Rotterdam near Interstate 890, just south of Route 7. The company is also seeking to rezone 62.4 acres of the property on the Rotterdam side from residential to industrial.

Several residents belonging to the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association — the neighborhood where the golf course is located — said residents have a number of concerns about the potential impact the rezoning request and future development of the property would have on the neighborhood, including the traffic and impacts to neighboring properties.

Spero Zoulas, who attended the meeting with his husband Chad Putman, said he has concerns about the potential for large vehicles accessing the site through residential streets and how that would impact the quality of life and safety of residents.

He added that he would like to see Scannell Properties be more transparent with their proposals and that he’s heard that the company has approached a number of residents along Kings Road about building an access road to the site.

The company is proposing to create an entry point to the property on Jackson Avenue, a residential street, though no other points of entry or exit have been proposed as of this writing.

A preliminary traffic study submitted along with the rezoning application recommends examining a number of traffic-related issues, including the impact on a number of intersections along Route 7 and State Street.

“We just want to work more with the developer to understand what they have intended and be a little bit more transparent in what their thoughts (are) on the development of this [site],” Zoulas said. “What they’ve presented to the committee today is not the whole truth based on what we’ve been hearing from neighbors who border the property.”

Zoulas said he’s not against developing the property, but noted any plans must benefit the city and take into consideration the concerns of local residents.

Putman, meanwhile, said the city needs to take a close look at how much any development plans for the site would benefit the city.

He noted the larger Rotterdam portion of the property is landlocked by railroad tracks and I-890, and that entry into any facilities built in Rotterdam would have to use city streets.

“If Rotterdam is creating an industrial park to increase its tax base, we carry the brunt of whatever vehicles or product that is coming and going out of that facility,” he said. “The city of Schenectady should have a pretty big say on what that should look like, unless Rotterdam is going to work with the state on a new access point.”

The Woodlawn Neighborhood Association plans to hold a community meeting on March 2 to hear from residents.

Asked if Scannell Properties would be attending the meeting, Putman said he was hopeful.

“I don’t want them to feel like they’re being attacked,” he said. “I’d really like it to be a mutual conversation.”

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.  

Feb. 8, 2022 3:41 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect that Scannell Properties is seeking to rezone 62.4 acres in Rotterdam from the current residential use to industrial. 

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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