Retail is out, more apartments in for Log City Road PUD in town of Amsterdam

Gavin Vuillaume of Environmental Design Partnership outlines changes to a development project targeted for Log City Road at Wednesday’s Amsterdam Town Board meeting.

Gavin Vuillaume of Environmental Design Partnership outlines changes to a development project targeted for Log City Road at Wednesday’s Amsterdam Town Board meeting.

TOWN OF AMSTERDAM — The number of apartments permitted in a substantial residential project targeted for Log City Road in the town of Amsterdam will be more than doubled after the Town Board approved an amendment to the plans.

The Town Board on Wednesday passed a local law 4-1 amending a previously approved Planned Unit Development (PUD) District that rezoned a roughly 92.08 acre site on Log City Road west of Route 30 to allow a project exceeding the normally allowed density.

Initial plans developed by former property owner Concord Development Corporation called for the construction of up to 82 condominiums in a 20-acre area, 256 condominiums across another area spanning over 60 acres, 74 apartments within five buildings, four single-family homes, and five commercial building lots.

The still undeveloped land was bought last year by Bruns Realty Group for approximately $1.34 million total, according to property records filed in the Montgomery County Clerk’s Office.

Bruns plans to move forward with the already approved concept, but sought town approval to amend the plans to eliminate the commercial buildings and instead boost the total number of apartments to 168 contained in 13 buildings.

The added housing required the inclusion of another 16.5 acres of neighboring land in the rezoned area. The amendment approved by the town brought the site up to 108.58 acres total.

Town Councilwoman Mary Maines voted against amending the PUD on Wednesday, just as she had a month earlier.

The Town Board in December approved a local law making the same changes, but notices sent out for the required public hearing listed the wrong time. The board rescinded its prior approval and held a new hearing at this week’s meeting to correct the issue.

Although not opposed to residential development in the area, Maines raised concerns over traffic from adding even more housing to what would have already been a dense project based on the initial PUD plans approved by the board in March 2021.

“It went to the larger number of apartments on top of that,” Maines said.

An updated traffic study prepared by developers estimates the fully built out project would result in 136 new vehicle trips during the heaviest morning traffic and 250 new vehicles during the busiest evening hours.

Around 75 to 80% of the new vehicles would be traveling to and from the site via the intersection of Log City Road at Route 30, according to Gavin Vuillaume, a project consultant with Environmental Design Partnership.

“There is a traffic light there, it will be regulated, I don’t have any concerns,” Supervisor Thomas DiMezza said.

New residents living at the development would create a built in customer base to help support the town’s main commercial corridor along Route 30, DiMezza added.

“With all the retail businesses we have on Route 30, we need people to shop there or they won’t stay,” DiMezza said. “Having the apartments where people live here, shop here and spend their money here is something that we need.”

Still, Maines pointed out there would be some new traffic generated by the housing development traveling west along Log City Road and potentially cutting through Fort Johnson.

“It’s a narrow road, it’s a rural road,” Maines said. “Both entrances and exits are coming out of that road, not onto Route 30.”

Prospective plans by the developer to widen the road to better accommodate additional traffic have been abandoned, she added.

With the amendment to the PUD now approved, developers have two years to start construction or the rezoning classification for the site will be revoked.

Full project designs are still subject to site plan approval by the Planning Board. Conditional approval was previously granted for the 82 condominium section of the project.

Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.

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