Rotterdam warehouse proposal off the table

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ROTTERDAM — Plans to construct nearly a dozen warehouses along Mariaville Road are off the table after lawmakers on Wednesday voted against setting a public hearing for a proposed zoning change needed to move the project forward. 

In a 4-1 vote, the Town Board voted against setting a public hearing to rezone just over 15 acres of a 64-acre parcel at 676 Mariaville Road from multi-family residential to light industrial, citing concerns about the project not aligning with the town’s comprehensive plan adopted last year.

The BDC Group of Latham requested the zoning change in hopes of constructing six 12,000-square-foot warehouses and four 6,000-square-foot warehouses on the property that borders a pair of single-family homes along Mariaville Road and an apartment complex just to the east on Cimino Lane.

“This is the first time in my political career I’ve ever voted no for a public hearing, but in the interest of consistency and making my position clear, as much as I’m a proponent of the process, I can’t find it in my good conscience to move forward with this,” said board member Evan Christou.

Supervisor Mollie Collins was the lone dissenting vote. She said the project raised concerns, but wanted to hear from the public before making a final determination.

Changing the zoning of a parcel requires amending the town’s zoning law, which requires a public hearing. Without the hearing, the change in zoning cannot move forward.

The move comes just weeks after the town’s Planning Commission issued a nonbinding positive recommendation on The BDC Group’s request. The company currently owns the site and is in the process of constructing a three-story climate control storage facility at a neighboring parcel at 690 Mariaville Road.

It’s unclear what The BDC Group has planned for the property now, though an engineer hired by the company told town planners earlier this month the company was planning to develop the remainder the the parcel under the current zoning.

The BDC Group did not return a request seeking comment Thursday.

Board members said the request goes against the town’s recently approved comprehensive plan, which calls for focusing on mixed-use development in areas of the town stretching northeast from Burdeck Street to West Campbell Road. Several members, including Deputy Supervisor Jack Dodson and board member Joseph Mastroianni, also pointed to available warehouse space in the Rotterdam Industrial Park.

“We recently passed a comprehensive plan that had years of work into it and this would not be consistent with that plan,” said board member Samantha Miller-Herrera.

The Mariaville Road corridor is dotted with a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial buildings, including a saw dust processing plant and industrial fiber manufacturer facility just to the west.

It’s the second time in recent months the Town Board has cited the comprehensive plan in its decision-making process.

Last year, lawmakers adopted the 12-month moratorium on the construction of solar arrays after residents raised concerns about a proposed 20-megawatt solar array in the area of Sandborn Road.

Many argued the project would diminish neighboring property values, disrupt the local ecosystem and go against the comprehensive plan that calls for preserving the town’s rural landscapes.

The moratorium was approved unanimously.

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.

Categories: News, News, Rotterdam, Schenectady County

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