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What you need to know for 08/19/2017

Amsterdam plaza developers hope to include Kohl’s on site

Amsterdam plaza developers hope to include Kohl’s on site

Developers of the Amsterdam Commons shopping plaza are hoping to bring a Kohl’s to the site.

Developers of the Amsterdam Commons shopping plaza are hoping to bring a Kohl’s to the site.

Buffalo-based Benderson Development is building the Route 30 plaza, now anchored by a Target. Two other buildings that will be used as restaurant or retail space are under construction.

Representatives from Benderson approached the town Planning Board last week requesting a modification to their site plan to accommodate a new Kohl’s, a department store chain that sells men’s, women’s and children’s clothing along with furniture and accessories.

Benderson is requesting to expand a planned building adjacent to Target by nearly 28,000 square feet. The developer also proposed shrinking the retail space along the southern property line by about 20,000 square feet.

In a letter to the Planning Board, James Boglioli of Benderson Development said the change would not have any negative impact on the site from additional traffic or stormwater drainage.

“We believe that the addition of the Kohl’s will be a positive improvement for the development and is consistent with the 2007 site plan approval,” Boglioli wrote.

Kathleen Tatara, senior planner with the town’s engineering firm, Delaware Engineering, said the change is pretty straightforward and she doesn’t expect there to be a problem with it.

The changes have been sent to the county’s Planning Department for approval, and Tatara said the county’s Planning Board may not even need to approve the change.

While the addition of a Kohl’s department store may be positive for the Route 30 corridor, the addition of homes on Golf Course Road just off Route 30 is not, according to neighbors.

Saratoga-based developer Thomas J. Farone and Son Inc. has scaled down its plan for the north side of Golf Course Road from a 158-unit development that would include single-family homes, townhouses and apartments to 63 single-family homes, which is more in keeping with the neighborhood.

Neighbors have been against the development since it was originally proposed in 2007.

Traffic is a major concern from the residents along Golf Course Road, like Margret Barnett, who said the heavily traveled road already has a high accident rate.

Golf Course Road has become a major thoroughfare, especially for people traveling to the shopping area from the west side of the city. Many people take Steadwell Avenue to Golf Course Road and head east. Golf Course Road comes out at Route 30 just above Target.

A second concern is the loss of the town’s rural character, preservation of which was a goal of the town’s comprehensive plan, Barnett said.

Tatara said the developer is working on completing necessary studies to gain the town and county boards’ approval for the development.

Tatara said the developer completed a traffic study for the planned unit development but residents complained it was flawed because county crews were working on the road when the study was done in 2007. Tatara said she feels the study is legitimate.

Besides traffic, Tatara said she is working with the developer to mitigate some of the wetlands that would be disturbed at the site and to create a stormwater management plan.

Barnett said she thinks everyone along Golf Course Road is upset but a small group have taken it upon themselves to represent everyone.

The group spoke out against the development at last week’s Planning Board meeting, despite the item not being on the board’s agenda.

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