The Saratoga County Planning Board on Thursday endorsed a proposal to abolish the Old Mill Town planned development district in Milton, so that more kinds of development can take place on the property.
Owners Tom and Bruce Boghosian are seeking to have the 15-year-old PDD at the northwest corner of Geyser Road and Rowland Street dissolved, so that their approximately 50 acres can be included in the surrounding Milton Center zone.
The rezoning decision will be made by the Milton Town Board, but the county Planning Board is required to give an advisory opinion.
The town of Milton is trying to establish a traditional downtown-style center in that area — something not yet on the drawing boards when Old Mill Town was approved in 1998.
Dissolving the PDD would increase the kinds of uses allowed on the Boghosian land. It would allow higher building densities and mixed commercial-residential buildings, all of which are encouraged in the Milton Center zone.
County officials said they agree with the concept, but said that development plans must be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration when appropriate.
The Old Mill Town property — which is anchored by a Hannaford supermarket, Allerdice Hardware and Mavis Tire — borders the Saratoga County Airport, and a corner of it is under the southeastern runway approach.
“The proximity to the airport is the biggest concern we have,” said county senior planner Michael Valentine.
Milton Town Supervisor Dan Lewza disputed whether the FAA has the ability to block any Milton Center projects, though the town has agreed that it will notify the FAA of pending building plans.
“It’s just notification to let the FAA know what we’re doing. It’s not for their approval,” he said.
Several members of the county Planning Board, however, said the FAA can wield a significant amount of influence, and federal law will trump any local zoning rules.
The Milton Center zoning doesn’t allow any buildings taller that three stories.
Milton Building Inspector Wayne Howe said the building lots closest to the airport’s runway protection zone are already developed, and most of Milton Center isn’t affected by FAA regulation.
The Milton Town Board is expected to make a decision on the zoning change at its Oct. 2 meeting.