Plans to redevelop the former Curry Plaza property on Route 9 and to expand a park-and-ride lot at Northway Exit 12 both got poor reviews from the Malta Town Board on Monday.
Curry Development Corp. is seeking to build a large mixed-use development on its 74-acre site between downtown Malta and Round Lake. Most of the land is vacant.
The owners want to build 105,000 square feet of office space where the empty plaza is now, along with 30 single-family homes and 95 townhouse units.
Because of the mix of uses, the project would require zoning approval by the Town Board under the town’s planned development district law. Board members criticized an earlier version of the plan as too dense, and the developer has since removed 21 units — not enough to satisfy some board members.
“I’m not comfortable. It’s very dense,” said Councilwoman Tara Thomas.
She said getting out onto Route 9 is already difficult in that area, and another development could make the situation worse.
“I think coming out onto Route 9 will be a problem there,” said town Supervisor Paul Sausville.
The meeting with the Town Board was an informal review. Curry Development has yet to file a formal application for a zoning change.
Meanwhile, board members also rejected the idea of allowing an expanded Capital District Transportation Authority park-and-ride lot at the Malta Commons Business Park.
CDTA wants to expand the existing lot from 50 spaces to 250 spaces, and to do it within the 300-foot “buffer zone” along the Northway that the town has tried to keep free of development.
Having the parking lot close to the Northway is important to the efficiency of the Northway Express commuter service, said CDTA planner Ross Farrell. A larger lot is needed because more people are riding the commuter bus, he said.
But board members said they didn’t want the lot located in the buffer zone.
“The siting of it here is problematic for me,” said Councilman Peter Klotz.
“It’s right off the highway. It’s a lot of pavement. It’s something I’m not comfortable with,” Thomas said.
Farrell said CDTA is willing to keep working with the Town Board and town Planning Department to find another park-and-ride location.