New strip clubs, adult video stores, pawn shops and vape shops could soon be banned temporarily in Glenville as town officials determine how to deal with such business ventures in the future.
“After this prostitution thing, I’m throwing massage parlors in there as well,” said town Supervisor Chris Koetzle, referring to X and Y Relaxation Centre on Route 50, where prostitution and unlicensed massage were alleged by Glenville police last week.
The moratorium would prevent adult businesses and other types of establishments deemed undesirable for the town’s gateway areas, such as Freemans Bridge Road, from opening anywhere in the town for six months, Koetzle said. When the Town Board meets Wednesday it is expected to set a public hearing for 7 p.m. April 15 to consider the moratorium.
“We’ve said before that these businesses are not consistent with the character of the town, and we certainly don’t believe that these businesses should be in our gateway corridor,” Koetzle said.
Town officials have discussed ways to keep adult businesses from opening in preparation for a $330 million casino planned for Schenectady across the Mohawk River from Freemans Bridge Road, and the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission earlier this month recommended two zoning changes to deal with the issue. One would prevent the development of adult-themed businesses in the area of Freemans Bridge Road, Sarnowski Drive and Maple Avenue by changing the zoning of 37 properties from research, development and technology to general business, and the other would keep pawn shops from opening in the town’s commercial areas by changing the zoning text.
But Koetzle said some industrial business owners on Freemans Bridge Road were opposed to doing away with the industrial zoning, and an overlay district preventing adult businesses in that corridor could be a better alternative.
He said the Town Board now wants to address the zoning issues in its new Comprehensive Plan, which is being drafted by a committee and is expected be presented to town officials in the fall. The six-month ban would give town officials time to update the zoning code as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan, to address certain businesses, such as vape shops — a relatively new type of business that sells tobacco-free smoking alternatives — that aren’t mentioned in the town zoning code written in the 1970s, Koetzle said.
“It’s less about the business and what they’re offering and more about giving a chance for the zoning code to catch up to these businesses, which have not been contemplated previously in our code,” he said.
Town officials were already concerned about such businesses, the supervisor said, “but with the casino coming, it obviously just brings a little more urgency to it.”
“We do tend to see these types of businesses co-locate around a casino,” he added.
Koetzle said Glenville businesses that are already open won’t be affected by the moratorium. He said there are no strip clubs, adult movie stores or pawn shops within the town, but a vape shop opened on Route 50 — in the same Skyway Plaza building as X and Y Relaxation Centre — within the past four to six weeks.
In Schenectady, similar to Glenville, adult businesses like strip clubs and adult video stores are only allowed in industrial areas. The city’s only such businesses is Another World on lower Broadway.