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What you need to know for 03/20/2018

Planning Board recommends approval of Route 146 condo project

Planning Board recommends approval of Route 146 condo project

'I think you'd probably have to come back with something a little less dense'
Planning Board recommends approval of Route 146 condo project
A concept plan rendering provided by the Clifton Park Planning Board.

After reviewing a major condo proposal on Tuesday night, the town Planning Board will deliver a positive recommendation on the project to the Town Board, but with stipulations.

Among other things, the Planning Board members expressed concerns about the proposed density of the project and the sandy soils at the site. They are requesting that the Town Board have a town-designated engineer review the project before approving or denying the proposal.

The project, proposed by Halfmoon developer Scott Earl, could see more than 100 apartments built along the town’s busy Route 146 corridor near its intersection with Route 146A.

At a Town Board meeting in December, board members unanimously voted to refer the proposal to the Planning Board for their input and further recommendations on the project. 
The proposal consists of a total of 47 structures comprising 132 total housing units. The condominiums will range in size from 1,200 to 1,600 square feet, according to plans filed with the town.
An estimated 283 parking spaces would be created for the project.
The plans also call for a 3,000-square-foot clubhouse on the site, though it was unclear what amenities that building would include. The project narrative suggests the clubhouse could be used as a communal gathering space for apartment residents.

At the meeting on Tuesday night, Scott Lansing of Lansing Engineering noted that right now the parcel is vacant and wooded. The condos would be owned by the residents, and the neighborhood as a whole would be served by a condo association.

The proposal, he said, is designed to give residents of the development a neighborhood feel by utilizing sidewalks internally, as well as garages and open spaces.

Project engineers also said that, according to a traffic study conducted on the site, approximately 139 extra car trips would be generated by the development, with 64 trips occurring during peak morning hours and 75 trips occurring during peak evening hours.

While Planning Board members as a whole approved of the project, particularly the variety of proposed condo offerings, they expressed concerns about the density of the project.

Board member Eric Ophardt said that while he likes the design of the project overall, he believes that there could be too many condos on the site.

"I think you'd probably have to come back with something a little less dense," he said.

Planning Board member Andy Neubauer pointed out that the different types of condos would create the type of neighborhood the town would like to see come in. 

"This is a project that will be a benefit to this area," he said. 

But, he added, "The density is kind of high. It's a bit much for this area of town."

Planning Board member Denise Bagramian also voiced support for the mixture of condos on the site, but cautioned against building too many structures, considering how busy Route 146 is in that area. 

Planning Board Chairman Rocco Ferraro, however, said that he wasn't necessarily concerned about the density of the project, but he indicated that some of the project footprint might have to be adjusted because of fragile soil that the condos might be built on.

Ferraro also said that since the traffic studies were conducted in July, actual traffic patterns could be different during the school year, which is a significantly busier time for the Route 146 and Route 146A intersection, he said.

Clifton Park Planning Director John Scavo said that if the Town Board decides to approve of the project, the Planning Board will still have the authority to lower the density of the project when it returns to them.

Board members said that while the sidewalk network within the development will be a boon to residents, eventually the developers will have to figure out how to connect the development to nearby stores.

A public hearing will be held before the Town Board makes a final decision.

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