GLENVILLE — A housing project that could bring more than 350 apartment and townhouse units to vacant land on Route 50 is under review by town officials.
The proposed Dutch Meadows planned development district would establish a 286-unit apartment complex plus 33 two-unit townhouse condominiums on 30.35 acres of vacant land at the intersection of Route 50 and Dutch Meadows Lane. The development would run east along both sides of Dutch Meadows to the Meadows at Glenwyck senior care complex.
It is among the largest housing proposals the town has seen recently, but not out of line with other recent apartment proposals, Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said.
"It's on the upper end of the range, but it's within projects we're seeing recently," said Koetzle, who earlier said that "density is always an issue" during such project reviews.
The plans submitted by developer Richbell Capital, of Saratoga Springs, also proposes a small commercial building on the northeast corner of the intersection and a 40,000-square-foot commercial building on Dutch Meadows, roughly opposite Glenwyck.
Richbell Capital wants to have the land declared a planned development district, which is a special zoning district that can be tailored by the Town Board. The town's Planning and Zoning Commission will review the plans Monday before making a recommendation to the Town Board.
The land is zoned for general business and professional-residential development. It is bordered to the south by active railroad tracks, which town officials acknowledge is a limitation on how the land can be developed.
"The purpose of the zoning change is to provide a vibrant mixed-use development on land adjacent to an active railroad track that provides connections to other parts of town via proposed sidewalks and multi-use paths," Richbell officials wrote in the proposal to the town.
As the project review goes forward, Koetzle said he's hoping to see single-family homes or additional commercial uses added to the project before it gets approval.
"I think if there were some of those in the application, it would be a stronger application," Koetzle said. "The more retail space they have, the better off the application will be, as well."
A rendering of proposed condos in Glenville. (Provided)
For size comparison, the Patriot Square and Hampton Run apartments off Glenridge Road comprise 224 units, and the Prime Mohawk project proposed for land along the Mohawk River in Alplaus was initially going to have 390 units -- though its size was later reduced and the project ultimately withdrawn in the face of neighborhood opposition.
The Dutch Meadows project incorporates six parcels of vacant land owned by Raymond M. Piotrowski. While the land is vacant, it is within walking distance of a Wal-Mart Supercenter, the Freemans Bridge Road commercial corridor and the village of Scotia. The Freemans Bridge corridor is one of the few parts of town where high-density residential development is encouraged, under a land use comprehensive plan the Town Board adopted last year.
Koetzle isn't yet endorsing the project.
"I'm always concerned we're getting to the point of having too many apartments in town, and we always have to consider these applications on an individual basis," he said.
He said he wasn't aware of any neighborhood opposition.
"There aren't a lot of neighbors close to there," he said.
Potential community benefits could include having the developer construct sidewalks on both sides of Dutch Meadows between Route 50 and Freemans Bridge, Koetzle said. Some people now walk or ride bicycles on the road, so there's a safety issue. The project could also enhance town efforts to connect the entire town with pedestrian trails, Koetzle said.
The town is still assessing the project's potential environmental impacts and hasn't discussed the estimated cost of the project with the developer, Koetzle said.
Richbell Capital describes itself as a luxury apartment developer. Its other projects include the 420-unit Paddocks at Saratoga, the 200-unit Kensington at Halfmoon and the 208-unit Residences at Vista Square in Rotterdam, which is under construction and scheduled to open this spring.
William M. Hoblock, Richbell Capital's executive vice president, who is representing the developer in the land use review, wasn't available for comment Tuesday.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in Town Hall.