Con­cern con­tin­ues with Route 146A project

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Glenn Grif­fith ggrif­[email protected]­gian.com @cn­weekly on Twit­ter

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. » A re­vised pro­posal to sub­di­vide a par­cel on Route 146A for res­i­den­tial hous­ing drew neigh­bor­hood op­po­si­tion last week much as the orig­i­nal ap­pli­ca­tion did in Au­gust.

In com­ments be­fore the Plan­ning Board at a Nov. 13 pub­lic hear­ing, res­i­dents liv­ing near the land and mem­bers of the Friends of Clifton Park Open Space ex­pressed their dis­plea­sure with the project and their op­po­si­tion to the pos­si­bil­ity that ap­proval would negate years of work re­strict­ing res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in the west­ern part of town.

De­vel­oper Ryan Boni is seek­ing ap­proval to build two sin­gle fam­ily homes on a 13 acre par­cel on the south side of Route 146A.

The site is west of Blue Spruce Land­scap­ing and Nurs­ery and across the road from the road’s in­ter­sec­tion with Le­gends Way. The land is zoned Con­ser­va­tion-Res­i­den­tial (CR).

Adding a bit of con­fu­sion to the ap­pli­ca­tion is a pro­posal by Boni to ded­i­cate a sep­a­rate, seven acre par­cel to Saratoga P.L.A.N. The seven acres are in­cluded in the to­tal acreage but not ad­ja­cent to the other parcels that make up the project.

The seven acres are nec­es­sary to meet the town’s open space re­quire­ments for res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in west­ern Clifton Park.

In Au­gust Boni ap­peared be­fore the Plan­ning Board seek­ing con­cep­tual ap­proval only for a plan to build two du­plexes on the site. The board re­jected the con­cept with Chair­man Rocco Fer­raro say­ing he could not sup­port the sub­di­vi­sion of the lot for two du­plexes be­cause it was “con­trary to the ob­jec­tives of the Open Space Plan and the Land Con­ser­va­tion Plan.”

Sub­se­quently, Boni has re­vised the plan, elim­i­nated the du­plexes, and ap­peared be­fore the Plan­ning Board last week seek­ing ap­proval to build two sin­gle fam­ily homes.

Nearly 40 res­i­dents liv­ing on Le­gends Way joined with mem­bers of the Friends of Clifton Park Open Space at the Nov. 13 pub­lic hear­ing to op­pose the project.

In a state­ment from the en­vi­ron­men­tal group, read into the record by mem­ber Ray­mond Seymour, the Friends group stated their op­po­si­tion to re­lax­ing the build­ing stan­dards in a CR zone and the West­ern Clifton Park De­sign Guide­lines.

“The builder is again re­quest­ing an ex­cep­tion to the min­i­mum lot size and the open space se­ta­side re­quire­ments of this district,” Seymour said.

Seymour then went on to ques­tion the lack of pub­lic ben­e­fits, whether Saratoga P.L.A.N. has agreed to take the seven acre par­cel, the par­cel’s wet­land de­lin­eations, and the pos­si­bil­ity of in­creased noise from a nearby rail­road should Boni clear cut the land.

“Friends will con­tinue to speak as a guardian for the hard-fought and long-held pub­lic opin­ion that West­ern Clifton Park should ex­pect the en­force­ment of the pro­tec­tions out­lined in the Con­ser­va­tion Res­i­den­tial Zon­ing Code and the West­ern Clifton Park De­sign Guide­lines enu­mer­ated in that

code,” he said.

Res­i­dents liv­ing on Le­gends Way took is­sue with the project also and ex­pressed them to the board as part of the meet­ing. Their spokesman Matt We­ber handed the board a pe­ti­tion signed by 150 res­i­dents op­pos­ing the project.

In speak­ing to the Plan­ning

Board We­ber noted that build­ing two homes on the site puts two fam­i­lies at risk due to the near­ness of the rail­road.

“This project vi­o­lates the Town Code’s CR Zon­ing re­stric­tions and the West­ern Clifton Park De­sign Guide­lines,” he said. “There’s only a half- acre of build­able land avail­able. These (homes) are not ap­pli­ca­ble with set­tle­ment pat­terns in the area. We don’t see how this com­plies with the code for low den­sity hous­ing.”

Speak­ing af­ter We­ber was his wife Chris­tian who sec­onded her hus­band’s re­marks that the project is in de­fault of meet­ing the town’s codes and guide­lines. She added that the “col­lec­tive op­po­si­tion” of res­i­dents is will­ing to pur­chase the land at fair mar­ket value.

Other res­i­dents who spoke agreed with the We­bers and ex­pressed con­cern the project would de­crease the value of their homes. Melissa Boisvert echoed Seymour’s re­quest that a noise study be done.

“The mo­ment you take down a sin­gle tree you are im­pact­ing us,” she told the board. “We are ask­ing for a qual­ity of life for our chil­dren and I don’t think that’s too much to ask of the builder or the board. All we’re ask­ing for is that a noise study be done.”

Dur­ing board mem­bers’ com­ments many agreed with Boisvert that a noise study be done of the site.

“As a board we need more ev­i­dence that there’s a noise is­sue out there,” said board mem­ber Eric Ophardt.

“The neigh­bors can hear the trains now,” said fel­low board mem­ber Jef­fery Jones. “What will be the im­pact when the trees are gone?”

Be­fore or­der­ing the Plan­ning Depart­ment to have a noise study done on the site, Plan­ning Board Chair­man

Fer­raro an­swered a lin­ger­ing ques­tion posed by Seymour as to pub­lic ben­e­fits.

“There is a pub­lic ben­e­fit here,” Fer­raro said. “There are seven acres that would be de­vel­oped oth­er­wise.”

Some in the room pri­vately ques­tioned that re­mark be­liev­ing the par­cel to be land­locked.

The Plan­ning Board now has 60 days to take ac­tion on the ap­pli­ca­tion.

GLENN GRIF­FITH - MEDIANEWS GROUP

Clifton Park res­i­dent Matt We­ber makes a point to the town Plan­ning Board on his op­po­si­tion to a project planned for Route 146A

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