The Guilderland town board decided at its June 6 meeting to table both controversial resolutions to rezone the properties at 2026 and 2028 Western Ave.
The resolutions considered a rezone from local business (LB) to business non-retail professional (BNRP).
The motion to table came from a request from councilman David Bosworth, who wanted to see a zoning analysis of all properties along Western Avenue, not just these two properties.
Bosworth said the rezone should apply to all similar properties along Western Avenue.
I think in fairness we want to look at a larger population than just these two properties.
The motion to table passed, 3-2.
Despite his vote against the motion, Supervisor Ken Runion said that by looking not at just these two properties, the town will push ahead possible analysis and review of zoning in accordance with the 2001 comprehensive plan along Western Avenue that would have occurred in a few years.
`Moving it up and doing it now is not a problem,` said Runion.
Connie Ware, the property owner at 2026 Western Ave., has a problem with the rezoning of her property and thinks that re-examing rezoning along Western Avenue could cause problems for businesses along the route.
`If that’s the case, then all hell’s going to break loose,` Ware said.
Ware said potential rezoning would have a similar impact on businesses that a rezoning on her property would have.
Ware bought the property at 2026 Western Ave. with the intent to build a quality Italian restaurant. Ware is still able to own and operate a restaurant on the property since the business has already been approved by the town.
`If they rezone it, I feel the property is not worth as much,` said Ware. `I paid top dollar for it because it’s in an LB zone.`
According to town records, the property sold for $357,000.
Ware said that any potential rezoning to her property would hinder her ability to sell the property in the future at the same value she paid.
LB zoning in the town of Guilderland allows for more intensive business uses including video stores, convenience stores, banks, and Laundromats. BNRP uses are less intensive and include professional offices, funeral homes, nonprofit institutions and day-care.
Ware said that the only way she would be able to make her money back in a sale would be a sale to another restaurateur, an option BNRP zoning would eliminate.
Ware also said that if 75 per-cent of her restaurant were destroyed by disaster, such as fire or tornado, she would be unable to rebuild her restaurant and would have to conform to the current zoning.
The last time the properties were rezoned was in 1992 to allow a floral shop to open on the 2026 Western Ave. property, said Runion. The two properties were rezoned together to avoid spot zoning that can carry legal implications.
`We’re trying to correct, basically, a 1992 error,` said Runion.
The rezone request came after neighbors in the area expressed concern over the potential increased traffic flow and noise levels that a restaurant business could bring.
Runion said instead of a floral shop there is a seven-day-a-week restaurant operation on the site.
Ware said she feels she in being singled out and that the people she has spoken with support a restaurant in that location.
`I would like the board to consider what is best for the town of Guilderland as a whole, and not just for a small group of people,` Ware said at the meeting.
Ware also said she takes issue with the board’s timing on the potential rezone and said it should have been done during the year-and-a-half that the flower shop was closed.
`I feel it’s improper for the board to consider this after they approved me for the restaurant,` said Ware. `It’s just not right.`
The board will look at current zoning along Western Avenue and will vote on any rezones at a later date, said Runion.“