Rotterdam residents said that rezoning to light industrial 15 acres of land owned by the Golub Corporation on Duanesburg Road will increase traffic in their neighborhood and lower property values.
I find myself as passionately against this project now as I was about a year ago when we were invited to speak on this because we are still fighting for the quality of our lives, said resident Mari Warner, at the Wednesday, Feb. 24, Town Board meeting. `I feel we are fighting for the value of our homes.`
At the meeting, a number of residents came out to oppose rezoning the Duanesburg Road parcels from retail business and agriculture to light industrial. They said they were worried about the possibility for increase traffic and noise by tractor-trailers and the chance of decreased assessments on their homes.
Also at the meeting, Commissioner of Economic Development and Planning Ray Gillen and Chuck Steiner of the Chamber of Schenectady County, came out in support of the development.
Town Supervisor Frank Del Gallo said that talks between the town and the Golub Corporation about the rezoning are ongoing, and the public still has time to comment on the proposal.
`We’re going to listen to more public comment and go from there,` said Del Gallo.
Vice President of Public Relations for the Golub Corporation Mona Golub said the proposal includes adding a new entry point to the company’s warehouses at Route 7 and Dunnsville Road in order to accommodate expansion. Golub Corporation has moved a buffer zone from 35 feet to 235 feet in response to residents’ concerns. The company has been at the location since 1961.
`We can appreciate that there may not be a perfect solution for everyone, however, we should be able to find a solution to work with,` said Golub.
According to Whiteman, Osterman and Hannah, the law firm that represented the corporation at the meeting, the new Dunnsville Road entrance will help the growth of the company and allow it to invest back into the region. The law firm said that over the past 20 years, the corporation has invested $52 million in the area, and the expansion will allow them to stay competitive.
In the second public at the Wednesday meeting, residents spoke against amending the zoning of 3.4 acres of land at 330 Becker Drive owned by Robert and Marie Iovinella and the firm, Aladdin Properties.
Residents were against the amendment of the town’s comprehensive plan that would change the agricultural status of two parcels held by Aladdin Properties and Iovinella to general business.
Resident Marianne Lawler said that rezoning the property would be an `assault` on those already living in the area.
`This developer, who is presenting this rezoning, has presented no specific project to build on those parcels, but has indicated in past meetings that he would like to, quote, ‘build a plaza, and has a number of businesses that are interested in occupying space in that plaza,’` said Lawler. `A hypothetical project without specific resources should be unacceptable to you and the planning board. If it is acceptable, then you are encouraging anyone to provide you with an idea, and you will approve a rezone without details or consequences.`
Del Gallo has said that the board will be voting on the amendment of the zoning at the next meeting and said the Iovinellas have brought this proposal the previous town adminstration.
`He went through this process twice. He shouldn’t have to do it, but he is,` said Del Gallo. `He can’t do what he wants there. He still has to go through the planning board. He is just trying to get it [the property] so that if it’s commercial, someone can develop the property.`
Del Gallo also said that his administration plans to be more business friendly.
`We said we were going to be more friendly to business when we got into office,` said Del Gallo. `We want to get business here to help with the tax burden. We’re sick of going backwards; we want to go forwards.`
In other news
The Town Board passed a resolution to hold a public hearing regarding an amendment to the town’s comprehensive plan, the zoning ordinance and zoning maps for a change in zone from Sync Realty Group, Inc., for the rezoning of property on 325 Duanesburg Road from Light Industrial to Multiple Family Residential.
The Town Board passed resolution to endorse and support participation as a partner in the Schenectady County application for funding of the Schenectady Countywide Public Works Shard Services Plan to the New York State Department of State of Local Government Efficenty Grant Program. The grant will support the development of a plan for public works that could include functional consolidation of services, cooperative agreements with other municipalities, improved performance through use of resources. The funding amount that the county is applying for is $50,000 with a pledge of a 10 percent cash match.
The Town Board passed a resolution to authorize Change Orders 1 through 3 to be used in the Rotterdam Junction Water Tank Improvement Project. The Change Order results in a final contract amount of $645,480.
The town board will meet again on Wednesday, March 10, at 7 p.m. at the Rotterdam Town Hall.