COLONIE — The two-story, 42,000-square-foot auto sales and repair facility with a mezzanine proposed by the owners of Latham Ford for a vacant lot near the intersection of Wade and Troy Schenectady roads advanced through the planning process, with conditions.
The Planning Board, at its last meeting, gave the project the green light to advance to final site plan review provided access and egress from the busy Troy Schenectady Road would be right hand turns in and out only.
Dan Hershberg, the engineer from Hershberg and Hershberg who presented the plan on behalf of Latham Ford, said the state Department of Transportation will ultimately decide traffic issues on Troy-Schenectady Road but conceded to the board’s wish about right in and right out.
“I don’t have to be clairvoyant to know that is the feeling of the board and we will certainly have to address that when we come back,” he said.
Traffic was the main point of conversation on Tuesday, Nov. 9, and the fact the driveway onto Troy-Schenectady Road is so close to the busy intersection with Wade Road was a bone of contention with many on the Planning Board. It was initially proposed as full access ingress and a right out only egress. There will be a driveway onto Wade Road, and motorists looking to take a left onto Troy-Schenectady Road can more safely use that signalized intersection.
“To me the biggest thing is trying to make a left into this property for westbound traffic on Troy-Schenectady Road,” said Planning Board member Frederick Ashworth. “It is going to be insane.”
Planning Board member Lou Mion said curbing and/or landscaping should installed at the Troy-Schenectady Road driveway in such a way to make it all but impossible for drivers to do anything but take a right in or right out.
According to a traffic study presented by Hershberg, the site will generate 87 trips during the peak afternoon travel hours on weekdays and 219 during the midday peak hours on Saturday.
The first floor would be about 36,000-square-foot and the second floor mezzanine will be about 6,000-square-foot. The land is zoned Commercial Office Residential and the project is allowed, but a variance is required to exceed the 30,000-square-foot maximum footprint.
Latham Ford was recently sold to Lithia Motors, one of the largest car dealerships in the country with more than 200 dealerships across the country, and is planning to move from its longtime home on Columbia Street off of Route 9 to the Troy Schenectady Road.
The plan was in front of the board for a concept acceptance and was open to public comment but nobody spoke.
It will have to come back before the board at least once more, for final site plan approval, before construction can begin.
The land is owned, John and Cathi Ann Maiucorro, who also own Imperial Pools. They also own slightly smaller chunk of land along Wade Road and are looking to build a warehouse on that 5.6-acre piece of land to augment their operations next door. That project was presented to the board for sketch plan review prior to the Latham Ford project.