COLONIE — The Planning Board gave a cool reception to a plan to build a mini-mart with gas pumps and a fast food restaurant at the intersection of Columbia Street Extension and Johnson Road.
A common theme of dissent during the sketch plan review, an introduction of the project to the Planning Board, is there is too much proposed for the triangle shaped chunk of land at the busy intersection.
“There is too much going on and I am concerned with the traffic circulation between the pumps, the drive thru and the mini mart,” said Planning Board member Susan Milstein.
“You are putting a lot on this spot,” added member Louis Mion. “We have a high density traffic area here, and it was an issue with AYCO.”
The one-story building would be 4,000-square-foot with half being used as a mini mart and half as a yet to be named restaurant with a drive thru. There would be four fueling pumps, with eight fueling station under a canopy.
There would be 57 parking spaces while zoning requires 54. Of the 2.4 acres 13.5 percent would be the building, 35.7 percent would be pavement and 58.8 percent would remain greenspace.
The facility is expected to generate 66 additional vehicular trips during the afternoon peak travel time. “The number of additional trips can be easily handled by the existing Columbia Street Extension and Johnson Road corridors,” according to the narrative presented by Nick Costa, of Advanced Engineering on behalf of the applicant, GTB Fuel Corporation.
There would be an access onto Columbia Street Extension and Johnson Road.
Joe Grasso, the Town Designated Engineer on the project, said he is in favor of a right in and right out only onto Columbia Street. He also is concerned about the size of the canopy and the fact the proposed storm water retention ponds are proposed within the required 100-foot buffer between the building and protected wetlands.
He also said the board should take care in reviewing the architecture since so much time and effort went into making sure the Ayco headquarters and a second not yet built mixed use building looked respectable.
On the opposite corner, the developer had to go through a tremendous amount of change and we talked about that building revitalizing the area,” said Planning Board member Steve Heider. “I’m not against gas stations, but I don’t want it to look like a gas station. It can’t look like a classic gas station/fast food restaurant without a tremendous amount of architectural detail.”
Bill Fitzgerald, who spoke on behalf of the applicant, said the Clifton Park company has similar minimart facilities in Malta, off Exit 11 of the Northway, Clifton Park and Albany. This is the first that would have a restaurant component.
The plan was sent back to the drawing board and will come back to the Planning Board for another sketch plan review.