COLONIE — A plan to demolish the former Carpet One store at 600 Troy-Schenectady Road and build a 2,900-square-foot Speedway gas station and mini-mart was present to the Planning Board at its last meeting.
Traffic was the overriding issue during the sketch plan presentation to the Planning Board on Tuesday, Sept. 7.
“We are talking about a busy section of the Route 7 corridor and there is another application tonight that is a high traffic density,” said the Town Designated Engineer Joe Grasso. “The building now is a low intensity use and this is high intensity so traffic is something that should be considered by the board.”
The 43,000-squre-foot site located across Route 7 from the Latham Farms entrance is zoned Highway Commercial Office Residential and the plan includes seven fueling dispensers and 14 fueling stations.
Access would be from Troy Schenectady Road and Utica Avenue. The existing driveway on Troy-Schenectady Road would be moved 60 feet east and the existing drive on Utica would be moved 80 feet north.
“We didn’t want to line up access points with the existing residential driveways,” said Steve Lucas, a representative of Bohler Engineering who presented the plan on behalf of Speedway, an Ohio-based company. “Pushing the entrance over orients it so service doors and main points of entry are not facing the residences.”
There are four homes across from Utica Avenue that would be impacted by the proposal.
An 18-foot retaining wall would be constructed to help screen visibility, Lucas said, and there would be more green space since the building is significantly smaller than the 9,700-square-foot Carpet One store.
In addition to traffic, Planning Board members were less than thrilled with the building layout and its architecture.
“Aesthetically, it needs some work,” said Planning Board member Steven Heider. “Considering it is in an residential area, it should look more residential. Even gas stations do not have to look like gas stations.”
“That building is drab with a capital D,” said Planning board member Frederick Ashworth. “There is no architectural detail. There should be trim at the corners or around the windows or something.”
The company is commissioning a traffic study of the area but the plan did move through sketch plan review, the first phase of the planning process. It will have to come back before the board at least twice more before construction can begin.