COLONIE — A 13-unit town home conservation subdivision along Sand Creek Road was introduced to the Planning Board at its last meeting.
A conservation subdivision allows more flexibility in density than a traditional subdivision but, as the name implies, conserves more open space.
The project, proposed by builder Ted Cillis, includes six duplexes with a single family home on a 900-foot street that would be built on eight acres of wooded land on the east side of Sand Creek between Willowdale Terrace and Nordick Drive. If approved and completed, the town would take ownership of the road.
A traditional subdivision in a Single Family Residential zone requires 80 feet of road frontage per lot and the lots must be at least 18,000 square feet. Applying that formula, the site could accommodate 13 homes.
Under the proposal, introduced by Nick Costa, of Advanced Engineering and Surveying on behalf of the developer, the frontage per unit would be 50 feet and the lots would be 8,000 square feet.
A traditional subdivision requires at most two units per acre while this proposal would construct 1.6 units per acre, according to the narrative submitted to the Planning Board.
In addition to preserving more open space, Costa said the conservation layout would protect an unnamed tributary and of the eight acres, 41 percent, or nearly three acres, would not be developed.
The development is proposed between two established neighborhoods off Sand Creek and the Planning Board stressed the importance of buffering.
“The buffering has to be solid and it has to survive,” said Planning Board member Craig Shamlian. “We had an issue on Donna Drive and I think we still have an issue on Donna Drive. If this goes forward, this is going to be a crucial component to satisfy the neighbors.”
In 2020, the town issued a stop work order on a subdivision being built by Cillis on what is an extension of Donna Drive off Sand Creek Road after neighbors complained he cleared a no-cut buffer between his 24-unit development and their homes.
Steven Heider, the Planning Board chair said the satisfying the neighbors is of paramount performance.
“You have about 14 neighbors you will have to get on board or they will be here and it will not be pretty,” he said.
The plan was a sketch plan review — the first stage of the planning process — and the public was not allowed to comment. It must come back before the board at least twice more before construction can begin.