COLONIE — Hudson Valley Credit Union is looking to expand its operation upstate by building a new branch at the intersection of Troy Schenectady Road and Utica Avenue.
The project, presented to the Planning Board at its last meeting, would demolish the Carpet One Floor and Home store currently located on the .9-acre site and build a 4,600-square-foot bank with a three-lane detached drive thru.
It would be the second branch located outside of four downstate counties — Dutchess, Ulster, Orange and Putnam — and the first in the Capital District.
Last year, there was a proposal to demolish the carpet store and build a 2,900-square-foot Speedway gas station and mini-mart. That plan did not make it past the initial presentation because of traffic and other concerns at the already congested intersection across Route 7 from the Latham Farms entrance. Also across the street, there are still plans pending to build a Chick-fil-A restaurant where the Brick House restaurant now stands.
Members of the Planning Board are concerned with making a proposed “right in and right out” access as full proof as possible to make it difficult for drivers to make a left in or a left out.
The site is zoned Highway Commercial Office Residential and a bank is an acceptable use. There is 35 percent greenspace required and this project will have in the neighborhood of 42 percent, according to Charlie Thompson, a representative of HVCU who presented the project along with Sean Farrell, of LaBella Associates, a Latham based engineering firm.
The proposed branch will operate Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and have about 15 employees. The site is projected to generate about 46 trips during one hour of a weekday peak travel time and 97 trips during one hour of the afternoon peak travel time. On Saturday, it is expected to generate 122 trips during one hour of peak travel time.
A traffic study was to be commissioned by the developers of the Chick-fil-A and the Speedway but it is not clear where that stands now that Speedway withdrew its project from consideration.
There was discussion about the proposed sidewalk along Route 7.
“My concern is if it a sidewalk to nowhere,” said Planning Board member Craig Shamlian. “Who is going to be responsible for cleaning it off? The town going to have to do that. Is there somewhere else in town where a 300-foot of sidewalk would be more beneficial?”
Thompson said the company would gladly install the sidewalks or not install them. The project is in the Airport GEIS and as such mitigation fees would be associated and they could be used to build sidewalks somewhere else in town. .
There is a sidewalk from the circle east to just past Utica Avenue allowing pedestrians to get to a cross walk should they want to get into Latham Farms.
HVCU began in Poughkeepsie as a federal credit union for IBM employees in 1963. It currently has 20 branches located in the four counties mentioned above.
The project will need to come before the Planning Board at least twice more before construction can begin.