COLONIE — Town Planning Board members had opened the floor to hear concerns over a 160-unit multifamily complex meant to help the town’s need for more housing, but some residents are more worried about losing access to nature.
According to the application submitted by New York Development Group/OLR, LLC, the 574 Old Loudon Road Planned Development project proposal features 160-unit complex that includes 10-unit buildings and 4-unit townhome-style condominiums buildings contained within 18.86 acres. The 22 buildings in total will reside along a loop, in which motorists will enter in a boulevard-like setting.
“The 574 Old Loudon Road PDD is proposed to provide the Town of Colonie with new residential housing options while adding approximately 21.66 acres of open space to the existing adjacent Town of Colonie Mohawk River Park,” the proposal states, drafted by the applicant’s engineers, Lansing Engineering, PC of Malta. “The layout and design of the project has been configured to fit in with the surrounding residential developments and will fill a void within the current housing options in the Town. The applicant and the applicant’s engineer look forward to working with the Town of Colonie to advance this project.”
The applicant argues that the development fills a “significant need in the community” by providing new, modern facility for Colonie residents that wish to remain in the community without the responsibility of maintaining a house.
The complex will fall under land already designated under Single-Family Residential District area of the PDD site. The applicant, New York Development Group/OLR, LLC, said another 21.66 acres north of the complex would be dedicated to the Town for open space conservation and recreational purposes.
Friends of Colonie Town Park Trails, a local volunteer group, quickly rallied for support to keep access to nature trails that already cross over the proposed lot.
The former Bonfman property has a network of nature trails with names that include Pasta, Lower Pasta and Junk-in-the-Trunks. The spaghetti configuration of trails are currently accessible to the Hudson-Mohawk bike trail. But, under the proposal, some are at risk of being lost.
“A showing of support for [a] viable trail system in the [Colonie Town] Park at next Tuesday’s meeting would help the Planning Board understand the importance citizens place on outdoor recreation,” the group wrote. “If you can’t make the meeting, an email to Supervisor Crummey should also be effective. Additional information may be available at www.colonie.org/boards.”
In past years, the Town of Colonie had annexed land for the sake of conserving green space, including some acreage neighboring both the town park and proposed lot. Based on an illustration provided by the volunteer group, there are a few trials that could remain intact. But the aforementioned trails would be lost to development.