LATHAM – Town of Colonie Planning Board unanimously approved the concept plan review of the proposed Stewart’s Shops store Tuesday, May 9. The one-story 3,975 square foot mini-mart with two full fuel canopies totaling 4,460 square feet, could be placed at the previous location of the Sycamore Motel.
“Stewart’s Shops is a great corporate business.” Chairman Steven Heider said.
According to Heider, adding the new store to Loudon Road could build community and bring in more driving and foot traffic to the town. With the new medical center being built on Wellness Way, drivers who need to go to the medical complex that may need gas or coffee could go to the proposed store.
Director of Planning and Economic Development Sean Maguire said that the project was reviewed as a Sketch Plan on May 17, 2022 before the full application was submitted – which was the purpose of the concept plan review at the last Planning Board meeting.
Stewart’s Shops Corp. wants to purchase 2 Wellness Way and 956 Loudon Road, and wants to do a land swap with 946 Loudon Road. Stewart’s would then take a portion of 946 Loudon Road and the company would give pieces of its land back in return.
Chris Potter, site design and development manager of Stewart’s Shops Corp. presented the concept plan to the board.
The company wants to include a gradient easement along the rear of 956 Loudon Road with 946 Loudon Road, allowing them to re-grade the property.
Stewart’s Shops plans to add 40 parking spaces, eight of which would include EV chargers and cross access easements, with 946 Loudon Road and road access from Wellness Way.
Stewart’s Shops is proposing sidewalks along the frontage for the proposed store and needs a grant easement. The company must clarify with the DCC and Pure Waters to see if sidewalks would be allowed both in a utility easement and added along Loudon Road.
Project Engineer of CHA Joe Grasso noted that the development of the proposed business is a re-development project because it was the previous location of the Sycamore Motel. The motel currently sits vacant on the site and would be removed.
He praised Potter and other applicants who want to take on redevelopment projects and convert them into new projects that don’t take up more greenspace from another unused area.
Grasso provided the Town Designated Engineer’s commentary to Potter citing four waiver requests; to exceed the 25 foot front yard setback from Loudon Road, placement of the fuel canopies and parking in the front yard, parking within 10 feet of the site yard, and landscaping of the interior islands.
Grasso noted that the new store’s layout is consistent with other Stewart’s Shop locations in town. Based on the location and site constraints of the new store, Grasso felt that the waivers and general store site are appropriate for its proposed use.
If the waivers are approved by the planning board, Grasso will draft a resolution for consideration for the board to review prior to the final site plan review at a future date.
“Stewart’s is very good. They know what the town wants.” Heider said. Heider noted that the plan will have to undergo a few more renditions before it is set for a final review.
Heider said he was concerned about the egress of the proposed store. While he is in favor of the left-in, left-out zones for drivers to enter and exit the store, however with cars driving on Loudon Rd. at a high speed, making a left-hand turn to head north could be dangerous.
He said he would prefer having vehicles exit the site at the Wellness Way traffic light to head north.