Former 70-lot subdivision pared down to 42 gets concept approval

— From BM Guilderland LLC submittal to the town of Guilderland

A developer has revamped a proposal for a housing development across from Tawasentha Park along Route 146. BM Guilderland LLC is now proposing a 42-lot subdivision.

GUILDERLAND — A proposed housing development across from Tawasentha Park has shrunk 40 percent since initially coming before the town. 

First presented as a 70-lot subdivision in September 2022, then 66 homes just a couple of months later, BM Guilderland LLC is now looking to build a 42-lot subdivision on 87 acres spanning four properties along Route 146. But the pared-down proposal still has residents raising similar concerns.

The planning board tabled the proposal in February of last year after Chairman Stephen Feeney made it clear that BM Guilderland’s 66-lot proposal would not be accepted as presented, a fact project representatives had been aware of for months.

BM Guilderland is now presenting a 42-lot development, with 36 homes on an extended-to-Route-146 Concord Hill Drive and 6 lots on Posson Road, which project engineer Scott Lansing explained to planning board members during their March 27 meeting was a cluster layout encouraged by the town. 

The developer is seeking a density bonus of 25 percent, or nine lots, based on the percentage of open space, public access to conservation areas, and the protection of historically significant resources. The developer made the case that it should receive the density bonus because it was conserving two-thirds of total project acreage (a 10-percent bonus), granting public access to conservation areas through multi-use pathways (10 percent), and is preserving a historically significant site (5 percent).

In response to traffic concerns raised in February 2023 by residents of nearby Windmill Estates, BM Guilderland provided a traffic evaluation in August 2023, which included a license-plate survey to identify existing cut-through travel patterns between Route 20 and Route 146 via Hague Drive, Concord Hill Drive, and Halfmoon Drive in Windmill Estates.  

The survey identified a small volume of existing cut-through traffic, with three vehicles during the two-hour a.m. peak period — 7 to 9 a.m. — and seven vehicles during the two-hour p.m. peak period — 4 to 6 p.m. 

Then, in response to town comments, an additional survey was conducted in January of this year. The surveys identified three cut-through trips during a one-hour morning period and four cut-through trips during a one-and-a-half-hour afternoon period, confirming the low volume of cut-through traffic. 

The study also said building 42 single-family homes would generate an additional 34 trips during the a.m. peak hour and 44 trips during the p.m. peak hour.

But residents disputed the cut-through numbers as well as the developer’s notion that a serpentine road layout would slow down speeding cars, which they say come bombing through the neighborhood with regularity. 

“We now have a doctor’s office that wasn’t there when the study was completed,” said one resident. 

After a number of Windmill Estates residents expressed their concerns, Lansing got back up to speak. “The town’s designated engineer has concurred with the study that VHB has put together,” he said. “The board and the public have come up with some questions, concerns and the applicant has agreed to look into.”

The board then voted to give the proposal concept approval, which will allow BM Guilderland to move forward with more detailed engineering. 

More Guilderland News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.