Stewart’s looks to update Indian Fields Road shop

Stewart’s Shops Feura Bush

— From Stewart’s Shops

Stewart’s Shops takes about 14 weeks to build a new convenience store and canopy on an existing site like the one on Indian Fields Road in Feura Bush.

NEW SCOTLAND — With approved variances for a proposed update to its Indian Fields Road store with gas pumps in Feura Bush, Stewart’s Shops is faring much better with the land-use boards of New Scotland than it is with the zoning, planning, and village boards — and residents — of Altamont and Voorheesville.

At its May 28 meeting, the New Scotland Zoning Board of Appeals approved three variance requests made by Stewart’s so that it can build a new 3,700-square-foot store with a gas-pump canopy at 1360 Indian Fields Road.

The company was slated to appear before the town’s planning board with an updated site plan on Wednesday night.

Under New Scotland’s zoning code, the proposed project — both shop and canopy — would need to have front and rear setbacks of 30 feet. Jeremy Cramer, New Scotland’s building inspector, told The Enterprise that the zoning board on May 28 approved:

— 19 feet of rear setback relief so that the new store could be built behind the existing shop, which places the new shop 11 feet from the rear property line;

— 26 feet of front setback relief so that the new fuel canopy can be built four feet from the front property line; and

— 13 feet of relief so that a new sign can be placed 2 feet from the front property line.

As the company expands its food-to-go services, Stewart’s older stores aren’t capable of housing all the equipment associated with its new offerings, hastening the need for larger shops.

In January, after Stewart’s had been unsuccessful in obtaining the zoning changes it needed to build a larger store on the site of the former Smith’s Tavern at 112 Maple Ave., the company closed its Voorheesville location on South Main Street, across from village hall, citing space restrictions.

In the seven years he’s worked for Stewart’s, Chuck Marshall, a real-estate representative with the company, said that Stewart’s has updated between 75 and 100 existing shops, but has added only about five new stores. “Because we have such established locations, we’re redeveloping the locations in place,” he explained. Stewart’s operates 335 shops, according to the company.

If an existing store is to remain open during construction, Marshall said, it takes Stewart’s about 14 weeks to build a new shop and gas-pump canopy; on a completely new site, it takes about 10 weeks.

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