Great Oaks gets planning board OK; final hurdle: new local law

Enterprise file photo — Elizabeth Floyd Mair

The proposal for a 120-unit Planned Unit Development at the Great Oaks commercial office park in Guilderland would add two new apartment buildings to the existing complex, which now consists of three office buildings. The town’s planning board signed off on the project; now the town board has to, too.

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland Planning Board at its Aug. 12 meeting gave final site-plan approval for Rosenblum Companies’ plan to add apartments to the Great Oaks commercial office park. The project, a 120-unit planned-unit development, now goes back to the town board for a rezone by way of a new local law. 

The town board next meets on Sept. 1.

The site, which is off Church Road, just west of the Northway, and to the south of Western Avenue, is located within a Business Non-Retail Professional, or BNRP zone. The project would add two new apartment buildings to the existing Great Oaks complex, which now consists of three office buildings.

One of the proposed apartment complexes would be five stories tall, with 78 apartments, and 124 underground parking spaces. It would also have amenities to serve both residents and office tenants, including a market/café, a fitness room with showers, bicycle storage, and an outdoor patio.

The other apartment building would be four stories high and contain 42 units, with 32 parking underground parking spaces.

The proposal requires a rezone through the passage of a new local law. The town board is the lead agency on planned-unit-development applications. 

At its June 24 meeting, the planning board was asked by the town board to “make a decision on what improvements, if any, will be required at the Church Road/Western Avenue intersection and Church Road/Great Oaks Boulevard entrance,” according to Town Planner Kenneth Kovalchik’s memo to the board. 

The town board was trying to determine if a turning lane would be needed at the intersection of Church Road and Western Avenue to the entrance of Great Oaks Office Park, if changes needed to be made only at the entrance of Great Oaks, or if no traffic improvements were needed.

The planning board members were in relative agreement about the project but could not commit to asking Rosenblum to spend what the company said could be as much as $20,000 for an analysis to help the board make its recommendations on what traffic improvements may be required.

However, the planning board was relieved from having to make that request when Supervisor Peter Barber texted Kovalchik during the virtual and broadcasted meeting to tell him the town board would offer further guidance to Rosenblum at its July  meeting. 

On July 7, the town board, in a 3-to-1 vote, determined that no additional improvements to Church Road would be needed. Councilwoman Laurel Bohl cast the dissenting vote while Councilwoman Rosemary Centi recused herself.

It was also noted during the Aug. 12 planning board meeting that Rosenblum Companies would be conveying additional rights-of-way so, if road improvements were needed in the future, the town would have the ability to make those improvements, which would most likely consist of a center-turn lane from the entrance of Great Oaks to Route 20. 


Other business

In other business, the planning board:

— Voted in favor of a referral from zoning board to amend Broadway Auto Clinic’s special-use permit to allow the car wash to add 400 square feet of office space in a previously unused area of the building; and

— Approved a concept plan for M.A. Schafer Construction’s three-lot minor subdivision at 2863 West Old State Road.


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