Ten homes proposed off Altamont’s Western Avenue

— From Miller submittal to village of Altamont

The Altamont Zoning Board of Appeals on Sept. 27 gave concept approval to Troy Miller’s proposed 11-lot subdivision off of Western Avenue and  Schoharie Plank Road West.

ALTAMONT — Troy Miller is proposing to build 10 new homes on a 12.7-acre parcel in the village that backs up to homes on Western Avenue, Schoharie Plank Road West, Gun Club Road, and Marian Court.

Miller is looking to subdivide the land into 11 lots, his engineer Stephen Walrath told zoning board members on Tuesday; one of the lots has an existing home on the site. 

Three properties would be accessed by a shared roadway located between 133 and 137 Western Ave; another three would be accessed directly from Western Avenue; and the remaining four lots would be accessible by a road placed between 115 and 117 Schoharie Plank Road West.

The zoning board, by a 4-to-1 vote, approved Miller’s concept at its Sept. 27 meeting, allowing him to move forward with preliminary plans for the project. Simon Litten cast the dissenting vote. 

Walrath during the meeting said village code allows the property to be subdivided into as many as 24 lots, but Miller doesn’t want that much density. The added density appealed to at least one member of the zoning board. 

Litten wondered whether the development was suitable for the zoning in that area of the village, which allows for lots as small as 15,000 square feet, while Miller was proposing lots varying in size from 20,000 square feet to about 94,000 square feet. 

Litten said, “According to the text of the village law, what we’re trying to do is promote … moderate to high-density living.” Later in the meeting, he added, “I think the village intended to have a denser development” in that area. 

Chairwoman Deboarah Hext responded to Litten, “I have not heard that. That doesn’t mean it’s not true.”

Litten said his comments were based on a reading of the village code

Hext said earlier in the meeting that the board had to be cognizant of what it would mean to add additional traffic to “what is now a dead-end street … in a small village.” Speaking of Schoharie Plank Road West, Hext asked if Miller intended to improve the road, which she said was “pretty beat,” and was told there was no improvement plan.

Walrath said that adding more homes meant more maintenance and, referring to an earlier question about fire trucks being able to get where they need to go when needed, he said, “If there’s an emergency, [access] would be a lot easier if it was not so dense.” He also brought up the village’s infrastructure, “I mean can [it] support that much more water, sewer, and so on.” A village road would have to be added if more homes were added, he said. 

Walrath, after speaking with Miller in the middle of the meeting, said Miller  “just brought something up which … is unusual because the zoning board and the planning board is the same board.” The two boards were recently merged.

Walrath asked if Miller would have to apply for variances for some of the keyhole lots, because, generally speaking, in most municipalities, variance approval is needed “before you go to the planning board,” but in Altamont the planning and zoning board are one in the same. 

Walrath was told Miller could apply at the same time for the variance and preliminary subdivision plan approval, and that both would be taken up at a future meeting. 

Joined: 01/13/2020 - 18:33
106 Maple Ave Altamont

The Hungerford Bagel shop at 106 Maple Ave could use a new awning. It has been looking faded and worn for a long time. It is an eyesore to our quaint village. I have been told it’s owned by Troy Miller.

Maureen Werntz
Maple Ave Altamont

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.