Polsinelli Builders plan new road off Oakleaf Drive and East Old State

The Enterprise — Michael Koff
Oakleaf Drive, shown in the center of this photo, ends at a woodline. There is a stub street there — which, in the picture looks like a woodland path, directly at center — where Polsinelli Builders was approved in the 1970s to build another road but never did. The company now plans to add a new road that may start here, at the center of the frame and loop back through the woods, coming out directly across East Old State Road from the existing Polsinelli Drive. Oakleaf Drive and Oakleaf Hill — which in the photo run left to right — are quiet dead-end streets.

GUILDERLAND — Frederico Polsinelli is planning to build a development his father got approval for nearly a half-century ago.

Polsinelli Builders, which Frederico owns, presented a plan on Sept. 18 for a new subdivision off East Old State Road at a pre-application conference with the town’s new Development Planning Committee. 

Pre-application conferences are open to the public and were initiated as a way for developers to get feedback from the town and its residents before submitting proposals to the town. This was the first conference held. 

In a concept-plan layout presented to the committee, Biagio Drive, named for Frederico Pollsinelli’s father, would continue straight from the end of Oakleaf Drive, loop around through an area that is now wooded, and come out across East Old State Road from Polsinelli Drive. This plan, with 15 homes, proposes 5.44 acres of land to remain as permanently protected open space.

A second plan, a cluster-subdivision layout, shows 16 homes, all but three on a road that extends into the woods from across from Polsinelli Drive and then ends in a circular cul-de-sac ringed with houses. The three three others have long drives that extend out onto Oakleaf Hill. In this plan, 7.8 acres would be permanently protected open space. 

Because the open-space areas are hilly and contain a stream, it would be difficult to develop within them, town planner Kenneth Kovalchik told The Enterprise. He provided comments to the applicant to preserve an existing sand dune on lots 6 through 8, which may impact their layout, he said, and the town wants to limit grading on those three lots.

Kovalchik also said there appears to be an area behind lots 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15 where an open-space area could be included. 

Oakleaf Drive and Oakleaf Hill are currently dead-end streets, with Oakleaf heading off East Old State and Oakleaf Hill forming a short T-street at the end of Oakleaf Drive. The new subdivision would bring more houses, but the subdivision would not make the area a “through street” leading anywhere else, Polsinelli, the company’s owner and project developer, told The Enterprise. 

Polsinelli said that the town planner and the other committee members all preferred the first plan, the concept layout. Kovalchik confirmed this, adding that town staff was not supportive of the cul-de-sac design. 

The pre-application conferences are held in the town hall every third Wednesday at 10 a.m. as needed, when there are projects to discuss. 

The committee consists of Kovalchik; Timothy McIntyre, superintendent of water and wastewater management; Gregory Wier, highway superintendent; Jacqueline M. Coons, chief building and zoning inspector; Colin Gallup, director of parks and recreation; Kenneth D’Arpino, stormwater-control officer; Zeynep Tas, GIS (Geographic Information Systems) coordinator; and Donald Csaposs, chief executive officer of the Guilderland Industrial Development Agency. 

According to the description of the Development Planning Committee on the town’s website, the committee allows for communication between the town and developers early in the process on a variety of issues including consistency with planning, zoning, building codes, and land-use regulations; environmental impacts; stormwater regulations; availability and adequacy of public facilities such as water mains, storm drainage, sanitary sewer, and roads; neighborhood compatibility; potential for land conservation; and economic and fiscal impacts. 

The site was previously approved years ago, according to Kovalchik, and includes a stub street at Oakleaf Drive and a stub street connection at East Old State Road, both of which Polsinelli intends to use. 

Polsinelli told The Enterprise that final town subdivision approval was given for this parcel of land in the 1970s, when the parcel was zoned R15 and 30 lots were approved. He also said that Biagio Polsinelli, Frederico’s father, chose not to develop the property at that time. 

Polsinelli Builders was started in the 1940s by BIagio’s father, Vincenzo Polsinelli, said Frederico Polsinelli. In the 1960s, Biagio Polsinelli started his own company, springing off from his father’s, Frederico Polsinelli said.

The street across East Old State Road from Oakleaf, Vincenza Drive, is named for Biagio’s wife, Frederico’s mother. 

The site is zoned R30, which requires a minimum lot size of 30,000 square feet, rather than the originally zoned 15,000, according to Kovalchik. 

The applicant will need to comply with the setbacks from watercourses and steep slopes; no setback variances would be required, Kovalchik said. 

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