New gas station proposed at routes 20 and 146

GUILDERLAND — Tri-Way Services owns two vacant parcels of land along Western Avenue near the corner of Route 146, and wants to have a Cumberland Farms convenience store and gas station built on one of them.

At a public hearing on Tuesday night, Charles Carrow, of Carrow Real Estate Services, told the town board that the 1.35-acre parcel at 2444 Western Ave., which is zoned for local business, would allow for the convenience store, but not the filling station.

A property must be zoned for general business in order to allow a gas station.

“There is a Stewart’s right across the street, which is zoned for general business, so we’re just asking to extend that zoning across Western Avenue,” said Carrow.

The parcel has stood empty for the more than 10 years that Tri-Way Services has owned it, and Carrow said all types of businesses had been approached and asked about potential tenancy there, but all had declined.

“We tried Starbucks and McDonald’s and everything we could think of,” he said. “Nobody wants to extend down Western past the intersection of routes 20 and 155.”

He said the town should jump at the chance to let Cumberland Farms build there.

“They take great pride in their architectural design,” he said.

Supervisor Kenneth Runion expressed concern over an adjacent property owned by Tri-Way Services, where an abandoned bank building, once housing a Marine Midland bank, still stands.

Runion called the building a “blight” and asked if Tri-Way Services would be removing it or developing the second property.

Carrow said the second Tri-Way Services property was not up for discussion on Tuesday night, but that he believed his client was willing to remove the vacant bank building if the Cumberland Farms project was allowed to go forward.

Board members also worried about creating extra traffic on Western Avenue, but the board was informed that the presenters were not prepared to discuss traffic planning at the public hearing, and would discuss it with the planning board at a meeting on June 11.

Mark Grimm, a Guilderland resident and former Republican town board member, spoke to the all-Democratic town board at the hearing, and said the choices were either to continue having a blighted property on the main corridor of the town or to work with a responsible Realtor and developer to fix the problem.

“Not taking action has as many consequences as taking action,” said Grimm.

Donald Csaposs, the town’s grant writer, also spoke, stating he was doing so as a private citizen.

Csaposs spoke against the convenience store and filling station, saying it went against the town’s vision and comprehensive plan.

The board ultimately decided to continue to public hearing until July 1, after the planning board will have reviewed the proposal and addressed potential site and traffic issues.

The town board also voted to set a second public hearing for July 1, at 7:30 p.m., in conjunction with the Village of Altamont Board of Trustees, to consider the request of Pangburn Farm, LLC to annex territory to the Village of Altamont.

The territory consists of approximately 52 acres and is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Bozenkill Road and Dunnsville Road.

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