Stewart's Shops

The local board must stand its ground in assessing what is best for the community it serves.

ALTAMONT — On Wednesday night, after a packed hearing with more than 100 villagers, the Altamont Village Board voted, 3 to 2, to rezone the two-family home at 107-109 Helderberg Ave. from residential to commercial so that the adjacent Stewart’s Shop will be able to expand.

Smith's Tavern

Voorheesville adopted a moratorium on development at the end of June so that its first-ever comprehensive land-use plan can be completed. 

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter to the owners of Stewart’s.

Stewart’s shops threatened to sue if Voorheesville’s planning commission required an in-depth environmental review of its proposal to build a store with gas pumps in the village, which the company calls an unlawful delaying tactic. Nevertheless, the commission proceeded; its chairwoman said of Stewart’s, “They can sue us or decide to work with us.”

Stewart’s Shops has exercised its option to buy Smith’s Tavern although the special-use permit that would allow for gas pumps has not been decided upon.

Susan Hawkes-Teeter, Berne

A lawyer representing the owners said, “Smitty’s is going to close. Period. What is going in there...will not drastically affect village lives.” 

Stewart’s Shops has yet to open a store in the Hilltowns, but is set to announce a new location in either Berne or Knox by next month. Both town supervisors are vying for the spot, saying that it would help their town, while local businesses are wary of competitors.

Gertrude Smith will celebrate her 88th birthday in the place she considers her second home — Smith’s Tavern. She and her husband ran the Voorheesville eatery for decades.


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