MALTA: Size worries people

Residents from May Apple Way showed up at the Malta Town Board agenda meeting Monday, Jan. 29, to voice concerns with the proposed Ellsworth Commons Project, citing as issues the size and placement of the development's townhomes, as well as a lack of individual notification by the town of meetings dealing with the development.

In the project proposal, first presented to the town's planning board in June 2006, four primary buildings would sit at the front of the site. The mixed use in these buildings would consist of retail, offices, apartments and restaurants. In addition to traditional parking lots behind these buildings, plans call for about 170 underground parking spaces. Also as part of this project, 22 townhomes, referred to in the proposal as brownstones, will be constructed at the rear of the property, with access from Route 9. Although they will be three to four stories tall, the buildings will give the appearance of being five stories tall.

Beginning her comments with an invitation to town officials to view the proposed project from her backyard, Patty Heidelmark called on Malta Town Board members to amend the plan.

Ellsworth Commons, as advertised in notifications to the Luther Forest Association, just said Route 9. No individual homeowners were notified of this development, nor did our neighborhood association realize that Route 9 meant right in our backyard . . . literally, said Heidelmark.

Heidelmark noted that her family has been living in Luther Forest since 1984 and has regularly enjoyed the natural trail system and wildlife they can view from their kitchen. She said the deer, wild turkey, red fox and raccoons that are regularly seen from her home will be replaced by the huge brownstones.

"The fact is one of the pro-posed brownstones will be 130 feet from my neighbor's back door. I now look out and see trees and animals. If this development is approved, I will be staring at one of five enormous brick brownstone buildings," said Heidelmark.

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