The Malta Town Board sent a developer seeking a planned development district amendment packing on Monday, April 6, as debate continued on how the downtown area of the town will one day appear.
DCG Development, a firm that owns Clifton Park Center and the Malta Commons Business Park, has brought the proposal for Malta Gardens before the town on previous occasions.
Gavin Vuillaume, of the Environmental Design Partnership, said that efforts had been made to better reflect the town's downtown design standards, a set of parameters detailing the ideal appearance and layout of buildings in what many expect will be a booming area.
The buildings along Route 9 would be designed to downtown standards, said Vuillaume.
The lot is about 13 acres in size, located south of a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Stone Break Road and Route 9, where an ingress/egress to a major GlobalFoundries microchip manufacturing plant is set. In the proposal, the area along Route 9 would be home to a string of buildings with retail space on the first floor and residential units on the upper floors. The structures would rise from two floors on the ends to four in the center, where an entrance from Route 9 leading to a parking area would be placed.
Seven two-story apartment buildings encircling a "community green area" would be set behind the retail strip. All said, 72 housing units would be included in the 60,000-square-foot project.
Town officials raised a number of concerns about the proposal, including procedural worries about the planned development district. But the entrance to the project from Route 9 was a major problem for many.
"I'm still opposed, as I am every time I see this project, to the access point to Route 9," said Councilman Peter Klotz.
"Our department strongly recommends this not be part of this plan," said Building and Planning Director Tony Tozzi of the proposed entrance. "Route 9 is parcel by parcel going to turn into Central Avenue."