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Planning Board gives Verstandig's project the OK

Construction on The Gables at Delmar to start in near future

A developer with approved plans for a condominium project in Delmar now has the go-ahead to build townhomes off of Delaware Avenue instead.

The Gables at Delmar will be sited at the Verstandig's Florist property at 454 Delaware. That business has since moved its operation to Selkirk, and the retail store still in Delmar will likely move to close up after the holidays.

A 40-unit condominium development had previously been approved in March of 2009 for the location, but like other projects in town, developer Keystone Builders chose to switch over to another housing type in the face of diminished demand for condos. The Gables will instead consist of 27 townhome units, arranged in approximately the same fashion as the condos would have been.

The Planning Board made quick work of the amendments to the plans, helped along by the fact a lot of infrastructure details remained unchanged.

As good of a project we thought we approved last year, I think we have a better one, Planning Board Chairman George Leveille said.

There was some discussion about landscaping before the project was unanimously approved on Tuesday, Dec. 7, and also about a fence on the project's edge that would run the length of Delaware Avenue. It was eventually decided to abandon the fence in favor of landscaping with mature plantings.

"Given the character of the neighborhood, it's going to look unusual to have a long run of iron fence along the front of the site," Planning Board member John Smolinsky said.

The developer also made a change to the architecture of some of the buildings whose rears would be facing Delaware, making the backs of the homes look more like traditional fronts.

"I think what you have before you now really reads more as the front of a building," town Director of Economic Development and Planing Michael Morelli said.

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