Colonie considering motel/hotel moratorium

Colonie officials hope to spruce up the notoriously business-driven Central Avenue with a new law proposed at the Town Board's Thursday, June 10, meeting.

Part of the law would be a moratorium on new hotels and motels extending 1,000 feet on either side of Route 5, also know as Central Avenue, and the town will look at best possible uses for the land.

A public hearing on the matter will remain open until the Thursday, June 24, town board meeting, and Supervisor Paula Mahan said she is hopeful for a decision on the proposal then.

A moratorium on new hotel and motel construction is planned for one year and cannot be extended beyond three years, according to the language of the law. Mahan said the moratorium is the result of there already being 18 hotels and motels on the road, and the town will investigate if and when there is a need for more.

This particular proposal has to do with following up on redevelopment that we've been working on, Mahan said.

She has been working on a proposal to revitalize Route 5 since she took office and wants to target rundown or abandoned buildings and make the best use of the route running from Schenectady to Albany, she said.

Pedestrian safety is also a priority, including improved lighting, traffic signals and bus transportation.

Mahan said the area is a major commercial corridor and "gateway" to Colonie, and it would serve the town well to bring a diverse set of businesses to the town.

She said small businesses are continually buying up vacant land, and Paesan's Pizza, as an example, is looking to buy land for a Central Avenue location, possibly eliminating four vacant buildings.

Mahan said the Village of Colonie may choose to follow suit and town officials will work with officials there, but it is ultimately their decision to adopt a similar law.

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