Apartment complex spurs look at permit process

Rotterdam Town Board debates repealing Critical Impact Permits

The proposed 248-unit apartment complex off North Thompson Street in Rotterdam might see an expedited approval process if the Town Board decides to repeal a town code article.

During their meeting on Wednesday, July 13, board members discussed two public hearings, scheduled for the Aug. 10 meeting, regarding the proposed apartment complex and commercial strip by property owners William Larned and Sons, Inc. and Maria Esposito. Last summer, the board approved the initial zoning change for the project, which included 71.8 acres of land zoned for heavy industrial and general business to planned residential development and general business. The first public hearing is to create a new sewer district comprised solely of the property, but the second public hearing is to repeal Article XXVIII of the town code titled Critical Impact Uses and Critical Impact Permits.

The law, passed in 2006, gives the Town Board final say over proposed development projects that include buildings of at least 100,000 square feet and residential developments of at least 75 buildings.

Andrew Brick, attorney representing the property owners, said the permit application process adds another layer of paperwork and approval to the process. Deputy Supervisor Robert Godlewski was hesitant of a hasty repeal of the town code and urged board members to seek a recommendation from the town Planning Commission before making a decision.

"I will move this resolution forward but only if it calls to ask the Planning Commission to make a recommendation to this body. That has been the practice, it is in Town Code I don't want anybody to think that I am in favor of this critical impact stuff that is in the town code."

Godlewski formerly served on the Planning Commission when the code passed five years ago and he said he didn't agree with the change since it took away the power of the Planning Commission. The Town Board was granted authority of approval of the permit.

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