Slingerlands apartments taking shape

Planners say wetlands preclude this hamlet from being hamlet-like

— Plans to build an apartment complex next to the Price Chopper Plaza in Slingerlands are coalescing.

Windsor Development, the owner of the plaza and the adjacent land, brought new plans for the project to the Bethlehem Planning Board on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Consisting of 50 units in six buildings, the apartments, under the name “The Hamlet,” would sit off of New Scotland Avenue, accessible by a short driveway through a row of forest growth.

Though the entire project site is more than nine acres in size, more than half of that area is constrained by wetlands and steep slopes, limiting developers to disturbing about 3 1/2 acres of the site.

Some members of the Planning Board said the project resembles a “cluster” development. The code does allows for a maximum of 50 units in an area of that size.

“In today’s economy, we really needed to be efficient,” said project engineer Francis Bossolini, of Ingalls and Associates.

That includes not only with putting that number of apartments in, he continued, but in configuring the buildings so they would fit on the site. Each apartment would have a garage space and an additional parking space.

The land is zoned hamlet, which carries requirements that promote a walkable, mixed used community atmosphere and have buildings set close to roadways. There has been talk of getting a sidewalk installed on that side of New Scotland Road once the town takes possession of the street from the state.

But the wetlands on the site don’t make “The Hamlet” very hamlet-like.

“We have some competing objectives here,” said Planning Board Chairman George Leville. “The idea here was to interconnect this into a hamlet, but it’s constrained considerably.”

“It would be nice to have everything up to the road and make it hamlet-like … it doesn’t work,” said David Sussman of Windsor Development.

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