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[UPDATE] Rotterdam planners frown on CVS

Traffic concerns drive negative opinion on rezoning, Town Board has final say

Engineer John Furman, of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., talks about proposed landscaping for a new CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Lawndale Avenue and Curry Road during the Rotterdam Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Engineer John Furman, of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., talks about proposed landscaping for a new CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Lawndale Avenue and Curry Road during the Rotterdam Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Photo by John Purcell.

— Despite changes to a plan for a new CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Lawndale Avenue and Curry Road, the Rotterdam Planning Commission has recommended against the necessary rezoning of the property.

The commission on Tuesday, Feb. 21, addressed the Town Board’s request for a recommendation on the proposed rezoning of four properties from R-1 Residential to B-1 Retail Business. Although the developer made changes to the proposal after hearing residents’ concerns, the commission wasn’t satisfied and voted 6-1 supporting a negative recommendation to the Town Board for the rezone.

The Town Board is expected to vote on the resolution during its meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Update: The Rotterdam Town Board on Wednesday, Feb. 22, did not take any action on the Planning Commission's negative recommendation for the zoning change. Supervisor Harry Buffardi said the board is expecting to vote on the rezone during its next meeting on Wednesday, March 14.

Buffardi said the board wanted to have more time to discuss the proposal.

Councilman Matthew Martin has consistently opposed the rezone and referral to the Planning Commission. Deputy Supervisor Wayne Calder previously voted against referring it to the commission, but said the revised site plan led him to change his mind. Martin was the only Town Board member voting against referring it to the commission.

Commission Chairman Thomas Yuille said he was concerned about what impact the project would have on traffic, and thus the surrounding neighborhood.

“I got three major issues on this project — traffic, traffic, traffic,” Yuille said.

He said there are heavy amounts of traffic at the adjacent intersection and said at certain times of the day it is already a “nightmare.”

If the new CVS was constructed, two CVS stores in town are planned to close, according to Donald Zee, an attorney representing the developer. CVS leases its stores at Broadway and Five Corners and the leases are close to expiring, Zee said, and CVS would own the property for the new store.

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