Town weighs expanding development notification

Petition circulates to have more neighbors notified of impending projects

Colonie officials are considering an amendment to the town code that would expand neighbor notification requirements for developers after receiving complaints from concerned citizens.

Under the current town code, neighbors living within 200 feet of a proposed project must be notified in order to become more informed of the plans and offer comments. A New York State law requires that towns must publish and post major changes about projects, but there is no requirement for towns to provide specific notification on potential projects.

At a Town Board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28, a resolution was passed calling for a public hearing on Thursday, March 28, on amendments to several chapters of the Town Code referring to wireless telecommunications special use permits, zoning and land use and expanding the notification radius for many project types, generally to 500 feet from the project’s property line.

The request for a change began a few months ago after BCI Construction, the developers of the Loudon House project, came to the board in the summer of 2012 and wanted to change the planned development district from condominiums to apartments. In 2007, the developers had proposed to build 24 luxury condominiums on a parcel at the corner of Menands and Schuyler roads, but after 18 months of work on the project, construction came to a halt when the economy stumbled.

“Many people in the neighborhood came forth to complain that the former administration did not provide adequate notice at the time the PDD was approved in 2007,” town spokeswoman Sara Wiest said.

Wiest said town officials have been meeting with representatives of various neighborhood groups. The town attorney’s office researched the subject and the Land Use Law Review Committee began discussing and considering changes. The Land Use Law Review Committee consists of Paul Sheppard, the manager of the Building Department, Director of Planning and Economic Development Joe LaCivita, Assistant Town Attorney Rebekah Kennedy and Town Board Members Daniel Hornick and Paul Rosano.

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