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Guilderland conditionally approves rezone for apartments

Town Board sends Wolanin project to Planning Board for site plan review

Vincent Wolanin talks to the Guilderland Town Board before his project received conditional rezoning approval 
on Tuesday, April 15.

Vincent Wolanin talks to the Guilderland Town Board before his project received conditional rezoning approval on Tuesday, April 15. Photo by John Purcell.

— Several years after Wolanin Companies proposed rezoning property off Western Avenue for a luxury apartment complex, the request has been granted, conditionally. The contentious project still faces more hurdles before final approval.

The Guilderland Town Board on Tuesday, April 15, unanimously approved the rezone of 22 acres behind 1700 Apartments in the hamlet of Westmere from Single-Family Residential to Planned United Development District. The board’s approval included several conditions, which the town Planning Board and developer must adhere to for the project to be approved. The project would come before the Town Board for final approval after Planning Board approves the final site plan.

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The proposed site plan for Wolanin Companies luxury apartment complex off Western Avenue in Guilderland was presented during the Town Board meeting on Tuesday, April 15.

“We’ve probably stretched the patience of the residents in the amount of input that we’ve requested, but we needed to … get the neighbors’ opinions. As I read through all the materials I had, it seemed there were several issues that just struck home,” Town Supervisor Ken Runion said. “We have to … trust our Planning Board to use their best efforts to ensure that all the other issues — stormwater, drainage and traffic — are appropriately dealt with.”

Runion believed the conditions the board imposed would result in “minimal” impact on surrounding residents. The main areas of concerns included traffic impact, visual effect and the density of the development.

Conditions the board included are:

  • The maximum allowable density for the project is 210 units.
  • There will be no exit or entrance from the project to Patricia Lane or Newman Road.
  • There will be no exit or entrance for traffic through Westmere Elementary School.
  • The occupants of 1700 Apartments shall able to enter or exit the project or the Price Chopper’s Johnston Road exit.
  • The circular road serving as an entrance to the clubhouse shall be reconfigured to not fall within the 100-foot setback of homes along Joseph Terrace and Patricia Lane.
  • The clubhouse and pool shall be “significantly buffered” to prevent noise to adjoining neighborhood, along with providing a visual screen.
  • A 200-foot buffer above what a PUD zoning requires shall be implemented and there shall be no building or structure within the buffer.
  • The Planning Board shall have a minimum of one public hearing on the final site plan and notify property owners from Church Road west to Johnston Road.
  • The Planning Board is requested as part of their review to have the developer contact the state Department of Transportation regarding the timing of the light at Johnston Road and Western Avenue. (Increasing the time was suggested as a way to help the neighborhood turn onto Route 20.)
  • Somewhere within the project there will be a CDTA Bus stop. (The state DOT has control over where it’s placed within the property.)
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