Western Avenue apartment complex plan resurfaces

Guilderland to hold public hearing on development, feedback scaled back proposal

— An apartment complex first proposed more than four years ago is moving forward in Guilderland after developers scaled back the proposal to 210 units.

The Guilderland Town Board on Tuesday, Feb. 4, approved holding a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, on the proposed rezoning of more than 20 acres behind Seventeen Hundred Designer Residences located at 1700 Western Ave. The property zoning would change from R-15 and R-20 residential districts to a Planned Unit Development District (PUD), which would change the allowable density from 1 unit per acre to 10.5 units per acre. The original proposal was scaled down from 248 units.

The Wolanin Companies Ltd. owns the property, along with the four-story, 96-unit apartment building the new development would be built behind.

Town Supervisor Ken Runion declined to offer his opinion on the proposal because he said he wants to hear residents’ reactions before weighing in.

“I want to listen to what people have to say at the public hearing,” Runion said.

He did note the original proposal stirred some debate, but the developer made changes to address concerns of the town and residents.

“How they originally proposed it, it was controversial, and they have made some changes to try to avoid some of the controversy,” Runion said. “I think they have listened to some of the comments and tried to accommodate those concerns.”

Runion said the apartments would be geared towards seniors and possibly nano-tech workers moving into the region.

“It has been in front of the Planning Board a couple of times,” Runion said.

The Guilderland Planning Board recommended the rezoning to the Town Board in a 5-1 vote, with James Cohen opposing, on May 23, 2012. Minutes from the meeting, posted on the town’s website, outlined several changes to the project.

More of the larger 32-unit buildings were added alongside a reduction of the smaller 10-unit buildings, which allowed for buildings to be 250 feet away from the property line on average. Previously, some buildings were within 100 feet of the line, which concerned neighboring residents.

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