COLONIE — Citing concerns about its size, the configuration of greenspace and the number of curb cuts, The Planning Board denied the progress of a plan to build a self-storage facility on New Karner Road.
The plan, presented by Luigi Palleschi of ABD Engineers on behalf of Tony Casale, would construct a three-story, 92,676-square-foot facility, on two acres of the nearly four-acre site that already houses an equipment rental business. It would require a subdivision separating the two lots to accommodate the respective buildings.
The land is zoned industrial.
To maintain the greenspace requirements of lot No. 1, which houses the rental business, it was proposed to be in a the shape of a flag, with a thin stretch of land extending behind lot No. 2. That idea did not sit well with the Planning Board.
“I’m not in favor of a flag lot. We have them, but they are more or less created by accident and not by purposeful design. This building could be smaller and you could have plenty of greenspace,” said Planning Board member Craig Shamilan. “Why are we creating a flag line? Because you want to put an almost 31,000-square-foot building on this lot. That is not a good enough reason.”
The buildings footprint would be about 31,000 square feet for a total of 92,676 square feet overall.
Palleschi said the strip of greenspace along the back is the easiest way to get the required greenspace.
“If you go back to the way the lots are configured, are you telling me I need to get a variance? One way to provide the greenspace is to have the 30-foot line of greenspace along the back. What other suggestions would you have,” he said. “We are providing all the requirements on lot No. 2 and whatever is left over we are giving to lot No. 1.”
There are already two curb cuts leading into Casale Rent-All with another curb cut proposed for the self-storage facility. The third curb but, Palleschi said, is needed to accommodate tractor trailers that would use the facility. He added the self-storage building produces one of the least amount of traffic of any other use allowed in an industrial zone.
While Palleschi said industrial zone allows a 70-foot building and the proposed is 40-foot, the size was still a concern to the Planning Board.
“The other thing is the size of the building. I look around the area and you are going to be the only three story building and it will stick out like a sore thumb,” said Planning Board member Lou Mion. “I don’t understand why there is a third story. I really think you need to look at lowering the building.”
“Regardless of how this is zoned, this is not an industrial site. This is a major corridor in town and it need not look like an industrial building,” added Shamilan.
There was also concern about the strip along the back of the building and whether or not it is wide enough to allow emergency vehicles. Pallsechi said the town only requires fire truck access on three sides of a building and on the fourth have enough room for fire personnel on foot.
The issues that sent the project back to the drawing board were brought up by the Planning Board at sketch plan review but not much changed from then to the latest board meeting on Sept. 8.
“It was at sketch the last time and I would expect some of these issues would be addressed. There is a process that is followed, but this is basically the same plan we were looking at at sketch,” said Joe Grasso, the Town Designated Engineer for the project. “The board spoke at length about concerns and they have never been addressed. Whether or not they are significant enough to warrant a redesign that is up to the board but we think they are.”
The board voted 5-1 to send deny the project concept approval. It will now need to come back to the board for concept and then again for final site plan approval before construction can begin.
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