Representatives of the Toyota/Audi dealership in front of the Colonie Planning Board (Photo by Jim Franco/Spotlight News)
COLONIE – The Planning Board, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, granted the owners of Northway Toyota final approval to knock down two existing buildings and construct a new dealership at its Route 9 location.
It also gave the owners of O’Reilly Auto Parts permission to demolish the old Sitar Indian Restaurant on Central Avenue, and gave plans to build three single-family homes on Denison Road near the Niskayuna border a favorable recommendation.
One resident spoke about Northway Toyota’s plans. Tim Dooley, who lives behind the car dealership on Old Loudon Road, said developers have been receptive to neighbors’ concerns regarding keeping trees as buffers and storm water management.
He was, though, concerned about asbestos during the demolition of the existing Toyota dealership, which was hit by fire in March, 2017, and the now vacant Friendly’s Restaurant. Joe LaCivita, the director of the Planning and Economic Development Department, said prior to the issuance of any demolition permit, there will be a plan to mitigate asbestos in place.
The new dealership would merge two lots along Route 9, 737 and 727 New Loudon Road, into one 10.8-acre Toyota/Audi dealership. The new two-story building will be 45,739-square-foot and will architecturally complement the existing Audi building.
Two waivers were unanimously granted by the board: one to allow the building to be built beyond the required 20-foot setback from Route 9 and to allow the developer to do away with the required green-space islands in the parking lots.
Dooley also expressed concern about dust during the demolition and construction phases and about light pollution, which engineer Dan Hershberg said would be handled with shields to direct the light into the dealership parking lot rather than into the neighbors’ yards.
Planning Board member Louis Mion received assurance that the loading and unloading of vehicles would take place in the parking lot rather than on Route 9.
O’Reilly Auto Parts
The board gave final approval for O’Reilly Auto Parts – a chain founded in Missouri in 1957 with nearly 5,000 locations today – to knock down the vacant building that once housed the 5,250-square-foot Sitar Indian Restaurant at 1929 Central Ave. and to construct a 16,000-square-foot retail auto parts store.
O’Reilly’s operates in 47 states and currently has outlets in Wilton and Granville as well as Bennington, Vermont, and North Adams, Massachusetts.
The 1.57-acre site is already zoned Commercial Office Residential and the board granted three waivers: to allow a more than 20-foot setback from Central Avenue, allow parking in the front yard and allow 10 less than the required 78 parking spots.
The new auto parts store will be located across Central Avenue, and a bit west, of the massive Car Max used car dealership that opened in 2017.
Shelco Open Development
The Planning Board gave a positive recommendation to developers who want to break out 3.9 acres of a 102.8-acre site to build three single family homes on Denison Road.
The request for an Open Development Area now heads to the Town Board for deliberation and, if approved, the project’s actual construction can be addressed by the Planning Board.
The land, currently zoned Single Family Residential with a conservation overlay, is wooded with ridge and swale areas. It is located across Denison Road from the still-being-built housing development Forrest Hills.
The developer is proposing a shared driveway to minimize site disturbance, according to the written narrative submitted to the Planning Board by the engineering firm C.T. Male Associates.