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COLONIE – The Planning Board granted concept acceptance to a plan to demolish the former Sushi X restaurant at 1893 Central Ave. and build a 5,275-square-foot Cumberland Farms complete with six gas pumps on 2.7 acres of land.
The land is zoned Commercial Office Residential, which is appropriate for the convenience store. But, because of its size it is considered a supermarket and also as a mini-mart because it plans to sell gasoline.
There are four variances: the plan does not meet the 20-foot setback, they are asking for parking in the front yard, the minimum buildout across the front is not met and the developer already got relief from the zoning board for the canopy over the gas pumps.
As proposed, there will be two curb cuts onto Central with 53 parking spaces including 12 at the pump. The store will be open around the clock seven days a week.
At 5,275 it is larger than the Cumberland Farms already open on Central Avenue east of this location, but Stephanie Bitter, a representative for Cumberland Farms at the Planning Board, said it will offer more services and products.
“This is a huge improvement to the site since it currently has a vacant commercial building on it,” she said. “It is a huge revitalization project.”
If approved Cumberland Farms hopes to start construction in April, 2019 and open in September, 2019.
Much of the discussion was about traffic but not the number of trips generated from the site should the store get approved. Rather, it was about the CDTA bus stop out front on Central Avenue which does not have a pull off spot and buses just stop in the middle of the right hand driving lane to pick up or discharge passengers.
“I’m very displeased with the fact the cars back up and the buses cause a safety hazard and it violates their own paperwork,” said Planning Board member Louis Mion. “It would work if it (bus stop) were on the other side of the light and then the buses could pull out when the light changes.”
There are plans to reach out to CDTA and see if it would move the bus stop. But, Wendy Holzberger, of Creighton and Manning, said the transportation company prefers not having to pull the buses off because of difficulties with pulling back into traffic, especially along a busy corridor like Central Avenue.
The store itself is estimated to generate 86 new trips during the morning peak traffic hour and 95 in the afternoon onto Central Avenue.
Concept acceptance is not a final OK to start building, but it does allow the developer to bring more detailed plans to the board.
The Planning Board also reviewed a sketch plan from Anthony Fazio to build a new 3,500-square-foot building at 155 Wade Road.
Already on the 2.76-acre property are three structures totaling 7,596-square-foot with the primary structure being the Bull and Barrel Smokehouse Grill restaurant/bar.
According to a post on its Facebook page, though, the Bull and Barrell’s last day of business was June 8.
The two remaining structures are masonry storage warehouses located to the rear of the property.
The proposed work includes re-surfacing the existing asphalt parking area along with other site modifications like landscaping.
It is not clear what the building will be used for once constructed.