A barn dating back to the Shakers and construction equipment in the background. Jim Franco / Spotlight News
#SandCreekRoad #ColonieNY #ApartmentComplex #Development #JimFranco #SpotlightNews
COLONIE — Richard Rosetti Sr. was set to formally propose a 126- apartment complex on Watervliet Shaker Road at the end of Sand Creek Road at the Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 25.
However, the meeting was canceled due to a number of illnesses and has not yet been re-scheduled.
The plan, tentatively called West Shaker Farm, would construct six, new, three-story buildings on 21-plus acres, owned by David Brizzell, for 116 apartments and renovate four existing buildings to accommodate the additional 10 apartments. The complex will include a pool, a clubhouse, community gardens and space for active and passive recreation.
Each unit will have an attached garage with 130 driveway/garage spaces. And 160 surface spaces will be provided, according to the narrative submitted to the Planning Board on Sept. 14. The site is projected to generate 89 new trips during the peak afternoon hours.
Some 63.9 percent of the site will remain open space in the form of wetlands, otherwise undisturbed lands, lawns, landscaping and/or storm water management.
The total building coverage is 111,892 square feet, or 12.2 percent, and nearly 24 percent of the site is proposed to get covered in blacktop or gravel.
The site is now mainly used as agricultural and according to the rough plans submitted to the Planning Board, the Shaker Shed farm stand will remain.
The land is bordered by Watervliet Shaker Road to the south, agriculture to the east and woods and the Shaker Ridge Golf Course to the north. Afrim’s is currently constructing outdoor soccer fields and an athletic dome on the property directly to the west.
While it is currently zoned Commercial Office, the multi-family residential designation is allowed by a special use permit issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
The historic value of the site is particularly important to the Shaker Heritage Society. It was farmed by the West Family of the Shakers since the 18th Century and four of the buildings that will become part of the complex date to when the Shakers were flourishing in Albany County.
The iconic corn brooms were made at the site from start to finish.
Another building, known as the Bell House, is where the Shakers lived in a dormitory setting while they farmed the land around it. There are already apartments there.
The fifth Shaker building is a barn that is readily visible from the intersection of Watervliet Shaker and Sand Creek roads and is located roughly between Afrim’s and where the new development is proposed. The Shaker Heritage Society and the developers were in discussion to either save it where it stands or to move it to another location.
There are other efforts to keep the Shakers’ heritage alive as development happens around the site that has been used for farming since the 18th century including interpretative signage along walking paths and access to the Shaker buildings for occasional guided tours.