MALTA — In a significant move toward building more than 90 apartment units off Hutchins Road in Milton, Malta Development has reached an agreement with a Clifton Park firm to supply the 14-acre site with water.
Malta Development President Tom Samascott said his company has signed a letter of intent with Heritage Springs Water Works for a $120,000 connection fee.
“It will create a backup supply for 4,200 residences,” Samascott said last week. “It’s a great benefit to a lot of people in the town.”
Mike McNamara, an engineer for Heritage Springs Water Works, explained that the connection would occur near the intersection of Hutchins Road and Rowland Street in Milton where Heritage already maintains an 8-inch water line underground.
The company supplies water to the Lancaster Place condominiums on Hutchins Road and other neighborhoods in the area.
Until last year, McNamara said, Heritage officials had determined that their water lines were nearing “capacity.” Then the company successfully dug a new well and reached a separate agreement with Rowlands Hollow Water Works to increase that capacity.
McNamara added that Malta Development would incur the additional cost of extending water pipes a quarter mile east to its development—a main road to which would be located across from Greybirch Trail after an existing house is demolished and removed.
For months, private negotiations for the water supply have occurred between Malta Development and Heritage Springs Water Works.
Initially, according to McNamara, the City of Saratoga Springs also was contacted because its border is just yards away from the project site on Hutchins Road. But the city declined to supply the water, he said.
The Milton Town Board has not yet approved Malta Development’s proposed 91-unit apartment complex. The board scheduled a public hearing focused on the project at 6:30 p.m. on July 19 at the Milton Community Center on Northline Road.
For several months, local residents have raised concerns at town board meetings about increased traffic in the two 50-year-old neighborhoods of single-family homes that would be affected by Malta Development’s construction project. The new roads built to service the apartments would connect both neighborhoods.
Residents also have questioned the wisdom of changing the property’s current residential zoning by increasing the “density” to accommodate so many apartments.
Samascott said that previous town leaders in Milton, who established zoning rules, “recognized” that such changes would be necessary at times.
Milton Planning Board Chairman Larry Woolbright explained that current zoning rules for the well-forested patch of land allow a maximum of about 30 single-family homes.
Malta Development is requesting a zoning change called a Planned Development District that would be specific for the site. Woolbright said that change has to be approved by the town board, while the planning board is required to give its own final approval.
In response to residents’ concerns about the zoning, Samascott said that building single-family homes is not practical from the perspective of Malta Development.
Increasing the density to 91 apartment units is the only “affordable rate,” Samascott said, because long-term rental agreements would cover the installation of water lines and various other construction costs.
“Without it,” Samascott said of the zoning change, the project “doesn’t work.”
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