Thursday, 28 March 2013 14:57

GlobalFoundries Seeks to Eliminate Requirement of Constructing 11A Exit from Planning Document

By Chelsea DiSchiano | News

MALTA – At a special meeting of the Malta Town Board March 25 and at the March 26 Planning Board meeting, GlobalFoundries announced it is seeking four amendments to the planned development district (PDD) for Fab 8.2, one of which would be to remove the requirement of planning an Exit 11A and instead add six different traffic mitigations.

Matt Jones, real estate attorney for GlobalFoundries, told the planning board that GlobalFoundries does support the notion of building an Exit 11A at some point in the future, but currently wants to eliminate it from the PDD as a condition so the company can move forward with its plans for Fab 8.2. 

Malta residents have made it clear in several previous town board meetings that they would like the town to build an Exit 11A to alleviate traffic concerns as the chip plant continues to add steep growth to the region. 

“I’m in favor of Exit 11A being pursued,” said planning board member David Wallingford. “I realize it will take eight to 10 years until it becomes an actuality, but I think what we as a board need to look at is not only the GlobalFoundries business of the Luther Forest Technology Campus, but the buildout of the park that will later need to be addressed, and I feel that 11A will address those increased volumes of vehicular traffic.”

Planning board member Roger Laime said the board also needs to address the financing of Exit 11A and/or the six traffic mitigations GlobalFoundries is seeking to replace the addition of 11A. 

“How is it going to be funded and where would the money come from?” Laime asked. “Everything we’re discussing has a monetary cost, and I want to make sure the town board knows they need to explore all intersections and possibilities and see if there’s more that we have to consider.”

“Something needs to happen now so GlobalFoundries can move its business forward, but we can’t lose sight of future planning for the infrastructure that needs to be taken into account,” said planning board member Carrie Woerner. “When removing restrictions and altering things, we should make sure future requirements are identified and plans put in place to make sure we can deliver the infrastructure necessary for the next company that buys property in Luther Forest.”

Stillwater resident and planning board member Carol Marotta said she thinks the Exit 11A requirement should remain in the planning document so that the town board doesn’t lose sight of constructing the exit. 

“I feel it would not be the right move to give up on 11A—once it’s out of documentation, it’s out of sight and out of mind and not part of the mix anymore,” said Marotta. “I truly believe that the requirement was put in there for a very good reason—to get traffic directly to the site and to keep it off the local roads. [11A] may not get built for 10 years, but I think we have to still keep it in the mix and have movement toward it for long-term planning purposes.”

Board member Dave Bowman said the six traffic mitigation points should be implemented now, on top of starting plans for Exit 11A.

“We need to pursue these six mitigation points, but we also need to stick to 11A,” Bowman said. “Work has to be started now so it’s done before we go farther forward—we’ve got to keep 11A in there one way or another so it comes down the road next time we approach it. If it’s going to take eight to 10 years, then the work has to start now so we stick to 11A in the future.”

Other planning board members echoed Bowman’s sentiment, and at the end of the meeting the board voted unanimously to recommend to the town board that they approve the amendment changes GlobalFoundries is seeking, with the condition that they still keep Exit 11A language in the PDD with some other triggers—such as the buildout of the LFTC park—so as not to lose track of it in the future. 

It is ultimately up to the Malta Town Board to vote for or against GlobalFoundries’ amendment changes. 

The other three changes GlobalFoundries suggested include adding 15 feet in height to building stacks for a total height of 125 feet, increasing the footprint of the Fab from 550,000 square feet to 575,000 square feet, and adding a larger clean room. 

The Town Board cannot vote on the PDD until the entire State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) is completed, which won’t happen until May, at the earliest. 

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