Thursday, 22 June 2017 19:20

Malta Town Leaders Question Project Changes

MALTA — On Monday, a spokesman for the developer building nearly 50 single-family homes in dense woods off Route 9 received a lukewarm response from town leaders regarding a proposed addition of condominiums and commercial space to the project.

At the June 19 Malta Town Board meeting, Scott Lansing of Lansing Engineering was invited to make a presentation focused on what the official meeting agenda called the “Shecky” Mixed Use Planned Development District (PDD).

The board did not vote to approve the PDD, and it was unclear what Lansing’s next step would be to obtain such an approval.

Records provided by the Malta Planning Department indicate that Abele Builders of Clifton Park is presently developing the site, which is located approximately one mile south of the town complex on the eastern side of Route 9.

Together with the single-family homes, Lansing said, the applicants are proposing to add 50 condominiums in a two-story structure whose first level would be reserved entirely for tenant parking; and a second building of 25 “townhouse style” condos.

Other buildings in the front of the property would offer commercial space for retail businesses and offices.

“We do feel it is a different product than is available in the town now,” Lansing said, after fielding numerous questions and comments from Supervisor Vincent DeLucia and the other board members.

Lansing added that the proposed additions were based on “a void in the market.”

Councilman John Hartzell said, in general, he is inclined to oppose any PDD zoning classification in Malta.

Specifically, Hartzell questioned the addition of commercial space to the Shecky project, noting how the local market for retail is “softening.”

Lansing told the board that the applicants are also proposing to fund “a water-line extension down Route 9” of roughly 2,000 feet, which prompted a lengthy discussion about long-standing water problems in the hamlet of Maltaville.

Previously, the Chazen Companies was hired by town officials to prepare a comprehensive review of water-access problems throughout Malta.

Councilman Craig Warner, who chairs a committee reviewing such problems, said Chazen representatives are expected to release a report next week that may help the town qualify for low-interest loans to fund water upgrades.

DeLucia said he is “really anxious” to provide water to Maltaville residents, in particular.

Marissa Mackay, the executive vice president of Saratoga Water Services in Round Lake, was present at the meeting and answered questions posed by DeLucia and others.

Mackay said her company currently provides 900,000 to 1 million gallons of water daily to local residential and business customers, and would have no difficulty servicing the proposed 2,000-foot line that was discussed by Lansing.

“We’re gradually expanding,” Mackay said, based on “a master plan in the back of my noggin.”

Mackay called the proposed extension of water to Maltaville a “public benefit” that would be subject to the specifications of Saratoga Water Services and state agencies.

“The problem is funding— getting it in the ground,” Warner said at the outset of the discussion. 

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