CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — A Planning Board review of a large scale condominium project has slowed over concerns with traffic entering and exiting the site once the living units are occupied.
Developer Scott Earl’s application for Planned Development District legislation for his 132-unit Park West project was approved by the Town Board in August. It is now undergoing careful site plan review by the Planning Board.
Earl wants to build 14 single-family homes, five, two-unit condo buildings, 27, four-unit condo buildings, and a clubhouse on a 23.5- acre parcel in the northeast quadrant of the Route 146-Route 146A intersection. The project will have two access drives. One route will allow vehicles in and out from Route 146A. The second access point will tie into an existing drive from Route 146 that leads to The Ravenswood Pub and a nearby office building.
The project has been seen by both the Planning Board and the Town Board over the past year as it sought PDD approval. As the site plan review moves closer to completion concern is building on the Planning Board about traffic entering and exiting the site from Route 146 once the Route 146-Route 146 roundabout is completed.
At the Feb. 26 Planning Board meeting, Chairman Rocco Ferraro expressed concern that the state Department of Transportation roundabout’s design takes into account, not only the vehicles entering and leaving the condo site, but pedestrians as well.
“I want to see what they are designing for the cars that are coming out of that roundabout,” he said. “DOT has to take into account if the Roundabout design is not careful, people coming from the west on [Route]146 will have a hard time getting into the existing businesses. And, people coming from the east will also have to be able to make a left into the renovated Clifton Park Plaza.”
Ferraro added that he also wants to see “hawk lights” as part of the DOT plan. The devices are small pedestrian activated lights with yellow and red signals to stop vehicles so pedestrians can get across the road. Ferraro said he has reached out to DOT but has yet to hear back.
Planning Director John Scavo said his department has heard from business owners whose customers also use the Route 146 drive. They have expressed concern that if the board makes the Route 146 entry, right-in, right-out only, their businesses may be affected.
Ferraro said he was concerned that if the roundabout design doesn’t include space for stacking cars trying to make the left turn off Route 146, the drivers will quickly figure out other routes which may affect some residents’ quality of life.
“Without the turning lane, people are going to figure out that they should either head north on Route 146A and use that entrance, which means they’d go through the entire condo neighborhood to get to Ravenswood or the offices, or they will continue east on [Route] 146, take a left on Arnold drive, turn around there, and head back west,” he said.
Other items discussed as part of the Planning Board’s review included permanently preserving and protecting an area on the perimeter of the entire Park West project, pedestrian trails from Route 146A eastward to the Dwass Kill, neighborhood lighting, additional landscaping, a resident-controlled condo association, and a trail improvement plan for the Dwass Kill ravine.
The ravine is a separate parcel, also owned by Earl, and is on the east side of the condo parcel. It is being looked at closely by the town Environmental Conservation Committee.
The board and Earl’s representative at the meeting, Scott Lansing, agreed that a meeting with town Open Space Coordinator Jennifer Viggiani should be scheduled before the project returns for further board review.