CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — The Town Board’s agreement Monday to take up the matter of formalizing a procedure for handling density bonus queries within the Town Center has paved the way for a public hearing on just such a request from a local developer.
At its Aug. 5 meeting, the Town Board agreed to schedule two public hearings at its next meeting on Aug. 19.
The first hearing that night will take comments on amending the town code to formally establish a procedure for the board to consider applications for Residential Density Bonuses for projects in the Town Center.
The second public hearing will take comments on a proposal from Clifton Park-based Windsor Development to apply for a Residential Density Bonus for a planned 100-unit apartment project on the vacant Kmart site in Shopper’s World.
Presently, the Town Center Plan allows a base density for residential development within its zones at a rate of 10 dwellings per acre up to a maximum of 50 units.
However, additional density may be allowed, with Town Board approval, “provided the applicant provides for the design and/or construction of additional amenities with the Town Center for the use and enjoyment of the general public. The amenities must include provisions for on-site and/or off-site improvements beyond those required to service the needs of the project.”
The amenities noted in the regulations include recreational areas such as a public park or playground, residential housing facilities for individuals of low to moderate incomes, stormwater retention or detention ponds, and a reduction in the overall impervious surface area on the site to reduce runoff.
The first public hearing will allow the public to comment on the process for requesting a Residential Density Bonus.
Planning Director John Scavo said Monday the decision to put the process in the plan was being done so developers seeking the bonus will know the regulations and everyone will be handled the same way now and in the future.
The second public hearing will deal specifically with the request from Windsor Development to receive the density bonus and be allowed to build two, four-story, apartment buildings on the vacant 13-acre Kmart site. The project will use five acres of the site for the apartments.
The apartment buildings would be built in the far northeast corner of the Kmart lot with the two new buildings forming a right angle with a courtyard behind them.
Windsor Development has made presentations on the proposal to the Town Board and the Planning Board in the past.
On Dec. 11 the Planning Board heard the proposal as an action item at the end of its meeting and sent a positive recommendation to the Town Board. The Town Board, in turn, reviewed the proposal in early February.
In the narrative submitted with the revised plans, Windsor Development noted the project will have an impact on the area by providing a diversity of land use and help implement that part of the Town Center Plan by “introducing walkable residential development that compliments the existing commercial nature of this area."
The company put forth its original plans for building apartments on the site in January 2015. Those plans proposed to put 18,314 square feet of retail space on the first floor of four, four-story, apartment buildings.
All retail business for the project has been removed in the most recent plan.
The original design placed the four buildings in the form of a rectangle and included a multi-level parking garage, interior courtyards with pools, and rooftop terraces. The narrative submitted with that initial proposal said Windsor Development needed 240 apartments to make the project work financially.