Clifton Park Planning Board takes first look at 34-home plan

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By Kassie Parisi

Gazette Reporter

CLIFTON PARK — The Clifton Park Planning Board expressed optimism Tuesday about a housing development that could see up to 34 homes built on a wooded parcel off Route 146A.

146A Holdings LLC wants to build 34 single-family homes on a 56-acre parcel, located a half-mile north of Route 146, south of Dawson Lane.

The homes will most likely encompass between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet of living space, said Scott Lansing, project engineer, during Tuesday night’s Planning Board meeting.

The town zoning law for the property allows 17 homes to be built on the space. The town’s open space incentive zoning law, which is meant to preserve natural areas in town, allows developers with plans for the western part of town to seek greater building densities in exchange for permanent land conservation or cash payments that the town would put into a fund specifically for open space preservation.

The developer has proposed setting aside approximately 51 acres at 216 Sugar Hill Road to be permanently conserved in exchange for the higher building density.

Tuesday night’s initial review of the project was described as “totally preliminary” by town Planning Department Director John Scavo.

The developer still needs to receive approval from the Town Board for the density increase, and Scavo noted the board would most likely send the project back to the Planning Board for a recommendation before making a final decision, he said.

If the density increase isn’t granted, Scavo said he expects the project would proceed with 17 homes instead.

The land on Sugar Hill Road, though, was identified by the town in its 2005 Western Clifton Park Generic Environmental Impact Statement as being beneficial for agricultural purposes and its scenery, Scavo added.

Planning Board members generally provided positive feedback about the project but noted some points of contention, including traffic in and around the development, would have to be addressed should the project go forward.

Planning Board Chairman Rocco Ferraro said he would also like to see possible trail connections on the site to adjacent areas, which mostly consist of wetlands.

The 34-home project is one of a handful of high-density projects being considered in Clifton Park. In late January, the Planning Board delivered a positive recommendation to the Town Board for a 132-condo project planned for the intersection of Routes 146 and 146A.

Earlier that month, the Planning Board greenlighted a three-story, 39-apartment complex to be built in the busy town center area on Clifton Park Center Road.

Considering the already busy intersection at Routes 146 and 146A, Planning Board members said they agreed density would have to be examined. Even if the density increase were granted by the town, the Planning Board reserves the right to request that the number of homes planned be lowered from 34.

“That is definitely a consideration looking forward,” Scavo said.