Clifton Park reveals land planning committee

Adriane Wilders signs for her ballot at Gowana Middle School to vote on the land-sale referendum in December.

GAZETTE FILE PHOTOAdriane Wilders signs for her ballot at Gowana Middle School to vote on the land-sale referendum in December. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By Kassie Parisi

Gazette Reporter

CLIFTON PARK — The town has announced the formation of a nine-person committee that will oversee a land use planning study for 37 acres of wooded land recently acquired from the Shenendehowa Central School District.

The planning committee will review possible future uses for the land. The process will involve public meetings during which people can offer their input and opinions about how to develop the land for public use.

The committee members are Town Supervisor Phil Barrett, town board members Lynda Walowit, Amy Standaert, Jim Romano, James Whalen, and planning department employees John Scavo and Jennifer Viggiani.

There will also be a committee member from the town’s Open Space Committee, and a member from the town Planning Board, both of whom are yet to be announced.

The committee will work with a group of stakeholders on the project, who either own land near the parcel or are public entities that already partner with the town.

That group of stakeholders will have a representative from the Town of Halfmoon, from Shen, from the Clifton Park Halfmoon Public Library, from the Southern Saratoga YMCA, from Clifton Park real estate company DCG Development, from the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County, and from the Friends of Clifton Park Open Space.

The town will be sending letters to all of the stakeholder organizations requesting that they select a representative for the committee. They have until April 16 to make a decision.

The Maxwell Road land has been a controversial subject for over a year. A public referendum in April 2017 that saw thousands of residents oppose the district’s initial decision to sell the plot to BBL Development — for about $2 million.

BBL had planned to build a Shop Rite supermarket on the land.

Ultimately, the $1.1 million sale to the town was approved by voters in a second referendum on Dec. 5. By law, the land can now only be used as a public park. The town and district closed on the deal in February.

The dates for the public meetings could be announced as soon as the April 16 town board meeting, when the stakeholder candidates are announced, said town spokesman Matt Andrus.