Gloversville awaits proposals for development

GLOVERSVILLE – City officials say they might soon know what sort of development could happen along the access road proposed to run parallel to Route 30A?on the city’s eastern edge.

At the city Planning Board meeting Feb. 5, Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones told the board things are moving along fast enough that the board could see permit applications from potential developers as soon as next month.

However, it remains unclear what any developers might hope to build on the proposed road, which would stretch north from South Kingsboro Avenue, across Route 30A?from where Walmart is building a new supercenter.

Asked about what development might be expected on the new road, Jones said he couldn’t say.

“I don’t have any information on that,” he said. “You will have to wait for it to become public when they actually come forward.”

Jones said the state Department of Transportation still is reviewing the draft findings of the Route 30A Break in Access Study and the city hasn’t heard any update on what DOT has said.

“Typically, when any document or package is submitted to any department of state, they will review it and have comments, and we will come back and address their comments. Once they are satisfied, the document is considered final,” Jones said. “That is kind of where we are right now.”

He said he believes the process is going well and clarified the city’s part in the process.

“All we are doing here is permitting a potential future city street -we are not building the street. That is typically taken care of by the developers,” Jones said. “Normally, the developer would take care of this entire process. The only reason the city is involved is because [the project would involve] multiple land owners.”

Mayor Dayton King also declined to comment this week on what the Planning Board should expect.

“I have no new information there,” Mayor King said. “Hopefully, next month … the Planning Board will have it be there. We are working on a couple of things, but for right now we can’t talk about them yet.”

In December, the Common Council unanimously approved the study findings conducted by Long Island-based Greenman-Pedersen Engineering and Construction Services and granted the company permission to finalize the study and submit it to the DOT.

Peter Faith, assistant vice president of GPI, said this month that he couldn’t provide an update to the press before updating the city and was planning to have a discussion with city officials during the week.

However, this week Faith didn’t respond to phone calls and emails seeking an update to the DOT findings.

City Planner Sean Geraghty said Wednesday no developers or potential businesses have come forward yet with a plan to present to the Planning Board in March.

The city will need to revise its zoning and master plan to accommodate the access road and submit a “break in access” request packet that includes the finalized study to the DOT for approval.

The access road would run west of Route 30A and parallel to it for about a mile between South Kingsboro Avenue and Steele Avenue. The road would have direct access to South Kingsboro Avenue at one end and Steele Avenue at the other end. It also could connect with Route 30A at the halfway point. The proposed roadway would stretch 1.15 miles across nine parcels of privately owned land.

The city hired Greenman-Pedersen for up to $25,000 to study the feasibility of the access road, and it made a public presentation of the study Dec. 11.

The study showed if the city is granted permission to build a direct access road off Route 30A, it will increase traffic on the state road by more than 145 percent compared to the city using an alternate plan to access properties, being eyed for potential development, using city roads.

However, if the road can’t be built with direct access to Route 30A, the study showed, it would create extreme congestion at the Steele Avenue, and Route 30A intersection and would need major changes – such as a five-leg roundabout – to mitigate the traffic conditions.

The goal of the traffic study was to take the first necessary step to obtain state Department of Transportation acceptance of the city’s request to allow new access to Route 30A.

Levi Pascher can be reached by email at [email protected].

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