Gloversville gives approval to store

GLOVERSVILLE — The city Planning Board granted conditional site plan approval to a new convenience store that has been proposed for a vacant building that previously housed a Stewart’s Shop and a travel agency.

Fourth Ward Councilman Steven Smith of Smith Engineering and Architect appeared before the Planning Board during the Nov. 6 Planing Board meeting requesting site plan approval on behalf of Baldev Kumar who has proposed opening a new convenience store in an existing building at 260 N. Main St.

The 1,876 square foot building on .32 acres of land at the corner of North Main Street and Fifth Avenue previously served as the L & S Journey House travel agency and before that was a Stewart’s Shop.

Signs for the convenience store will be installed on the building in the same location previously used by the travel agency and store hours will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Prepared food will not be available at the shop.

Smith previously presented the board with a hold harmless agreement the prior owners received from Stewart’s in 1992 allowing the company to address underground gasoline tanks that were on the site, the agreement was provided as proof that the tanks were removed from the property.

Plans for the site call for the removal of the old gas island and light pole in the parking lot in front of the building. Three monitoring wells that remain on-site to check for contamination of soil or groundwater will be left intact.

On-site parking spaces will be realigned for adequate turning space with eight spaces provided in front of the building. The two current driveway curb cuts will be reduced in width from 32 feet to 20 feet and traffic patterns will be altered to entrance only access from North Main Street and exit only onto Fifth Avenue.

Additional site improvements will include the removal of overgrown brush at the rear of the building where a row of trees that will be planted, the replacement of shingles on the building’s sloped roof, restaining of the roof and repainting of trim on the brick building.

A public hearing on the site plan for the convenience store was held during the meeting during which three neighboring property owners raised concerns regarding increases to existing traffic on North Main Street, a damaged retaining wall running around the perimeter of the property and security measures on site.

Planning Board Vice Chairman Geoffrey Peck explained that reducing the width of the driveway curb cuts on site and altering the flow of traffic into and out of the parking lot is intended to address traffic concerns associated with the shop.

Smith said he noticed one section of the retaining wall directly behind the building was in disrepair, but it did not appear to be on Kumar’s property. City Building Inspector Brandon Myers agreed with Smith, saying the wall appeared to be off of the property.

The board noted that ownership of the retaining wall would need to be determined and the wall would need to be addressed before the store opens if it is found to be on Kumar’s property.

To address security concerns the board requested the installation of an exterior dusk to dawn light behind the building. The light will be directed towards the building to avoid disturbing neighboring residential properties.

The Planning Board then unanimously approved a motion granting site plan approval for the convenience store at 260 N. Main St. on the condition that lights be installed on the rear of the property and the retaining wall be fully repaired if it is determined to be on Kumar’s property.

By Kerry Minor

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