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Town Board Minutes 9/21/2004




        Public Hearing No. 1 – Special Use Permit for 1521 Balltown Road (Sunmark Federal Credit Union).
        Bill Springnether, Synthesis Architects, representing Sunmark Federal Credit Union, outlined the proposed project and distributed a copy of the proposed site plan.  The project is located at the corner of Balltown and Crescent Road in the C-N zoning district.  The project was originally introduced in the late spring but the property was too small with only 1300 SF of total area.  The amount of land for a commercial project in the district is 20,000 SF and Sunmark has now acquired adjacent property.  
Five buildings will be removed including three parking garages and two apartment buildings There is no curb cut onto Crescent.  The primary vehicle circulation is off the alleyway which comes off of Crescent Street.  Cars would enter the site and head towards the main parking area or go to the drive-through teller in the back of the property and loop underneath the driveway canopy.  They have provided 19 parking spaces which are required by code and there is stacking space for up to 15 vehicles.  
        They have worked with the Planning and Zoning Board and added an emergency drive through lane and a secondary exit.  This exist also complies with the wishes of the fire department.  A variance has already been issued for the front yard parking which is reduced in size from the existing parking lot.  The Planning Board has issued a waiver for green space.  As they added more pavement into the emergency drive, green space is down to 21%.
        The alleyway is owned by Sunmark, the Dale family, and Coop Market.  Deputy Attorney Paul Briggs stated he suspected there are easements that run into each other.  Mr. Springnether stated that there are no actual easement and property is listed on the tax rolls as “unowned” meaning “co-maintained.”   As proposed to the Town the plan has always been access off the alleyway.  The current parking lot is accessed off Crescent Street, however, in order to meet the Town’s parking requirement, and they need to have parking in that location.  They have looked at this extensively, and if they keep the current primary entrance they would lose a minimum of five parking spaces.  He believed this would not present any future problems in terms of access in the future.  They have improved access into the alleyway by widening the mouth at Crescent Street from 18’ to 24’.
        The traffic study will not be available until the middle of October.  The exit encourages customers to turn right onto Crescent.  “Emergency exist only” or “Right turn only” signs will be erected at the exit to steer traffic away from the Coop.  Town Board members expressed their concern that customers would make the turn to exit onto Nott Street through the Coop parking lot.  There will be a 24 hour ATM and drive up hours will probably be open at 8 a.m.   
        They must light within 50’ radius of the ATM and they intend that lights along residential property will not spill to residence homes.  There will be no drive through ATM.  No lights on the site will exceed 18’ which is Town code.  Lights will be directed at the parking lot and their goal is to light the parking lot at the ½’ candle level per square foot and do the detailed lighting design in the site plan approval process.   Regarding one of the exits, they have shaped it as much as feasible given limitations of space to encourage drivers to exit onto Crescent.

         Susan Leach, President of the Board of Directors Niskayuna Coop strongly objects to the exit onto the alleyway.  It is already a very congested area and in winter with snow plowing this will complicate it.  She feels people will turn right and go through their parking lot which will be a hazard to their elderly customers, vendors, and employees who use the dumpsters.  It is a lovely facility, but there is no guarantee as to how many people will work there because of the size of the building and the expandability of the second floor.  She strongly objects to the project.
        Don Bisgrove, Manager of the Coop, stated that they are excited to see Sunmark come in.  It looks like a great project and it should be a nice addition to their plaza and the whole area.  The biggest problem is the back exit.  This is supposed to be an emergency exit and he asked if it could have a swing bar across it for emergencies. This area is a thoroughfare now with cars going from Nott Street to Crescent to by-pass the corner light.
He also wanted to eliminate any of their vendor trucks coming in that alleyway because of the disturbance to the apartment buildings.  They still have this goal and want to bring cars up the back alley to get to their receiving area.  This will open this up to a lot of car traffic which will be going right through their receiving area.  They don’t want to encourage driving through the receiving area by having an exit from the credit union that would allow people to take a left onto Nott Street.  It wouldn’t be so bad if they went behind the store, but most will go through the parking lot, a narrow area, where we have a lot of traffic.  He asked if a chain could be installed or something to make it for emergency use only.  

        Sam Thompson, 2227 Crescent Road, lives directly opposite the entrance to this property.  His driveway borders the parking lot exit off the alleyway across the street.  He wondered if there are any properties in Niskayuna that have their only entrances off of an alleyway and none were known.  This property is landlocked and he asked why there wasn’t an entrance off of Crescent before the alleyway.  There are many heavy trucks from the Coop and there is also a lot of school traffic and many people use it as a by-pass of the light.  He is concerned about this exit as well as the back exit.  

        Gail King, 1633 Balltown Road, thinks it is a great plan and will improve the corner.  There are a few things that need to be worked out that would make this a real good project and she urged the Board to approve the Special Use Permit.
        When no others members of the public wished to be heard, the Supervisor closed the Public Hearing.

        Public Hearing No. 2 – Amends the Vehicle & Traffic Code for a Stop sign on Commerce Park Drive at Hillside Avenue.  
        Leslie Gold, 1919 Pawtucket Avenue, stated that this is a stop sign that shouldn’t be necessary because the through street has right of way but she guesses that it will be needed and the traffic will want to come out quickly from Commerce Park.  There is a potential for a great deal of traffic in this area that might think they have right of way. She supports this Stop sign.
        When no other members of the public wished to be heard, the Supervisor closed this public hearing.

        Public Hearing No. 3 – Amends the Vehicle & Traffic Code for a Stop sign on Woodfield Drive at Pinecrest Drive.  
        When no members of the public wished to be heard, the Supervisor closed this public hearing.

        Mary Singer, 953 Douglas Court, stated that over the last few months she has developed an appreciation of the difficult jobs of the Town officials with having to balance desires and wants of a group of individuals and residents of the Town versus what is in the best interest of the Town now and in the future.  At the last Planning Board meeting she learned that the developers of the Cerone Paulsen Development are planning to pay a fee in lieu of devoting some of the 52 acres of land to parkland.  The best interests of Niskayuna today and in the future, would be to insure that when there is such a large parcel of land that 10% is devoted to parkland. There is no parkland in this end of Niskayuna, and she urged the Board to require the developer to devote lands for a park.

        Mike Ambrosino, 63 Lori Drive, stated that from the point of entrance to the new development adjacent to Kimberly, to the light on Lishakill and Route 7 there are 4 curves one of which is very tight S turn.  Traveling down Route 7 east to Lori Drive, is 4700 feet.  If you took the same start point at Kimberly and took it up through the development and down Lori it is 4500 feet.  There are only two significant turns in the development that would slow a driver down.  As a 20 year veteran of law enforcement he finds this to be a more attractive route to avoid a tight intersection at Route 7 and Lishakill where there is not a lot of room for cars to stack up and make the right at the light.  We have two entrances in and out of the new development and a walkway through with an emergency crash gate would be ideal.  In the event of a disaster this could be opened up by the fire department and cars could be routed through until the problem was taken care of.  This would serve the residents and would make them happy.

        The following resolutions were approved with a vote of three ayes (Councilman Holt and Councilwoman Kasper were absent) unless otherwise noted.

        Resolution 2004-253 accepts a bid from Gallo Construction, for the construction of Extension No. 89 to Consolidated Sewer District No. 1 at a cost of $763,507 plus contingency not to exceed the total remaining Town Board approved project cost of $802,580.

        Resolution 2004-254 authorizes the purchase of a grinder cutting assembly for the digester building at the Wastewater Treatment Facility from JWC Environmental, for a total cost of $5,242.66.

        Resolution 2004-255 authorizes the Supervisor to retain the services of Sterling Environmental Engineering, to provide services necessary to complete the ground water monitoring and to perform a perimeter gas survey at the site of the former Niskayuna landfill at a cost not to exceed $4,100.

        Resolution 2004-256 authorizes advertising for bids for the purchase of a used portable generator for the Water & Sewer Department.

        Resolution 2004-257 calls for a public hearing October 5, 2004 at 7 p.m. to consider the proposed change to the Official Map and Zoning Map for the removal of a Planned Unit Development known as Indian Meadows.

        Resolution 2004-258 adopts a Sense of the Board resolution supporting the restoration of the original fine distribution formula of the Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1803 and fully supports the legislation introduced by Senator Bonacic and Assemblymen Cahill which amends the law to restore this source of revenue to local governments.
        Resolution 2004-259 adopts the Annual Plan for 2004 for Section 8 housing.

        Resolution 2004-260 authorizes William Lawrence, Information Technology Manager, to attend the 16th Annual Government Technology Conference in Albany, NY September 27-30 at a cost of $365; Town Attorney Eric Dickson to attend the New York Bar Association program on Suing & Defending Municipalities:  Law, Procedure and Ethics on November 3 in Albany at a total cost of $130; Thomas Cannizzo, Building Inspector to attend New York State Building Officials Conference, September 16, Ithaca, New York at a cost of $30 and to attend the Capital District Building Officials Educational Conference October 18-20 in Albany at a total cost of $245; and Amy Houlihan, Town Assessor, to attend the New York State Assessor’s Association Annual Meeting on October 3-6 in Kerhonkson, New York at a cost of $700, with a portion to be reimbursed from the New York State Office of Real Property Services.

        Resolution 2004-261 authorizes the purchase of payroll/accounting software on State contract from MUNIS, Inc. at a total cost not to exceed $120,000, and authorize the purchase of a Dell File Server from Dell Computer Corporation at a total cost not to exceed $4,128.50.

        Resolution 2004-262 authorizes the purchase of a sander for the Highway Department from Tarrant Manufacturing Company, at a cost not to exceed $8,000.

        Resolution 2004-263 authorizes the purchase of a leaf box container for the Highway Department from ODB, at a cost not to exceed $3,500.

        Resolution 2004-264 retains services for tree and stump removal for the Highway Department from Donovan Tree Service, to cut, remove and clean up trees and stumps throughout the Town at a cost not to exceed $1,500.

        Resolution 2004-265 employs additional persons and modifies the rate of compensation of certain employees in the Recreation Program.

        Resolution 2004-266 calls for a public hearing October 5, 2004 at 7:05 p.m. to consider amendment of the Vehicle and Traffic Code to provide for a Stop sign on Wemple Lane at Antonia Park Drive for traffic proceeding north on Wemple Lane.

        Resolution 2004-267 calls for a public hearing October 5, 2004 at 7:10 p.m. to consider amendment of the Vehicle and Traffic Code to provide for a Stop sign on Banker Avenue at North Ravine Road for traffic proceeding north on Banker Avenue.

        There being no further business to come before the Town Board, the Supervisor adjourned the meeting.

                                        Helen Kopke, Town Clerk

One Niskayuna Circle, Niskayuna, NY 12309
Phone: (518) 386-4500 Fax: (518) 386-4592 | Hours: M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.