66-lot housing development faces approval process again

Photo Kristin Schultz
Amedore Homes plans to build homes on 66 lots on land at Reilly Way and Balltown Road. Low-hanging power lines were one of the challenges that has delayed the project.Photo Kristin Schultz Amedore Homes plans to build homes on 66 lots on land at Reilly Way and Balltown Road. Low-hanging power lines were one of the challenges that has delayed the project.

BY KRISTIN SCHULTZ
Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — More than two years after initial Planning Board approval, the plan for a subdivision by Amedore Homes is once again making its way through the Niskayuna’s planning process — due to project delays and site challenges, the developer’s original approval has expired and the company is starting the process over.

The 66-lot development will be located off of Reilly Way, across Balltown Road from the GE Learning Center. While it’s too early for Amedore to say which of its floor plans will be available or, what the single-family homes will cost, project executive John Bossalini said the new houses will be “like in kind and quality to the Amedore development on Schwaber Drive.”

The development delay is mainly due to the physical challenges of the site, including low-hanging power lines and proximity to wetlands.

“It’s a busy market,” said Bossalini. “Developers are making decisions about what development to start and when. Different sites have different challenges and can get pushed around the schedule.”

Town officials acknowledge the property’s difficulties. Since as early as 1980, different plans and use proposals have been explored and ultimately abandoned. Most recently, the plot was re-zoned with half of the property zoned for high-density residential and the other half zoned medium density residential. A condition of the rezoning required better aligning Reilly Way with the entrance to GE.

“Niskayuna is essentially built out,” said Town Planner Laura Robertson. “[The land that’s] left is difficult to develop. This property has wetlands and power lines and that can be a large expense for developers.”

Regardless of the challenges both underfoot and overhead, Amedore is determined to press forward. The Army Corps of Engineers has deemed the plans compliant as they relate to the wetlands.

National Grid utility lines crisscross the property but are too low to the ground for houses to be built nearby. For health and safety reasons, National Grid will do the work to raise the lines and Amedore will foot the bill.

“National Grid has been very cooperative in the effort to develop the site,” said Bossalini. “We feel like we received a positive signal from the Planning Board at Monday’s meeting and they’ve been cooperative as well.”

As the development now appears to be gaining momentum, Amedore’s next meeting will be with Niskayuna’s Conservation Advisory Council in March. The CAC will review Amedore’s plans, then make recommendations to the Planning Board.

Bossalini hopes to begin construction on the project in late summer or early fall.