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Planners to planners: We have to talk


CHATHAM — The village Planning Board is moving forward with its request to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to be designated lead agency for the environmental impact review of the new Price Chopper building proposed for land next to the Plaza on Route 66.

Normally a routine matter, the request by village planners for the designation is complicated by an earlier village decision to have Town of Ghent planners take the lead in the review. And a new factor emerged recently, when the owners of the plaza that houses the supermarket announced plans to expand and remodel the retail space.

The Planning Board held a special meeting Thursday, July 28 with representatives from Price Chopper and the Schuyler Companies, the commercial real estate company that hopes to build the new store. Cheryl Roberts, special counsel to the Planning Board, said that there was a conference call scheduled with DEC this week to discuss the issue.

The new building would sit on land that lies mostly in the town of Ghent. A small portion of the parking lot would be in the village, and Price Chopper hopes to hook up to the village water line. The current store uses both water and sewer services supplied by the village, and the supermarket is completely within village lines.

After a meeting in June, where the board heard from residents and business owners about the impact of the Price Chopper leaving the plaza empty and taking the tax review and sewer revenues away, village planners decided in an executive session to request lead agency statue on the environmental impact review required by the state.

But at the last Ghent Planning Board meeting July 6, the town lawyer produced a letter from the Chatham Planning Board agreeing that Ghent should be the lead agency for the review. Ms. Roberts said at the July 28 meeting that she would contact Ghent about that letter.

The Planning Board also plans to set up a meeting with its counterparts in Ghent. Chatham Planning Board Chairman Dan Herrick said he wanted to meet “face to face” with the town planners no matter who gets lead agency status.

The board discussed an escrow account the Price Chopper company, which is owned by the Golub Corporation in Schenectady, needs to set up for the village to pay for village legal fees. Board members also asked questions about the proposed plans. “Whatever you want, you’ll get form us,” said Mitchell Khosrova, a lawyer for Price Chopper.

The Ghent Planning Board meets the first Wednesday of the month and the Chatham Planning Board meets third Monday of the month. There is no word yet on the date for a joint meeting of the two boards.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email   

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