Village of New Paltz Planning Board members took another look at the proposal to move the Stewart’s shop to 76 North Chestnut Street at their November 8 meeting. Variances are still being considered, but no determination on them can be made until there’s a lead agency for the environmental review. Planning board members agreed to circulate notice of intent to take on that job.
Board members quizzed Chuck Marshall, a real estate representative for the corporation, about assumptions being made in this application. In particular, board members noted that factors such as traffic and water usage are being based on what’s happening at the existing location up the block, while the desire to move is predicated on the assumption that the store could be busier but for that congested location.
Rich Suoto, in his last Planning Board meeting before taking a leave of absence, expressed hopes that Stewart’s could become an “important anchor location” on the corner of Henry W. Dubois Drive, but a more meaningful analysis would be to the existing lot conditions, rather than data pulled from the old store.
As the plan is laid out, eight gasoline pumps would be alongside the side street, and the new Stewart’s would be built close to the road, in the spirit of the neighborhood-business-residential zoning rules. It’s up to ZBA members to decide if ignoring the two-story minimum and mixed-use requirements would be enough of an improvement to grant a variance from those aspects of the NBR requirements.