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Stillwater to start Route 4 review

Growth spurs look at riverfront's role

Monday, April 15, 2013
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— The town of Stillwater is starting on work to plan the future of its seven-mile Hudson River frontage.

In recent months, the town has received $115,000 from three matching-grant programs to revitalize the Route 4 corridor along the river from Saratoga National Historical Park to Mechanicville.

“This is the start of a multi-year effort. The town is excited about it,” said Paul Cummings, a project manager with the Chazen Companies, the town’s planning and engineering consultant.

The Route 4 plan is part of an effort to manage the growth anticipated in Stillwater as a result of the GlobalFoundries Fab 8 computer-chip plant and other development near the southern and western parts of town. The town grew by 10 percent — from 7,500 to 8,300 residents — between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census figures.

“All these efforts will promote an increased quality of life within the town as the region continues to grow,” town officials said in a news release about the grants.

Fab 8 and the Luther Forest Technology Campus are on the Malta-Stillwater town line — and both towns have been doing planning to prepare their communities for the anticipated arrival of more high-tech companies and their workers.

The Stillwater Town Board in 2011 rezoned residential and vacant land along Route 67 between Malta and Mechanicville to encourage commercial development.

But in planning for the waterfront properties between Saratoga National Historical Park and the village of Stillwater, there will be more emphasis on recreation and open space, officials said. Much of the land in that area remains open and agricultural.

From the village south to the city of Mechanicville, new commercial and residential development will be encouraged along the highway.

Mechanicville is also expecting new economic benefits from GlobalFoundries, including projects like the Esplanade apartment complex being planned along the river at the city’s northern end.

A $37,500 Waterfront Revitalization Grant from the state Department of State will be used to support the town’s efforts to guide any new development along the Route 4 corridor, which runs along the Hudson the length of the town.

The town also will spend $90,000 on revising current zoning along the Route 4 corridor to incorporate the waterfront revitalization plan. The Capital District Transportation Committee has awarded a $67,500 grant, for which the town will put up a $22,500 share.

“The goal will be to promote walkable mixed-use development where there is existing development, and preserve rural and historic areas north of the village and near the Saratoga Historic Battlefield,” town officials said in the release.

The Hudson River Valley Greenway has awarded Stillwater a $10,000 grant for development of a multi-use trail between the Riverside neighborhood, just north of Mechanicville, and Stillwater village. The town will put up a matching amount of money.

Eventually, that two-mile trail could become part of a larger regional recreation trail that would run 60 miles along the Champlain Canal from Waterford north to Whitehall at the southern end of Lake Champlain.

 
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