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Sessions on Clifton Park Town Center plan set

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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— Two public meetings will be held next week to introduce proposed new zoning regulations that will be used to implement the Clifton Park Town Center plan.

The Clifton Park Town Center plan was created last year and features a vision for the future of the Northway Exit 9-Route 146 area as far west as Moe Road and as far east as the Halfmoon town line.

The plan includes the Clifton Park Center mall as well as commercial and retail development on either side of Route 146 and the Clifton Park Center Road-Sitterly Road area to the south.

The term town center refers to “a central place in the town where people can live, work, shop, play, and participate in the social and civic life of the community,” according to the final draft of the plan.

“It will be an area that continues to accommodate the automobile, but it will be designed to make walking, bicycling and public transportation viable, safe, and attractive alternatives to driving,” says the plan, which can be found on the town website www.cliftonpark.org.

Town Planner John Scavo said town officials want to see the Northway Exit 9 area continue to thrive. Even during the economic downtown of the past five years, new businesses have moved into this part of town and the mall has been renovated and given a new look with many new tenants.

“We know this area will redevelop going forward,” Scavo said.

A public workshop will be held at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library on Moe Road at 6:30 p.m. March 6. The introductory session will describe the Town Center plan and provide an overview of proposed form-based zoning codes.

A public open house will be held at the library from 4 to 6 p.m. March 8 so people can view the preliminary form-based zoning code maps created by the planning team.

Scavo said form-based zoning provides developers with predictability and flexibility as long as the project stays true to the vision in the town center plan.

Mixed-use development is often associated with form-based zoning. A building might have retail on the first floor, offices on the second and third floors, and residential units on the fourth floor.

“The goal of the town center study is to sustain the success the Exit 9 area has realized in recent years and eliminate cyclical downturns the area has experienced over the last 30 years,” said Town Supervisor Philip Barrett.

He said public input from residents is a key component to developing this plan and the zoning codes.

“The town must be proactive in creating an environment for redevelopment opportunities that may occur in the future and a mixture of property uses,” he said in a statement.

In addition to the scheduled public workshops, the town planning team will also meet with major landowners within the targeted area. The public feedback will help shape the future zoning and eventual appearance of the Exit 9-Route 146-Clifton Park Center Road area.

The new zoning code project is being sponsored and funded by the Capital District Transportation Committee (using Federal Highway Administration grant money) and the town of Clifton Park.

 
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