Store gets green light

Chatham village Planning Board okays new, bigger Price Chopper
CHATHAM–The Chatham Village Planning Board has unanimously approved the proposal for a new Price Chopper supermarket on Route 66 in Ghent adjacent to the chain’s current location. The decision, which came to a vote at the Planning Board’s January 21 meeting, means construction may begin on the store.
The controversial project received approval for the site plan from the Town of Ghent Planning Board last year. The new supermarket will be 45,000 square feet, roughly twice as big as the current store in the plaza. Price Chopper is working with the developer, Schuyler Companies, which will manage the building.
Mitchell Khosrova, an attorney representing the developer, said that Price Chopper is assessing its options and does not yet have a firm date for when construction will begin.
The Price Chopper chain is owned by the Golub Corporation, which is headquartered in Schenectady.
Schuyler and Price Chopper originally approached the Village Board of Trustees about a building a new store in 2009.
Planning Board Chairman Daniel Herrick said before he cast his vote that he had reservations about the project but that since the only portion of the proposed store that will be in Chatham is its rear loading dock, it was the only portion of the store the board could legally take into account when deciding. No other board members commented.
“It doesn’t really fit the way you want it to,” Mr. Herrick said.
The chairman thanked Price Chopper for working with the board throughout the months-long application process and for making a number of concessions on its initial plans.
Price Chopper had originally asked for a guaranteed option allowing the new store to connect to the Village of Chatham water and sewer systems during its initial 40-year lease. That request concerned village officials, and Price Chopper eventually agreed to a year-to-year evaluation of its water and sewer use.
Price Chopper also agreed to add landscaping to the back of its store to mask the visual impact of the side that will face passers-by headed south on Route 66.
The resolution adopted by the board includes a number of stipulations, including that Price Chopper continue to pursue efforts to pay for a connector road between the current plaza and its new store. The property that separates the plaza and the site of the new store is owned by Francis Greenburger. Lawyers for the developer said previously that they have tried without success to negotiate with Mr. Greenburger about a connection. 
Residents opposed to the new store had called for Price Chopper to remain at its present location but use more of the space in the existing plaza. The plaza owner and Price Chopper’s current Chatham landlord, already has Planning Board approval to expand the space the store now occupies. Opponents of the move also raised concerns about possible flooding and the visual impact of the new building.
Cheryl Roberts, the Chatham Planning Board’s special counsel, said the landscaping requirements in the resolution mandate that if a tree or shrub surrounding the rear of the store is found to be dead or dying by the village’s building inspector, it shall be replaced within six months.

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