...welcome benefit; blessing?
a boondoggle - noun
...a wasteful or impractical project or activity often involving graft?
Shortly after the Zoning Board of Appeals denied the use variance that was needed in order for the Aldi project to begin, the Kellys presented a request to the town board for a zoning map amendment change.
After a public hearing was held, the zoning change was unanimously approved by the town board with one abstention [Krupa who gave no reason for her abstention] thus allowing the Aldi store project to progress to the Planning Board for review.
At the June 13, 2011 Planning Board meeting, the Aldi project was approved with one dissenting vote...Jerome Donovan who felt that the board should place more importance on the DOT recommendation to base the traffic study on a potential full build-out of the entire property – not based just on the Aldi store.
The DOT representative at the June 13th Planning Board meeting stated that there have been 81 traffic accidents recorded at that intersection July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2010.
According to the Observer Dispatch:
"the DOT sent a letter to the Planning Board recommending that the board base the traffic study on a potential full build-out of the entire property – not based just on the Aldi store."
The Planning Board, however, approved the plan with a traffic study using projections based on the addition of only Aldi.According to the Observer Dispatch, Planning Board Chair Elis DeLia said:
Planning Board Chairman Elis DeLia said he felt “very comfortable” approving the Aldi store based on the traffic studies provided because he has no reason to doubt what Kelly and his attorney told the board.With the Planning Board approval on record, there remain many concerns over the potential impact on additional traffic generated by yet another retail business at the already congested intersection.
“We all know that intersection presents problems,” DeLia said. “I believe the property owner and DOT will ensure that the development impacts on that intersection will be as safe as possible.”
But, bottom line, the project was approved at the June 13, 2011 Planning Board meeting based on the Kellys assurance that they have no further projects planned at this time.
Only time will tell if that is the case; however, the Kellys and Sloans [who are related] own most of that corner to include parcels along Middlesettlement Road and it seems doubtful that they will not be looking for further development of their properties sooner or later.
The Aldi project is in the final stages of approval; the next step is to apply for a highway work permit from the DOT. Two DOT employees were at the June 13th Planning Board and expressed concerns regarding the project. Hopefully, their review process will require mitigation measures that will alleviate more traffic congestion at an intersection that is already on overload.
Here is the portion of the June 13, 2011 Planning Board meeting where the Aldi's application was being reviewed by the board and comments were made by the two DOT workers:
By the way, it was learned at the June 13th meeting that the landscaping business that occupies space at the entrance to the Jay-K Lumber store is actually situated partly on State owned land.