|Michael Koff|Altamont Enterprise|
The comment reminded me that there was another Stewart's story I wanted to share, and this seemed as good a time as any. The story involves Stewart's desire to establish a new gas station and convenience store in Voorheesville. Again my source is The Altamont Enterprise. The situation in Voorheesville is different, but once again it involves Stewart's wanting to do something that the community wasn't ready to embrace.
In the spring of 2016, Stewart's bought Smith's Tavern, an iconic pizzeria in the heart of Voorheesville, much to the dismay of many residents.
|Melissa Hale-Spencer|Altamont Enterprise|
The plan was to demolish the building construct in its stead a convenience store and gas station.
The site is next door to another gas station and across the street from Voorheesville Elementary School, and it backs up on Vly Creek. On June 13, 2017, the village planning commission, concerned about pedestrian safety as well as flooding and erosion, requested an "in-depth environmental review" of the project. Stewart's Shops threatened to sue, claiming that "the request for in-depth review is unlawful and merely a delaying tactic." Marshall complained to the Altamont Enterprise that, "of the over 300 shops operated by Stewart's, . . . no other municipality had required an in-depth environmental review."
Two weeks later, on June 27, 2017, the Village Board, by a vote of 4 to 1, adopted a moratorium on development, "to allow a village-appointed committee to complete its work on Voorheesville's first comprehensive land-use plan." Because of the moratorium, Stewart's Shops decided not to proceed with the threatened lawsuit. Marshall is quoted in the Altamont Enterprise as saying, "A building permit wouldn't be issued regardless of the outcome of a suit. Like everyone else, we will sit and wait."
The moratorium was to last for six months and could be extended by two additional six-month periods. On November 28, 2017, the Village Board voted to extend the moratorium for the first six-month period, from December 27, 2017, until June 27, 2018.
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