Last night, the Livingston Planning Board continued its public hearing on the proposal by Global Partners to build a giant gas station (sixteen spots for gasoline and three for diesel fuel) and Alltown Fresh cafe and market at the intesection of Routes 9, 9H, and 82.
The first to speak at the public hearing was David Fingar, recently elected chair of board of Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC). He read aloud a letter from CEDC expressing its support for the project. After reading the letter, Fingar told the audience, "We really do support this. I think it's a really good thing for the Town of Livingston, and I live right here in town." Later in the public hearing, Jeff Hunt read a letter declaring the support of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce for the project. But the majority of the speakers expressed concern about the environmental and aesthetic impacts of the project and urged the Planning Board to make a positive declaration in the SEQRA process, requiring the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement.
After the meeting had gone on for almost an hour, the Planning Board closed the public hearing. A decision on the project is expected to be made at the board's September meeting.
Dan Udell's video of the meeting is now available on YouTube and can be viewed here. The hour-long video is worth watching if only to hear Armen Donelian describe the project as "a large, ugly, and harmful gas station accompanied by a redundant convenience store" (5:30) and Jonathan Gould critique the proposed design for the building as "a standard piece of commercial roadside architecture … that is just an advertisement for itself" (15:56).
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