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Michaels Farm withdraws application for zone change on Morgan Road

— A controversial zone change application in the town of Clay has been withdrawn after vociferous criticism from the community.

Michaels Farm has pulled its application for a zone change at 8073 and 8097 Morgan Road from RA-100 Residential Agricultural to R-SR Senior Residence District-1, LuC-1 Limited Use District for Gasoline Services and NC-1 Commercial District. In addition to three apartment buildings, the applicant wanted to include a gas station and some commercial development. It also proposes the extension of roads within Fairway East and Cross Creek to connect with Waterhouse Road and the construction of signal lights at that intersection.

At the first public hearing on the issue on Sept, 17, numerous area residents turned out to object to the proposal. Bob Mearon of Cross Creek drive headed up the effort, handing over a document with more than 100 signatures to the town board.

“We didn’t even try very hard,” Mearon said. “People signed quickly, easily and willingly with no objections.”

In particular, the neighbors were concerned about the extension of Fairway East to Morgan Road.

“We’re very concerned about the extension of Fairway Drive East,” Mearon said. “Things change over the years. There is a signalized entrance to Fairway a little ways north of that intersection which seems to handle the bulk of the traffic and seems to work pretty well. We’re afraid if you create another intersection at Cross Creek where it connects to Bordeaux, it’s going to create a speedway for people.”

Second District County Legislator John Dougherty also spoke in opposition to the project, speaking on his own behalf as a resident of Loveland Drive in Fairway East.

“No one knows better than I do that the public isn’t always right,” Dougherty said. “But you have almost complete unanimous opposition to this project. I hope you take that into account when you make your decision.”

The applicant has saved the board the trouble of making the decision by pulling its application.

Town of Clay Planning Commissioner Mark Territo said he expected Michaels Farm, LLC would reformulate its plans and resubmit at a later date.

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