Laura Cassalia of CHA Consulting, Inc., presents plans for a proposed Stewart’s Shop on the corner of Route 92 and Enders Road. The Manlius Town Board denied a zone change for the site, effectively rejecting Stewart’s Shops’ development of the site.
Developers who wish to site a heavy-use commercial property at the vacant corner of Enders Road and Route 92 have fair warning: the Manlius Town Board isn’t interested.
At its meeting on Feb. 13, the Manlius Town Board rejected a request for a zone change on the property to Commercial B, the highest-use zone in the town short of an industrial zone. It is at least the second time in the past few years the town has rejected rezoning the site Commercial B.
The zone change application was made by Stewart’s Shops, which intended to build a convenience store and gas station.
Project manager Laura Cassalia, of architecture and engineering firm CHA Consulting, Inc., headed the presentation of the request for a zone change from the residential multiple-use district (R-M) to the commercial district (C-B). Cassalia laid out a site plan depicting an approximately 5,000-square-foot building that would have contained a 1,500-square-foot bank with a drive-thru as well as a 3,500-square-foot Stewart’s store and two fuel island canopies.
The design incorporated an access point shared with the Shining Stars daycare center and its existing driveway as well as curb cuts on Route 92.
Seated nearby, real estate representative for Stewart’s Shops Chuck Marshall provided additional information.
“It is advantageous to the residents in this area that the character of the corridor remain residential in nature,” Town Supervisor Ed Theobald said, citing a 2001 study written by the Route 92 Corridor Policy Committee.
Councilor and Deputy Supervisor John Loeffler said the town board reserves the right to update the policy, but they recently concluded that they were content with its current form. In discussing the zone change, board members considered not only Stewart’s application.
“If we think we should entertain something that goes conversely against the policy we zoned for 20 years, we should consider the policy first,” Loeffler said. “We should think twice about reinforcing commercial centers outside the villages.”
Councilor Sara Bollinger suggested a more incremental zoning shift, such as to a neighborhood shopping district (N-S). However, N-S districts prohibit gas stations.
“Very candidly, our operation doesn’t exist without fuel,” Marshall said.
The town recreation department will perform “Guys and Dolls” as its summer theater production. The board approved a licensing with Music Theatre International for the rights to perform the musical.
The board accepted the resignations of chairman Henry McIntosh and T.R. Schepp from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals. Theobald said the board is actively seeking new members to fill the vacancies.