Community takes stand against gas station expansion

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – One community is taking a stand against the expansion of a well-known gas station.

Head to any corner in the Capital Region and chances are you’ll find a Stewart’s Shop waiting for you. Now the spot on the corner of Everett Road and Albany Shaker wants to expand.

“It would take up almost two acres of land instead of about one acre.”

Susan Weber lives nearby and is part of a community organization that’s against the proposed growth.

“We live here we sleep here. It’s not appropriate for our neighborhood.”

The expansion offers a store double the size of the one there now and would create eight gas pumps covered by massive lighted canopies.

Weber’s main concern is the potential increase in traffic.

“This is a very heavily traveled intersection. It’s dangerous as it is right now.”

County legislator Joe O’Brien represents this area and says this expansion would be out of character for the whole neighborhood.

“There’s about one accident at this intersection every day. So it’s not good the way it is and they’re proposing to make it worse.”

Weber wants a current traffic study on the Albany Shaker Road corridor to be completed before the project moves forward and for Stewart’s to do studies of its own.

“Light impact study, a traffic study.”

The Colonie Town Planning Board has sent Stewart’s back to the drawing board twice to redesign and scale down the proposal.

Weber spent the weekend explaining the proposal to others living nearby.

“We spoke with many residents and most of them didn’t know anything about this proposal.”

She’s not opposed to a scaled-back version of the project but wants the current plans placed on hold.

County Lawmakers say they’re willing to work with Stewart’s to come to some sort of compromise.

Stewart’s released this statement on the proposed plan:

“Throughout this process, Stewart’s Shops has been amenable to the requests of the town to reduce the scope of this project. We have already scaled back the size proposed shop, the number of gas pumps, and have removed an additional rental property that was part of the initial plan.

While we remain community-minded, we must be clear that Stewart’s Shops is an approved use for this property. We have followed the rules and process as outlined by the town, and will continue to do so as we seek to improve our dedicated service to our customers.”

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