January 31, 2012

 

Dollar Tree cancels meeting amid complaints from community

Posted: Jan 31, 2012 12:11 AM EST By Robert Boyd - email

Dollar Tree was supposed to hold a public meeting with the Schodack Planning Board Monday night but it was canceled after receiving several letters of complaint from members of the community.


Dollar Tree wants to develop a one million square foot distribution center in Schodack near the junction of Routes 9 and 20.

However, people who live near there are upset.

"In all their distribution centers, I believe there are eight or nine distribution centers, this is the first one that comes into a residential area," said Robert Wiltsie.


Wiltsie is one of dozens of Schodack residents concerned about Dollar Tree building a $1 million dollar distribution center less than 150 feet away from their neighborhood.


"This is a very quite area, if you come here in the afternoon at about three o'clock it's one of the quietest neighborhoods you would want to be in," said Wiltsie. "And we're really concerned because we think 150 trucks a day, particularly 24/7 in the middle of the night, if you've ever heard the back ups and the beep, beep, beeps, you know it's going to be a real problem."Wiltsie is also concerned about health issues regarding their water supply.
"We all have wells in this particular area and we have an aquifer and we're very concerned it's going to affect our aquifer," said Wiltsie.


The Dollar Tree did not return calls from News10 regarding the cancelation of the meeting.The planning board said they will not make any decisions until they have information from all sides.

I wonder if their decision will be based on the threat of a lawsuit.
Schodack neighbors retain attorney; Dollar Tree puts project on hold Read more...

I appreciate my readers and all of the comments but let's remember, we're all neighbors.  Let's keep it civil people  :)

35 comments:

  1. The Dollar Tree wasn't "scared off" by the threat of a lawsuit - there are plenty of communities that would welcome a $70 million investment with 200 jobs and $750,000 initial tax revenues. They don't feel the need to fight an angry, unruly mob to do something good for an area. Its too bad that they weren't willing to fight harder because they would have won the battle as the zoning allows this type of warehouse. We won't have to worry about other business's coming to Schodack in the future as we are known as "No-Dack" when it comes to business.

    I'm sure the people who were against it will be at Town Hall come tax grievance time because we all know that the taxes in this Town are too damn high! They like to have it both ways.

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    1. $70 million dollar investment? First of all, it's a $63 million dollar expense, up front, paid for by the Rensselaer County IDA. Dollar tree will pay THEM and NOT the town, $750K, but be tax exempt for the next 15 YEARS! The East Greenbush CSD will benefit from the majority of those payments (inwards of 70%) and the county and town will split the remaining 30%...and you do not think that Ms. Jimino will take a lesser share of those proceeds for the County, do you?!
      Angry, unruly mob?! I guess voicing our opinions at town meetings, in the media and acquiring legal advice is considered "unruly"?! Interesting!
      The zoning does NOT allow for this type of project! This WAREHOUSE is not a "sales distribution center" as it is stated on the proposal. The proper zoned location for a building of this magnitude is near the exit 12 ramps.
      Even IF this project was to pass, do you honestly think your taxes would go DOWN?! LOL "I do not expect the residents taxes to go down as a result of the Dollar Tree coming to Schodack...in fact, I would expect it to go up with the States mandates on the local governments..." - Kathy Jimino
      Need I say more?

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  2. The claim that the Richwood/Julianne area is "quiet" is wrong. The entire neighborhood lies within 1/4 mile of I-90 and Route9. There is almost constant traffic noise that everyone has become accostomed to. Get this project in here!

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    1. I live on Julianne Dr. and yes, our neighborhood IS quiet. Quieter than most neighborhoods...even with I-90 being as close as it is. Drop a 1.2 Million square foot warehouse and 250-300 trucks coming and going 24/7/365...and that quiet goes away. Not to mention the air quality and pollution that WE will all be suffering from IF this was to get passed.

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  3. I say get Dollar Tree representatives back in here and show them how much support there really is for this project. I for one will do a better job of spreading the word and getting other viewpoints to the meeting!

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    1. How will you do a better job at spreading the word?...you're not even willing to state who you are on here! Dollar Tree found out that the majority of the town does NOT want them here...not just us residents in this neighborhood! It's sad to think that their are town residents willing to sacrifice their neighbors for a few dozen low paying jobs and no benefits! Wow...astonished!

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    2. Get over it - we are not sacrificing anyone but are tired of seeing boarded up commercial properties on our commercial corridor. Do you think Holy Cow or the old town hall would stay vacant if the Dollar Tree came to the neighborhood??

      Speaking of exageration, the number of trucks at full capacity was said to be 100 but you say up to 300 or the 1 million sqft which you again over exaggerate. Your nimby rhetoric ist tiring Lenny.

      Would you prefer a retail mall at this site with hundreds of cars a day and the accompanying noise and traffic? You live next to a prime commercial spot that someday will be developed. I suspect when you get older and wiser you will wish the Dollar Tree came there rather than what will come next.

      Did you read today's article about Hannaford getting their assessment lowered over $10million. Do you think if we had a Dollar Treee warehouse as a comparable property in Town that this would have benefited the Town Assessor in fighting Hannaford?

      Do you think the Schodack Schools, while already having to talk of merging with another district because of a shrinking tax base (no commercial) are happy about returning $200k to Hannaford?

      You and your shortsighted brethern are killing any hope of commercial growth any time in the future. Other business' notice when yes an angry mob threaten to fight every proposal that comes down the pike.

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    3. First...you speak to me as if you know me...so, I ask you to come out from behind you mask and identify yourself. Secondly...Do I think Holy Cow and the old Town Hall would be boarded up if DT was here?...ABSOLUTELY!! Holy Cow closed shop NOT because of bad business...but because it was a personal decision! If you want to talk facts, then I suggest you get yours in line before running off at the mouth! The dollar trees proposed site will encompass over 106 acres of land, and the building size will be roughly 1.2 MILLION square feet in size. The proposed truck traffic is 8-16 tractor trailers every hour on a 24 hour basis...16 being the average volume from 6am - 6pm daily! Do the math...that equals roughly 288 trucks DAILY!!! How are those FACTS for you?
      As for the Hannaford situation...that was seen coming years ago! Hannford got away practically tax free all these years and when the town started assessing their property to bring them up to proper tax assessments, they sued the town because of "depreciation". And the Dollar Tree warehouse was going in, in a location that would NOT have benefited Schodack Central Schools! All tax based relief would be going to East Greenbush CSD. That is why we were trying to get them to move the operation and project to exit 12!
      If you want to talk facts...then I suggest you do your homework before spewing your garbage on a public forum. You only make yourself look ridiculous!

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    4. No doubt that this is a big project. I do believe that if the Dollar Tree Distribution Center is built it will have a developmental impact on the surrounding properties - in a positive way. More people coming into town will create a demand for more services.
      As for the 1-2% rise in overall traffic, you were issued a drivers license by New York State when you passed your test and should be able to competently share our roads. Two things anyone should pay extra attention to when driving - large trucks and motorcycles. No problem!

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    5. Obviously impossible to speak rationally with Mr. Bates as he is now the area expert on everything related to Dollar Tree. The Holy Cow was a personal decision? How about a business decision due to a lack thereof? If a 1million square foot building went in behind it, it would remain boarded up? You really have the blinders on Sir - rational thought is not your strong suit. Goodbye.

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  4. I personally would rather pay taxes on a house that still has some equity rather than pay decreased taxes on a house I would better off be foreclosing on. If you don't like the taxes, look at the areas around us and move to a place with lower taxes. Guess what? There aren't many.

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  5. People should look around at surrounding properties and check them out prior to buying homes. There's no reason to believe property values would decline as a result of the Dollar Tree project. If anything, it will attract more retail, such as restaurants, and will help to fund additional infrastructure (water/sewer) and increase property values. Retail seems to be what people want if I heard their big mouths correctly at those planning board meetings, but you need something first to support the businesses. Maybe someone should start up a petition….?

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    1. You seem to portray yourself as a savvy business mind...please explain to me how a warehouse will attract more businesses? Especially restaurants, retails stores or anything else you could think of?! I am very interested in your response!

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    2. Hmmmm.... let's see, 100-165 truckers plus 120+ employees coming into town every day? Won't at least some of them need food, gas, lodging etc. When you have people actually stopping in town instead of just driving by the local businesses benefit.

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    3. It's really very simple. You need to first understand capital formation in a free market system. Newly employed people will presumably respend the money they are paid, and those businesses also spend that same money, etc. Businesses also respond to capital investment in the market place with additional investment. It's a cycle that will continue on and on. That's how a warehouse, or any other businesses attract more business. It's just simple economics.

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    4. Nicely explained, Farmer. Thanks.

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    5. This is the simple issue.

      The decisions we make today will impact the future of Schodack ten or twenty years from now. Do we want our town to be defined by the proliferation of shabby, low tech commercial development (while billions of dollars in high tech investment is being made elsewhere in the Capital region) or to be defined as a highly desirable place to live, where there is a strong emphasis on the quality of life of its residents.

      I don't believe a three mile stretch of corrugated box warehouses along Rt. 9 (as some of the town's "visionaries" foresee) is going to be an economic panacea. Such development will drive down the value and future appreciation of a significant number of residential properties in the Town, to the extent that any tax benefit of the commercial development will be seen as small change to these affected homeowners. For the type of commercial development envisioned, there is no reason to assume that the tax base generated by the commercial development will outpace the loss of tax base from depressed home prices. And those residents who live far enough from the proposed development to think that they will be unaffected, will find that they're paying a higher proportionate share of the Town' s taxes, as property values fall elsewhere.

      As the Capital region grows, residential property in towns that have retained their residential/rural character will be a more valuable commodity than commercial property. (The amount of rural property available will continue to shrink while the amount of commercial property will continue to increase). Being an opponent of the DT facility is actually a rational economic decision. This will be especially true if construction of the DT facility opens the floodgates for similar warehouse development.

      In deciding the issue, homeowners should answer two questions.

      1. Suppose someone has just moved to the Capital region, having gotten a good paying tech job. Do you think he would prefer to build a house and raise his family in the town where emphasis is placed on quality of life and maintaining the town's residential character, or in the town that provides the region's path of least resistance to putting up a million square foot warehouse?

      2. In ten years, do you think the town would be a nicer place to live, and the value of your residence more, if the man described above builds his home in Schodack or the million square foot warehouse is built, and other commercial developments like it follow?

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  6. To previous, You clearly arent familiar with tax rates in the greater Capital District.... Please call the town of Colonie's assessor. There tax rate is $22 per thousand vs Rens co that averages over $35 per thousand. If you go to North Colonie there are rural areas as well... .

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  7. Do you think there will be a lawsuit?

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    1. I contemplated this question for a long time. There probably would be an Article 78 lawsuit filed against this project. I would be willing to make a contribution to the Town of Schodack to defend against this ill-thought-out path. These folks should stop holding the rest of the town hostage.

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    2. I do not believe that the residents of the Richwood Dr. and Julianne Dr. neighborhood are "holding the town hostage" as you have stated. It is every residents right to defend their properties, whether it be vocally or via legal representation. These towns residents must feel some passion about this project or else they would not be fighting this project so hard. Many people can make their opinions known, whether it be for or against it, but unless you are directly affected by a situation like this, then you just don't have the hardened interest like those folks in that neighborhood. I have read the documentation provided by on the Town of Schodack website and, being an analyst myself in my profession, I do have some inquiries into the findings that the engineering company concluded with. I believe that the residents who have obtained an attorney have a valid reason and a right to go that path. This is my opinion and I would appreciate if I did not get criticized for it. Thank you and good luck to the residents and the future of Schodack.

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    3. I respect your opinion but mine is different from yours.
      Yes, these residents do have rights. So does every other resident of the town. We are ALL affected by projects that locate in Schodack, not just those folks adjacent to it. We ALL have a vested interest in broadening our tax base. There were no issues with this project that could not be reasonably dealt with, from increased truck traffic to noise to diesel exhaust to lighting. Instead, let's just slam the door on a proposal that would have had a lasting economic benefit for the town and county.

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  8. I love how all these people are posting with an "Anonymous" name. If they are so brazen to make their comments known, then quit hiding behind an "Anonymous" name! I'd love to know who you are! I will personally respond to each of these "mystery writers"...with MY name clearly stated!

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    1. I would like signatures too, but readers are offered a drop down menu from which to choose. All comments are welcome except those I deem inappropriate.

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    2. "Anonymous" works just fine, Len. It allows the debate to continue without personal attacks and overbearing loudmouths (not necessarily you) drowning out all the feelings that are in the community. Believe me, if Dollar Tree hasn't already decided to move on, there will be much more discussion about this. It's time to take action against the "Forces of No"

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  9. Colonie has the lowest taxes in the capital district. I am aware of this. They are followed by Latham. However, our taxes aren't close to Clifton Park or Niskayuna. So, like I said, we're somewhere in the middle. I repeat, I prefer the equity I have in my home and I am comfortable paying taxes on a home that's worth something. As for a cute little tidbit, do you actually believe a home with a warehouse 130 ft from their property line won't depreciate? By the way, that number is a fact. on

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    1. Which number is a fact?

      Aside:Catherine, thank you for allowing this discussion to take place on your blog.

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    2. Latham is part of Colonie.... Good point!

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  10. I'm glad to do it. I'm hoping to be able to keep the SCENE going. It's my joy to write about local events, but I haven't figured out how to make any money yet... Why not sign up to get email messages whenever I post something...just a thought.

    You can get anything at Amazon...take a look! Click a link, buy something from one of the ads - tell your friends!:D

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  11. Dollar tree's plan was to build 130 ft from someones home. You can't possibly believe that won't depreciate that property value. 130 ft is a fact. If Rensselaer needs the money so desperately there are multiple properties in renssellaer that could handle this size building better than the proposed site. One is at exit 12 and there are 157 acres for sale off i90 at exit 9.

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  12. Dollar tree's plan was to build 130 ft from someones home. You can't possibly believe that won't depreciate that property value. 130 ft is a fact. If Rensselaer needs the money so desperately there are multiple properties in Rensselaer that could handle this size building better than the proposed site. One is at exit 12 and there are 157 acres for sale off i90 at exit 9.

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    1. IF property values were to drop (debatable), it would be temporary. The Richwood/Julianne neighborhood is too convenient to not retain its appeal, even with a sales distribution center buffered next door. A few more decibles in an area already surrounded by constant highway noise isn't going to affect it. The I-90 / 9&20 corridor is a prime development area that needs to grow, helping to alleviate our heavy tax burden and bring in much needed jobs. This would be a benefit to the whole town.

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  13. Why ship much-needed jobs , tax dollars, somewhere else? Look at the big picture
    Dunkin Donuts is a distribution center, and that will generate more noise, what are
    you thinking? That's right, you are not. The project look's very good and it shold be
    welcomed in our area .,, shame on you.

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  14. L. Mack. Esq. Castleton Resident in Support of DOLLAR TREEFebruary 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Len, you keep making it a point to say that you'll respond to those not hiding behind anonymous signatures but for some unknown reason you never responded to an important point brought up by yours truly in response to your "letter to the schodack scene"

    The point being:
    You bought your home in the summer of 2001. The adjacent property in question (where the dollar tree would be building) was already zoned commercial. You were put on notice of the adjacent commercial zoning before you bought your property and you decided to BUY IT ANYWAY KNOWING FULL WELL THAT COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT WAS INEVITABLE. Did you or did you not know this? If you didn't, well then you should have done your homework better. If you did, then what did you expect was going to happen on a massive lot zoned for commercial purposes?

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    1. Yes, I did buy my home in 2001 and yes, I was aware of the commercial development potential that could occur around my neighborhood. Having said that...I was hoping that our towns officials would use discretion in developing the area. If you read most of my posts, you would see that I, as well as my neighbors, are NOT against commercial development in Schodack. We are opposed, however, to BAD ideas...and the Dollar Tree project is a BAD idea! Many of the authors on this comment string that support the idea seem to throw discretion to the wind and are willing to throw away all the character that this town has to offer. You all seem to care more about where the dollar comes from, rather than what sacrifices were made to get that dollar. Sorry if I seem a bit more compassionate towards my friends, family and neighbors, but I do care about them and their homes and their lives while living in this town. Im not one to "put the bullet in the back of their heads" just to bring a few low paying low tech jobs to the area and run the risk of being left with a 1.2 million square foot eye sore and environmental headache when/if Dollar Tree decides to bail on Schodack when they are finally no longer tax free. Am I being ridiculous in my thoughts? I don't know...am I? Who would have thought that Hannaford would have sued the town over their tax assessment when their tax freedom ran out? But, they did...and now the Schodack CSD has to repay Hannaford nearly $300K in back taxes! That money has to be made up somehow and who do you think will end up paying for that? If your answer is anything other than the residents, then you would be wrong. Seem fair?! And do you honestly think that this scenario wouldn't occur 5, 10 or even 15 years from now (if they are even around at that point) by Dollar Tree?! If you truly believe that large scale businesses, like Dollar Tree, play by the rules when it comes to money...well, I guess I don't need to say anymore.

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