Project plan

Glenville Holds Hearing on Freemans Bridge Road Project; Plan to turn an old greenhouse into a solar retail space

GLENVILLE — Plans to transform a former greenhouse on Freemans Bridge Road into a solar and commercial development will be the subject of a public hearing May 19 on changing the city’s zoning laws.

The city is seeking to establish a planned development district at 66 Freemans Bridge Road, formerly Van Curler Greenhouse, which closed in 2007. The change would allow landowner Broad & Thomas Partners LLC to develop the land.

“They want to do solar, which is not allowed in this district,” said city supervisor Chris Koetzle.

Koetzle said that by creating the neighborhood, it would allow the landowner to install over 26 acres of solar panels on the back of the property.

It’s an ideal location for solar development, Koetzle said, noting that the rear portion of the property is “very difficult to develop” due to the topography of the site.

The structures at 66 Freemans Bridge Road in Glenville, pictured on Wednesday, are set to make way for new development. PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTE

The development of solar power on the property was a focus for City Council member Mike Godlewski.

“We think bringing solar power to the city is a good thing,” he said.

He said it’s something he and City Council member Mike Aragosa have been pushing for since taking office in 2017.

Koetzle said the solar panels would not be visible from the road.

Over four acres of the property facing Freemans Bridge Road would be the location of commercial or commercial use for everything from office spaces to a microbrewery.

Koetzle said the agreement with the city also stipulates other requirements for the landlord. They include:

  • Require the owner to clear the site and prepare it for construction.
  • The homeowner is to pay $161,000 as part of the impact fee for a solar project in the city. This money is used for capital improvement projects in municipal parks.
  • The landowner must post a three-year bond equivalent to the equivalent of property taxes which states that if the property is not developed within three years, the city can cash the bonds.
  • The solar panels would be removed and the land reclaimed after the panels are no longer in use.

More from The Daily Gazette:

Categories: News, Schenectady County