CVS rezone vote solidified

Rotterdam Town Board votes again, proposal fails

— Residents opposing a zoning change for a proposed new CVS Pharmacy can rest easier knowing a majority of the Rotterdam Town Board has voted against it.

Four board members were present at a Wednesday, April 11, meeting that resulted in a split vote on approving a public hearing to rezone four properties near the corner of Lawndale Avenue and Curry Road from R-1 Residential to B-1 Retail. All five members were at Wednesday, April 25, meeting, so Councilman Robert Godlewski persuaded board members to revote on the proposal to solidify the board’s stance.

“I’ve been getting emails on CVS even after we voted the other night,” Godlewski said. “I wondering if I could persuade the board to revote … so we have clear majority vote and it lets the residents know the way that project stands now.”

The board amended the April 25 agenda to add the resolution from its April 11 meeting declaring the town as lead agency for State Environmental Quality Review procedures relating to the CVS project. If this resolution didn’t pass, as on April 11, the resolution to hold a public hearing was a moot point.

Councilman Mike Viscusi cast the third vote in opposition to the project at the April 25 meeting, with Deputy Supervisor Wayne Calder and Councilman Matthew Martin again voting in dissent. Supervisor Harry Buffardi and Godlewski voted in favor a second time.

Martin has continuously opposed the project and said the rezone would be a zoning encroachment to nearby residential properties.

Calder previously said he voted against the zoning change due to a possible increase in traffic to the surrounding area. A majority of the town Planning Commission also previously expressed concerns on increased traffic.

The Planning Commission gave a negative recommendation on the project at two separate meetings, with the second given after project developers tried to address residents’ concerns.

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