Monday, December 11, 2023

FW Webb pulls rezone request; look elsewhere

By Zander Frost & Mark Frost, Chronicle Staff Writer & Editor

F.W. Webb has withdrawn its request to re-zone a 15-acre site on Quaker Road so it could build a 76,000 square-foot distribution center and store across from Garvey Volkswagen and Kia.

Why withdraw the application?

“I can read the room,” F.W. Webb Chief Operating Officer Bob Mucciarone told The Chronicle Tuesday. “We’re getting the stall. It takes three weeks to let us know how many copies you need… and I feel Queensbury doesn’t have the strength to support it,” he said.

“I’m not happy, but it’s the way it is.”

Glens Falls officials and residents of the nearby Windy Hill and Windy Ridge neighborhoods resisted the project.

Queensbury Supervisor John Strough told The Chronicle, “I don’t know if I was totally surprised by it [the withdrawal], because I think there are better parcels in the town of Queensbury — and I hope they are planning on staying in the town of Queensbury — that would better fulfill their expansion plans than the one they pursued most recently.”

Mr. Strough suggested a lot near the Quaker Road Walmart and Sportline.

“It is a managed intersection, it has a traffic light,” Mr. Strough said.

“To me, that was a perfect location, it gave them the kind of exposure they were looking for,” he added.

He said there were some wetland issues, but the town worked that out with Walmart. “If that is a lot that’s still desirable to them, we would work with them to help solve the wetland issues there, too.”

Mr. Mucciarone said, “I’m looking right now” for a new location for the project.

“But I gotta be honest with you. If I find something out of Queensbury, that’s going to be my number one priority, because I just think I’ve been harmed.”

Of the town wanting Webb to stay, Mr. Mucciarone said, “Queensbury should have done something different then.”

“I’ve been very cordial with everybody. I’ve talked to everybody,” Mr. Mucciarone said. “I haven’t misrepresented anything. I’ve told the truth all along. I was trying to be kind to the neighbors. I tried to listen to what they wanted.

“But when I’m dealing with people who have an agenda and a finality to it, and I’m not supported, what am I gonna do?”

He added, “What’s going to happen is a big box is going to come in there. And those neighbors are going to be way worse off than if Webb had been able to do it. And they kind of deserve it.”

Of the Quaker Road lot, Mr. Strough reiterated that he had been approached by a Realtor who said, “if we could rezone it, there is a developer interested in putting apartments up.”

He said the Realtor “described those apartments as 55+ style, and would be minimal impacts to the local residential area being residential itself.”

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