NEW BALTIMORE — A medical center proposed for Route 9W had to be rejected before it could be approved.
Greg Barkstrom, director of real estate development for LeChase Construction, appeared before the New Baltimore Planning Board to submit a conceptual site plan for a proposed medical facility.
The size of the project isn’t immediately known as the company is waiting on land-use approval before specific plans are developed, Barkstrom told planners.
LeChase is a construction management firm with a portfolio of projects that includes facilities in the fields of health care, education, commercial, industrial, multi-unit housing, and science and technology, according to the company’s website.
Projects undertaken by LeChase in the health care field include construction of a 312,000-square-foot addition to Rochester Regional Hospital and the $28 million surgical services and observation unit at Highland Hospital in Rochester, according to the company.
The scope of the proposed New Baltimore project is undetermined at this time, Barkstrom said.
“It will be one, maybe two medical buildings,” Barkstrom said. “It would be on what is known as the Dunphy site on Route 9W.”
The property, which is visible from the New York State Thruway, currently houses a disused restaurant that has not been in operation for many years and is in poor condition, Barkstrom said.
“It has been vacant for a long time — the place is falling down,” he said.
LeChase is looking to merge two adjacent properties for the project.
“There are two parcels associated with this. They will be combined,” Barkstrom told the planning board. “One is 5.8 acres and the other is 2.3 acres.”
The area is zoned DMR — development multi-family residential — which does not permit medical facilities, Barkstrom said.
“In that DMR zone, medical is specifically prohibited, so we are looking for a use variance to allow a medical [facility],” Barkstrom told the board.
The project is in its preliminary stage and depends on receiving a use variance from the zoning board of appeals, so the site plan Barkstrom submitted to the planning board is conceptual in nature.
Details are sparse at the moment and the site plan will change if the project moves forward, he said.
Planning board member Frank Orlando asked how many stories the facility would be. Barkstrom said the size of the building has not been finalized.
Before the project can move forward, the zoning board of appeals would have to make a determination on a use variance permitting a medical facility in the DMR zone.
Planning Board Chairman Robert Van Etten asked the board to offer a resolution rejecting the project and referring it to the zoning board of appeals for review of the use variance request.
“We have a site plan application. We won’t bother going through it because it doesn’t fall in alignment with the zoning,” Van Etten said. “So we will do a resolution to deny the site plan and refer them to the ZBA.”
Barkstrom said after the meeting he expects to bring the issue to the zoning board of appeals at its next meeting later this month to request a use variance. If that is approved, the developer will begin the planning process.
With details scarce at this time, LeChase does not have a timetable for the project, Barkstrom said.
“Hopefully we will get through the zoning and then we will be back in front of the planning board,” he said.
LeChase Construction has offices in Schenectady and 10 other cities in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and North Carolina.