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QUEENSBURY — The Saratoga Hospital urgent care and medical offices building being proposed near the Exit 18 interchange got most of the town approvals it needed Wednesday night.

But the developer may need to reduce the number of parking spaces and add landscaping.

The proposal is to demolish Carl R’s, a vacant restaurant on Main Street. Then Columbia Development would build a two-story, 17,700-square-foot medical building.

The plans called for 76 parking spaces, largely behind the building.

But the town would actually require 36 to 59 spaces, town staff said in notes on the project.

The plan also calls for just 20 percent of the site to be “permeable,” generally by adding landscaping. The rule was created to reduce drainage problems when rain water washes off one parking lot onto another owner’s land. Sites that have more permeability can absorb more rainwater.

The town requires 30 percent of the site to be permeable, although Carl R’s fell far below that threshold. Only 10 percent of the site was permeable when the restaurant was in use.

But by reducing parking, the developer could add more green space, which would also increase the permeability.

Planning Board Chairman Stephen Traver told the developer Tuesday to look closely at the staff notes before returning to the Planning Board for final approval.

“There are a number of site plan issues,” he said, suggesting that the developer might need to make changes.

But board members supported the variances that the developer needed to build the urgent care facility.

The project needed permission to build very close to the property line and permission to put up signs.

Setbacks are required from Big Boom Road, Main Street and the Northway behind the site.

“The setback encompasses basically all of our property,” said developer Gavin Vuillaume. “Keep in mind, the building is roughly in the same location as the existing building.”

It’s about 4 feet closer to the side property line, putting the building about 40 feet from the Northway entrance ramp.

On Wednesday, the Zoning Board granted variances for the setbacks.

However, the board tabled a decision on the signs. That will be discussed at the board’s May 30 meeting.

Saratoga Hospital has not definitively said what it will do with the building, but has described it as likely to be an urgent care center with diagnostic services and medical offices for specialties that the hospital already offers in the Glens Falls area. Those specialties include nephrology and pulmonology.

The hospital is also assessing community need to identify the services that make the most sense.

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You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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reporter - Health care, Moreau, Queensbury, South Glens Falls

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