July 16, 2008

Suit Against Planned Troy Rite Aid Rejected

By Bob Gardinier, Albany Times Union, N.Y.

Jul. 16--TROY -- A lawsuit attempting to reverse city Planning Board approval of a Hoosick Street drug store has been dismissed for several procedural errors.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Christian Hummel rejected a suit brought by preservationist Russell Ziemba and others against the city for its February approval of a Rite Aid drug store at Hoosick Street and Burdett Avenue.

Hummel said the Article 78 filing did not list the proper respondents and contained several other flaws which nullified the petition. The court also ruled that an amended petition by the preservationists was not filed with the Rensselaer County Clerk's office and filing fees were not paid, so it was rejected as well.

"As jurisdictionally defective, this petition cannot be given a second look and cannot have its deficiencies and irregularities corrected," Hummel wrote.

Rite Aid has proposed a "New England-style" structure with a faux second floor and several peaks that make it look like more than one building for the corner. Five houses will be razed and the building will have access from the rear where the parking lot will be. In their approval, Planning Board members stipulated that Rite Aid should not use stockade-type fence around the parking lot, but find a more attractive design.

Preservationists have argued that the proposed building will not fit the architectural style of the neighborhood, will create traffic woes and does not follow the guidelines of the Hoosick Street Overlay, a zoning ordinance passed by the City Council in 2005.

Ziemba could not be immediately reached for comment.


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