By WINNIE BLACKWOOD
Recorder News Staff
FLORIDA — An “e-commerce” warehouse operation is looking to move into a facility in the town.
The town Planning Board on Monday was presented with a site plan application for an e-commerce warehouse at the Lott Holding Corp. facility on 1785 Route 5S. The existing 53,000-square-foot warehouse is across from the Target Distribution Center
E-commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet.
According to the sign outside of the facility, 28 acres on the property are up for lease or rent as commercial land. The Montgomery County tax rolls show Lott Holding Corp. owns the Route 5S property. Benjamin Moore is leasing the property for storage of paint products currently, project representatives said.
“That’s what makes it a great project — it’s underused, underdeveloped and our client is looking to make a great reinvestment in the property and redevelop it to reuse an existing building and really bring it back into use,” Steven Wilson, of Bohler Engineering, said.
Tractor-trailers would arrive at night and drop off items to be sorted. During the day a delivery van would load up the products and leave the facility, Daniel Hill — project manager of Progressive AE — said.
The outside of the facility would also be given a face lift and a new coat of paint to make it more appealing to the eye, Hill said.
Wilson said the warehouse would not be selling locally and not open to the public.
Town attorney Deborah Slezak asked if representatives of the project applied for site plan approval.
Wilson said she was correct; along with site plan approval, the project also needs a special use permit.
David. R. Everett — an attorney with Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna — said the town’s code provides for storage and warehouse usage, but only for wholesale purposes.
Everett said he has spoken with Florida Town Supervisor Eric Mead about adding amendments to the zoning code to allow for warehouses that are not for wholesale purposes, allowing the proposed delivery center.
“You are suggesting we change [the code to read] ‘The storage, distribution and/or sortation of goods, products, packages or other materials associated with retail, commercial, wholesale or industrial uses,’” Slezak said.
Everett said there have been changes in the warehousing industry in the past 10 to 20 years that only catered to wholesale previously, but are opening up to a variety of storage needs.
“Now with the rise of e-commerce and similar types of activities, warehouses aren’t all used for wholesale,” Everett said. “They are actually used for quite a few purposes, so that’s one of the considerations.”
Slezak then said while the representatives of the project are applying for site plan approval, the application for a special use permit is contingent upon the proposed change of definitions in the code.
The town board will have the final authority to approve the changes recommended.
Everett asked the planning board if they were aware of the potential changes. The board members said they were made aware of them at Monday’s meeting during the presentation by Everett.
“We know we have more work to do here,” Wilson said. “We are working on a stormwater pollution prevention plan. We are working on a traffic study for this project as well. We probably got more planning refinements to do as we get through the process, but I think we are at the point that we would like to move the SEQR (New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act) along.”
The planning board declared their intent to name themselves lead agency of the project through SEQR, which is a 30 day process to see if any other agencies would like to take on the title for the proposed project.
If other prospective agencies do not respond or show an interest, the planning board can declare themselves the lead agent next month.