The Town of Schroon -- and local residents in favor and opposed to an expanded Stewart’s Store -- are headed for a public hearing later this month.
The Town Board voted 4 to 1 to retain legal counsel after several angry residents -- many who live on the street behind Stewart’s where the expansion will encroach on -- voiced concern at Monday’s regular Town Meeting, when the floor was opened up for questions and comments.
Last month Stewart has announced plans to raze and rebuild their prized Schroon Lake location – which accounts for the highest summer sales of ice cream – after the family owned company purchased a two-story property on Taylor Street, directly behind their current location.
Town Supervisor Mark Marnell told Schroon Laker today the attorney was in the process of sending out letters to property owners who will be impacted by the proposed expansion, about a potential zoning change. The matter will be discussed at a soon to be announced Public Hearing, where Marnell says he expects to hear from Stewart’s and local residents.
There are five properties adjoining the Stewart’s property’s proposed expansion: four homeowners on Taylor Street, directly behind the Stewart’s Shop and the owners of the building where the Upstate Insurance Agency and Higher Grounds Coffee Shop are housed.
Marnell says the response to the new Stewart’s has been overwhelming positive.
“If we had a referendum today, it would pass by a majority of between 95 and 98 per cent,” Marnell told Schroon Laker.
Aside from any economic benefits the project will bring the town, Marnell stressed there were multiple safety issues that the new project will address.
“Right now the way the gas pumps are laid it not safe. Vehicles with boat trailers are often stuck in the middle of Dock Street. It is dangerous for pedestrians. The new layout will eliminate that issue by tightening up the curbs.
The $1.5 million expansion call for a new orientation of the gas pumps, as well as increasing the retail floor space from 2,500 to 3,700-square-feet.
Parking spaces will grow to 27 and include several new picnic tables overlooking the lake, adjacent town park.
Since Stewart’s presented their first plans to the Town on April 3, the company has agreed to modify certain aspects of their first design, after consulting with residents living on Taylor Street.
These include modifying the lighting design, minimizing noise from air conditioning and heating units, and using decorative fencing to hide the store’s dumpsters.