Proposed Gloversville storage units stalled over concerns

Plans for a proposed self storage business on Harrison Street stalled during Tuesday's Gloversville Planning Board meeting as the board raised concerns over the structural integrity of the building. The existing building proposed for use for a self storage business on Harrison Street is shown on Wednesday. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

GLOVERSVILLE — Plans for a proposed self storage business on Harrison Street stalled during Dec. 4’s city Planning Board meeting as the board raised concerns over the structural integrity of the building.

Darrin Romeyn of DM Romeyn Civil Engineering Design, PLLC appeared before the planning board to present plans for a self storage business in a vacant block building on Harrison Street, requesting a special permit on behalf of property owner Beth Potter.

There are two buildings on the property, the one closest to the road is occupied by Fastenal, a fastener supplier located at 164 Harrison St. The building proposed for the self storage business abuts the Fastenal building and faces an access road that leads back to the former Potter Industries building that was purchased by the Asante Sign Group earlier this year.

Romeyn secured a special permit for a self storage business to be constructed in a 9,200 square foot section of that building at 144 Harrison St. on behalf of Charles Potter in April, but an agreement was reached to sell the building to the Asante Sign Group over the summer before any work was completed.

The newly proposed self storage project on Harrison Street would occupy just under half of the total 9,517 square foot building, with 26 storage units installed in 4,417 square feet of space.

Darrin Romeyn of DM Romeyn Civil Engineering Design, PLLC appeared before the Gloversville Planning Board on Tuesday to present plans for a self storage business in a vacant block building on Harrison Street, requesting a special permit on behalf of property owner Beth Potter. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

Romeyn said that Beth Potter had contracted roofers who were completely replacing the building’s damaged roof with a new metal one and he had visually inspected the walls of the block structure. He described the walls as being in excellent condition in the half of the building the business would occupy and “non-excellent” shape in the other half that would remain vacant.

He noted that previous repairs and repointing of the blocks had been conducted at some point in the past and he could not see any gaps in the wall.

The planning board members raised multiple concerns over the condition of the building, noting that for several years the building had a tarp roof and various materials had been stored along the exterior of the building for a number of years, including pallets that were leaned up against the walls, that could have caused damage to the building or weakened the overall structure as it was directly exposed to rainwater and the elements.

The board also pointed to a building that previously stood on the property that suffered from serious structural issues. That building no longer exists.

“I think you have to do a structural evaluation,” Fulton County Senior Planner Sean Geraghty said. “I think you might just be here a month or two early.”

“We want to see empty buildings be used, but it’s got to be done safely,” planning board member Matthew Donde added.

Romeyn agreed, saying he would take up the board’s recommendation that a third party evaluator be called in to assess the structure.

If the building is determined to be sound or is able to be fortified for use, the planning board noted that the building would require repainting as part of the project and the crushed limestone parking lot would need to be paved in accordance with City Code requirements for commercial spaces.

Geraghty said that he would provide Romeyn with a letter stating that the planning board will require a structural analysis of the building before plans for the self storage business can be further considered.

“Due to the historical situation with the property and the known problems that were had with the building, the planning board would like some sort of structural analysis verifying it can be used period,” Geraghty said.

No action was taken by the planning board on the special permit application.

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