An aerial view of the Adirondack Trust site on Maple Avenue in Wilton. Photo by Super Source Media LLC; and a rendering of the new branch provided by the Adirondack Trust Company.
WILTON – With construction of a new bank branch expected to start in about a month at the intersection of Maple Avenue and Northern Pines Road, the Adirondack Trust Company (ATC) has agreed to settle a minor dispute with local residents that emerged recently over sidewalks and lighting.
The dispute involved a previous town approval of zoning rules that define the area as a hamlet, according to local resident Eric Rosenberg, who has repeatedly raised concerns about the matter at recent Wilton Planning Board meetings.
Jonathan Lapper, an attorney with the Glens Falls firm Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart and Rhodes who represented Adirondack Trust at the board’s April 18 meeting, confirmed this week that bank officials agreed to add sidewalks and “fancy streetlights” in the new design.
“It was really a win-win,” Lapper said, adding that he expects construction to start within a month. “That’s a really important branch.”
In early 2017, a fire destroyed the previous Adirondack Trust building.
Jonathon Tingley, the attorney with Tuczinski, Gilchrist, Cavalier and Tingley in Troy who represented the residents, did not return a request for comment.
An email sent to Saratoga TODAY in early April by former town councilwoman Joanne Klepetar, a member of Concerned Citizens of Wilton, included the open letter addressed to the Adirondack Trust Board of Directors that elaborated on the group’s concerns.
“We recognize that ATC is a leader in the community and their leadership is necessary in order for Wilton to grow in the direction intended when hamlet zoning was established,” Klepetar wrote.
She claimed that the bank was “not planning to follow the hamlet guidelines which include sidewalks, street lighting, parking on the side and rear of the building along with a design that compliments others in the hamlet.”
Klepetar added: “We ask that ATC create the cornerstone building that depicts the essence of the walkable, livable, historic and unique area that Wilton's hamlet strives to be. This will enhance our sense of community and promote growth.”
According to Planning Board Chairman Michael Dobis, the resolution passed on April 18 included a provision that a certificate of occupancy for the new bank branch “would not be issued” until the satisfactory installation of sidewalks and lighting are verified.
Dobis added that he would thoroughly review the amended site plans.
Adirondack Trust Executive Vice President Charles Wait Jr. agreed that the agreement will be “good for the town of Wilton, and good for us.”