QUEENSBURY -- Warren County may allow a new road to be built across property it owns near the county airport in exchange for flyover rights on an adjacent property.
The county and developer Victor Macri Jr. have suggested Macri be allowed to build a road across land on the edge of the airport property to access land he owns to the south of the airport.
The county Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee was asked to approve the proposal Tuesday, but after several supervisors raised concerns, the idea was shelved for 10 days to be investigated further. The committee will meet again Dec. 8 to make a decision.
Macri has asked the Queensbury Planning Board for approval of a "technology park" he wants to build on 84 acres he owns between Quaker Road and the airport, northwest of the new Walmart on Quaker Road.
The county is also in the midst of a project to extend an airport runway 1,000 feet in the direction of Macri's property, which will require an "avigation easement" over Macri's property.
Macri has not agreed to a price for that easement, with county Administrator Paul Dusek saying Macri wanted more than the $200,000 the Federal Aviation Administration indicated the easement was worth.
But the county would only allow the road to be built if the easement is agreed to, Dusek said.
Macri would foot the bill for the cost of building the road, while the county or town of Queensbury would maintain it. The exact location of the road has not been determined, but it would connect with Queensbury Avenue south of the airport.
The road would help ease traffic issues in the South Queensbury area and would likely foster more development there, Macri said.
"We see this as a new corridor to the airport and Warren and Washington Counties Industrial Park," he said.
He called the situation a "catch 22," because he could potentially access the property in another way and refuse to grant the easement, while the easement itself would limit how much of his property can be developed.
Also, allowing the road to be built would limit the county's ability to expand runways in the future, a fact that prompted some concern among supervisors.
Expanding runways allows for bigger and heavier planes to land at the airport, important considerations for corporate jets because it allows them to carry more fuel.
Lake Luzerne Supervisor Gene Merlino and Queensbury at-Large Supervisor Fred Champagne said it would seem air traffic at the airport is already close to a maximum that residents in the area will tolerate.
Glens Falls 3rd Ward Supervisor Harold "Bud" Taylor questioned how the new road would benefit the county.
Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, said the Queensbury Town Board was in favor of the proposal.
The road project is not related to a separate proposal for a connector between Quaker Road and Queensbury Avenue that would access the industrial park area.