Government should not impede reasonable solutions | #seniorliving | #elderly | #seniors
To the Editor:
The Altamont Enterprise has received a number of letters recently concerning a purported hot topic in the forthcoming Democratic Party primary for town board. This stated concern relates to planned or completed construction of various projects in which it is alleged that town approvals were ill-advised.
Let’s look at a few of those projects.
First up is The Twenty West community of homes directly across from Guilderland Town Hall. Discussion with town officials resulted in the donation of 120 acres to the town for open space on which there is now more than eight miles of hiking trails, the Vosburgh Trails system.
Next consider the approval of Mill Hollow Apartments on Western Avenue formerly the Bavarian Chalet restaurant. After extended negotiations, substantial space is now the home of the town’s senior center in its main building.
The Beacon Communities adds another dimension, the town board’s (save one) enthusiastic support for important social causes. This development is for occupancy by seniors who are foster parents for disabled children and lower income seniors. Located on Mercy Care Lane and near the library, elementary school, and YMCA, are all vital to its mission. This project received enthusiastic support from the various boards and a 4-to-1 vote by town board members.
There is now an application to amend one aspect of the Pine Bush Senior Living facility on New Karner Road from independent senior living to affordable senior living based on income. This development will result in a donation of over 40 acres to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.
Keep in mind that all of these projects are on privately owned land that could have been subdivided in a Levittown cookie-cutter fashion without special benefit to other Guilderland residents, but for the actions of various town boards.
The Pyramid Companies’ application regarding Crossgates is its effort to fill vacancies with attractive shopping choices to enhance our shopping experience. Surely you’ve seen how depressing half-vacant shopping centers are and know the decline of property values in the immediate vicinity? The two new hotels and the change from retail to entertainment in several venues within Crossgates have helped but there is more to do. And government should not impede reasonable solutions.
The properties that Pyramid wishes to develop are privately owned. The proposed actions include 222 one- and two-bedroom apartments and 3,900 square feet of commercial space, and the development of a Costco retail store. The Costco store is on a lot that the Pine Bush Commission states is not in the preserve, and has no preservation or protection value.
It is in the middle of commercial businesses with Western Avenue to the south and Crossgates to the north. It’s advantageous to concentrate such businesses where one business can feed the others, resulting in a larger customer base for all. It’s on a ring road with direct access to the interstate system, and will require a new roundabout off the Northway, another safety improvement that can only happen with development.
The proposed multiple housing units at the west end will provide living accommodations within the transit oriented district created for this purpose and are within easy walking distance to businesses at Crossgates and the expanded CDTA [Capital District Transportation Authority] rapid system. It includes a donation of coveted “full protection” land to the Pine Bush Commission, and in the words of the historic Rapp Road community, the redesigned road will reduce cut-through traffic.
These initiatives, past and present, have and will enormously enhance tax revenue for Albany County, the town of Guilderland and for that matter, to the Guilderland Central School District via voter-approved annual budgets. As a parent, if you wish your children to have the opportunity to learn that foreign language, study music and learn an instrument of their choice as well as other arts and science programs, this tax revenue will help make all that possible.
Please join me on June 22 or in early voting June 12 to 20 in support of Paul Pastore and Amanda Beedle, candidates for the town board in the Democratic Party primary.
Guilderland Community Gardens