Where is the ‘planning’ in this?

To the Editor:

I am once again, or should I say continuously befuddled, confused, and quite perplexed by how a town and its corporate tax behemoth are so stuck in the unproductive present. I am referring to the town of Guilderland and the Pyramid Corp., i.e. Crossgates.

I watch, read, and listen to the legal actions surrounding the further development on sites Pyramid wants to put apartments/townhouses, a Costco big-box store, and another site for potential retail/offices/apartments.

I hear the back and forth with lawsuits, an Albany County Supreme Court judge disapproving that plan and noting SEQRA [State Environmental Quality Review Act] violations, appeals on that judgement from the town and Pyramid, and I wonder when anyone is going to look and develop a proactive plan for town development?

How much time, energy, and money have been spent on these efforts? We are sooo obviously in a time that necessitates change is needed in our planning/actions. What works now, are shopping malls viable, does it make economic/environmental sense to put in another big-box store with many gas pumps, when in all reality gasoline-powered autos will hopefully be a thing of the past. Where is the “planning” in this?

I do understand those who think there will be jobs and create tax flow, but for how long do we see this as a model for our long-term benefit? Should we be planning long-term for our town, not short term?

What kind of business growth should we look at? How should Pyramid, which I understand is not doing well financially, plan for these relatively vacant “malls?” How much are the residents of this town enabled/encouraged to be actively involved in the “planning?”

Is it wise to keep spending time, money, and energy on pursuing more development of land, when we see continual evidence that we need natural habitat and trees to keep us alive?

We also know fossil fuels are causing our temperatures to increase, changing weather patterns, causing problems with invasive species, to name a few. One cannot drive down a main road in this town and not see more large apartments/townhouses all being built on land that was once a green area.

Do we want to further develop the land with offices, apartments, shopping plazas, etc, that denigrate our land and potential for healthy existence? Again, one could ask: What “planning” is being done? I see no evidence of that in the town of Guilderland.

It is really troubling to me that people we theoretically “elect” are not appearing to have awareness of these issues. Maybe we need to rethink departments within the town government and redefine their purpose.

This political/corporate football game is sounding sooo familiar. What quarter of this game are we in?

Susan Mosher


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