The safety, health, and property values of town residents are at stake

To the Editor:
The largest purchase in their life, for most people, is their home. We feel extremely fortunate to live on Frederick, Hawes, Gardner and Meadowdale roads.

These quiet roads offer spectacular views of the escarpment and are enjoyed by neighbors as places to walk with their dogs and neighbors, to bike and to run. The high school track team often is seen using these roads for their workouts.

As such, it was with a great deal of concern that we learned of an appeal to the zoning board that asks for a variance to this RA3 [residential agricultural] zone that would allow a construction yard to be placed on a farm field [“Area residents come out against proposed contractor yard in rural Guilderland,” The Altamont Enterprise, Feb. 25, 2022].

If approved, this project would allow for the storage of 35 to 100 roll-off dumpsters, heavy trucks, including an 80-foot tractor trailer and heavy construction equipment at 4304 Frederick Rd.

Additionally, this will be the site of Mr. [Bernard] Radtke’s topsoil-screening business and heavy equipment sales. Mr. Radtke has stated that this business would only disrupt one acre of land. However, it is unclear how two to three roll-off trucks, a tractor trailer, 35 to 100 dumpsters, heavy equipment sales, and a topsoil-screening business could realistically be restricted to one acre of land.

It is also unclear and disingenuous how this is considered a contractor’s yard as opposed to a commercial site. During the Feb. 16 zoning board meeting, Mr. Radtke stated that he plans to move his business from 415 Old Niskayuna Road to the 4304 Frederick Road location, confirming his entire business would be relocated here.

Truck traffic would travel from Depot Road, down Meadowdale to Frederick Road. Routine heavy truck traffic would be evident on Meadowdale, Hawes, and Frederick Roads as trucks leave the contractor’s yard.

Frederick Road has signs posted that limits truck traffic to four tons. A permanent permit was issued to the applicant that would allow vehicles up to 33,000 pounds to travel this route six days a week. How this came about is worthy of question.

Frederick Road already has crumbling shoulders, and this added traffic would rapidly destroy this road.  We as taxpayers would pay for the repairs of the road for Mr. Radtke to make money at our expense.

Many houses are located within 30 to 40 feet of these roads. Truck traffic will be allowed to start at 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Three-axle dump trucks and 18-wheel tractor trailers will be routinely traveling these roads, making the previously mentioned enjoyment of these roads and sleeping in on a Saturday morning a thing of the past.

Residents purchased homes on these roads for the serenity and the safety they enjoyed on these country roads, not for routine disruption of their lives. There can be no doubt that home values will suffer.

The above points are reason enough to jettison this requested application. The potential for pollution of residents’ drinking water requires much closer scrutiny.

The variance application requested the overnight storage of full Dumpsters on the site. Most frequently these Dumpsters will contain construction and demolition debris.

We offer that it is not unlikely that the demolition of old homes would contain lead paint/dust and some form of asbestos, as in the presence of vermiculite insulation, noted to occasionally contain asbestos. 

These Dumpsters are also used for home cleanouts. Will there ever be pesticides, organic solvents, oil-base paint, and other substances that would come from the cleanout of garages? B & B website declares that they cannot haul hazardous materials but it is impossible to enforce this when they allow garage cleanouts.

The 55-acre piece of property where this contractor yard is to be placed contains wetlands and seasonal streams that flow into the Black Creek. For those unaware, the Black Creek flows into the Watervliet Reservoir, the drinking-water source for Guilderland.

The contractor yard sits above homes on Meadowdale Road. Many of these homes rely upon shallow wells (15 to 20 feet) for their only source of water. During spring runoffs and rain, these wells, within a few hundred feet of the contractor yard, will be potentially exposed to any runoff from the contractor yard.

Certainly, any toxic substance leaked from the containers would find its way into these shallow wells. It is unconscionable that this permit will be allowed to proceed. The safety, health, and property values of town residents are at stake.

It is important to note that during the Feb. 16 zoning board of appeals meeting, Mr. Radtke said that he was interested in purchasing this land as opposed to more appropriate commercial or industrial locations because it is less expensive.

As mentioned above, a home is the largest investment most people make in their lifetime. It is unclear why one person’s business should be allowed to devalue so many of our homes and risk our health to increase one person’s profit margin.

It appears that some members of the Guilderland zoning and planning boards are well acquainted with the Radtkes and we are concerned about their objectivity when making a decision in this case. This is a quiet residential and farming area and should remain that way.

Relocating B & B Containers, a Dumpster rental, topsoil wholesaler, and heavy equipment sales business to Frederick Road is inconsistent with the character of the area.

We read with interest, in last week’s Altamont Enterprise, an effort, by the town of Guilderland, to preserve open space by reducing taxes on land that agrees to remain undeveloped [“Guilderland on the cusp of offering tax breaks for land conservation,” The Altamont Enterprise, Feb. 16, 2022].

This 55-acre space has previously been used for a hayfield. As an area that is part of the Black Creek watershed, an attempt should be made to preserve this open agricultural space and not turn it into a commercial entity.

The next Guilderland Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on Special Use Permit No. 4875 will be held in person on March 16, at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in objecting to the granting of this permit is urged to send a letter of opposition to the zoning board of appeals and to attend this meeting whether it be virtual or hopefully in person at the town hall.

The following 47 residents have viewed this document and have agreed to add their name to emphasize their opposition to this proposed project:

Robert J. Rudd and

April D. Davis

Frederick Road


Alan Campbell

Guilderland Center


Ted Danz

Gardner Road


Barry and Julie Bablin

Frederick Road


Dr. John Powell

Walker Lane


Elliot and Nancy Greene

Meadowdale Road


Jean M. DiNovo

Frederick Road


Richard S. DiNovo

Frederick Road


Patricia Canaday

Meadowdale Road


Sharon and Peter Ansell

Meadowdale Road


Thomas C. Ensslin

Overlook Lane

Present owner of

4304 Frederick Road


Dr. Thomas Morrissey

Meadowdale Road


Sandra Ostrander

Union Mills Road



Tony Ferraioli

Hawes Road


Helen and Richard Ketterer

Gardner Road


Phyllis Rosenbloom

Frederick Road


Mike McKinney

Frederick Road


Susan Albright

Meadowdale Road


Brian and Melinda White

Meadowdale Road


Douglas Goodbee

Overlook Lane


Dan and Julie Ansell

917 Meadowdale Road


Danielle Ansell

Meadowdale Road


Sue and Peter Collins

Frederick Road                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Chris and Frank Gorka

Meadowdale Road


Gerhard Beckmann, PhD.,

State Route 146


Charles Klaer and

Maryann Gridley

Meadowdale Road


Mary and Bernard Beckmann

Gardner Road


Abbie and Peter Zullo

Hawes Road


Leslee Danz

Gardner Road


Mike and Heidi Moak

Guilderland Center


Margaret and Mary Ewart

Meadowdale Road


Sean and Traci Foley

Depot Road

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