Guilderland is going through an identity crisis

To the Editor:

Guilderland, what is it? Is it city, urban, suburban, or rural? It appears that this town is going through an identity crisis and no one is paying attention. 

When my husband and I relocated here 21 years ago, we loved the school system, we loved the layout of the town, the proximity of various amenities and close-by services that we did not have in eastern Dutchess County.

That being said, we have watched this town grow, seemingly unchecked with such abandon, it is frightening. We are watching Corporate America push its way into expanding Crossgates; quick marts with gas stations and car washes pop up on many corners; apartment buildings popping up in seemingly residential areas without regard to what the local residents’ concerns are.

All of these projects come before the town board, planning board, and zoning board of appeals and any other committee or board that is necessary. Many think they are the exception rather than the rule, and want variances for everything from road frontage, to monument signs, to building signs, to land usage.

Everyone thinks they are unique and should get what they want and yet they are not unique and do not have something that is so wonderful that it deserves a variance or better yet, a tax credit in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a project.

What bothers me the most is that, if there seems to be any objection to a project, there may be revision after revision in order for the developer to get what he wants. This continues without much concern for the residents of the town or a particular area where a project is being planned.

While growth is inevitable, I don’t think that Guilderland is growing with much concern about what comprehensive plans or corridor updates have given guidance about. We know that a substantial amount of taxpayer dollars paid for these reports. Let’s follow them or have new ones done or updated.

It appears to me that whatever area that has been zoned as something specific, a developer comes forward with a request for a variance or a rezone based on his project and is very often granted what he wants.  That is not to say that there is no give and take on the part of the developer, but in the end a project usually gets approved with modifications that may not satisfy the local residents affected by the project.

I was always under the impression that town government works for its residents, not the builders, developers, and corporations. It certainly is feeling that way to this resident.

Robyn Gray


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