The moratorium proposal is merely political theater

To the Editor:
I’d like to make sure that folks throughout the community are aware of a very important public hearing that will take place as part of the April 16 meeting of the Guilderland Town Board.

This hearing involves the proposal that the town adopt a building moratorium while the Comprehensive Plan Update Committee moves forward with the process of developing a draft update of Guilderland's existing comprehensive plan.

The update process has been interesting to watch from the outset. Public participation has been much more muted than it was when the previous comprehensive plan was being worked on, an indication that most residents are to some extent content with the path being followed by town government.

However, a small but vocal group of anti-development advocates has worked diligently to impose its views on the end product of the updated comprehensive plan.

The latest effort of this group focuses on the imposition of a building moratorium in Guilderland. Such a moratorium would accomplish several purposes. It would delay projects, allowing opponents of reasonable growth additional time to attempt to create more controversy.

It would also allow for the further politicization of the process of updating the comprehensive plan, a process that should be as far removed from politics as possible, based instead on the efforts of the update committee, assisted by the expertise of the consultants retained by the town to work with the committee on the project, and by the input provided by the modest number of residents who have opted to participate in the public forums conducted along the way.

This entire process is well along the way. The proposed moratorium would have no impact on projects already applied for, and there are no potentially controversial projects visible on the horizon.

Further, the existing comprehensive plan and town code provide all the tools necessary for the town’s administrative bodies to reject any inappropriate proposals that might surface. The moratorium proposal is merely political theater that will accomplish nothing meaningful, and will send a negative message to the business community.

I hope that many folks will come to the town board hearing on the 16th to tell the board to allow the comprehensive plan update process to move forward without meaningless distractions and political interference. If you can’t attend in person, written comments may be submitted to the town clerk with a request that they be added to the record for the public hearing.

Let’s get enough people out to make sure that further efforts to unnecessarily delay a necessary process are rejected.

Donald Csaposs


Editor’s note: Donald Csaposs works as a grant writer for the town of Guilderland and is also the chief executive officer of the Guilderland Industrial Development Agency. He says he wrote this as a private citizen.

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