New proposals could alter Guilderland’s character and the livability with the loss of the last green space in the hamlet

To the Editor:

It was on the agenda of the June 29 Guilderland Town Board meeting that the board expects to announce an appointment to fill the 18-months vacancy of the of town planner position as soon as July 17.

The Altamont Enterprise reported on June 21 that Supervisor Peter Barber had been informed of renewed interest in a development akin to the Glass Works Village proposal of 10 years ago on 58 acres of land along Route 20 adjacent to the YMCA along Winding Brook Road.

The Hiawatha Land Development proposal of 256 senior apartments on the existing 40-acre Hiawatha Golf Course on Route 155, which is also located adjacent to the former Glass Works proposal property, must now be submitted as a new application with the withdrawal of the PUD [Planned Unit Development] rezone request.

All three of these events mandate that the new town planner become immediately the initial authority of these two proposals, which viewed together represent 98 acres in the heart of the neighborhood of Guilderland Hamlet. Collectively, the total acreage is only 20 percent less in size than the whole of Crossgates Mall.

This gigantic concentration of housing and retail is in addition to the recently approved PUD of the 52 unit apartment/condo complex on Winding Brook Road very near the former Glass Works Village proposal and the 92 unit senior living at Mill Hill off Route 155 just three-quarters of a mile away from the Hiawatha proposal.

Consider the traffic congestion and unit density of these new proposals added to the already approved Mill Hill and Winding Brook Road projects, and then add them all together with the existing four apartment complexes along only a quarter mile of Route 155 and you see how these proposals would significantly and forever alter that portion of Guilderland well beyond anything envisioned by the Town Master Plan.

These new proposals must be considered only with the utmost caution lest the character and the livability of Guilderland be irreversibly transformed with the loss of the last green space in the hamlet.

Therefore, it is necessary that simultaneously with the impending naming of a new town planner, that the Guilderland Town Board also announce that the appointee will review in total, the pending proposals of development on this vital 98 acres and hopefully the appointee will carry through with requesting other agency input such as that of the Conservation Advisory Council, which had been neglected in the original Hiawatha proposal.

Laurel Bohl

Frank Casey

Brian Collins

Erin Coufal

Rob Piculell

Brad Sporleder

Britt Westergard

Guilderland Citizens

For Responsible Growth

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