What is going on to power such a rush to develop the Guilderland hamlet?

To the Editor:

We wrote this letter to Guilderland’s supervisor, Peter Barber, and to the other members of the town board:

We are writing, once again, to express our continued and, in fact, escalating sense of concern about the future of the Guilderland “Hamlet.”

While we appreciate the input from the new town planner, Mr. [Ken] Kovalchik, his continued references to “Smart Planning” and other industry guidelines (most recently at the town board meeting on June 18) beg the question of what is the vision for our small community? Surely these guidelines are not a “one size fits all” approach to this important function?

What vision of our town informs the town’s research and recommendations? Clearly it is not input from the citizens. Perhaps we are small voices, but I don’t think we are alone in our concerns. We only have good things to gain by taking the time to find out.

While these planning references may reflect the latest industry standards: for example, “building up” and “close to the road,” the relevance of these schools of thought to the citizens of the town of Guilderland is questionable while the connection to developers’ interests become more and more apparent.

Again, we believe it is time to pause this rush to develop Guilderland and see what the citizens of Guilderland envision. Why not do some community-building and strategic planning for the future before it’s too late! What is the rush?

No one understands the zoning laws like you do, Mr. Barber — why not undertake some citizen education? Use your vast knowledge for the advantage of the citizens your serve.

We need a public discussion and public referendum on these proposed zoning changes. Do you believe that the property-owning, taxpaying citizens would be in favor of the possibility of a nursing home being built in their residential neighborhood?

The rush to approve the never-ending list of developments continues at a frantic pace — it’s almost like the citizens may wake up and learn what is going on! The far-ranging zoning changes that are currently being advanced by the town and its board are all jammed together into a couple of proposed changes that are poised to go through in one fell swoop!

What is going on here to power such a rush? Decisions that will have far-reaching and unalterable changes to our hamlet are being made by a very few in town government and only one elected representative.

Even concerned, involved citizens have trouble keeping up with the frequency and pace of the proposals as they move through.

These are very important times. Now is the time to review and revise the current plan by asking the citizens of Guilderland and listening to the citizens of Guilderland when they talk about what they want their town to look like now and into the future

Melissa Mayone

Tom Mancuso


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