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Location: Albany, New York, United States

CONSERVATIVE ROW C FOR MAYOR CITY OF ALBANY NY November 5, 2013 Election U S Navy Veteran BS Geography, U Wisconsin (Korean GI Bill) MA Geography, U Minnesota (National Fellowship) 30 years as founder and president, Buckingham Pond/ Crestwood Neighborhood Assoc. maintaining/improving neighborhood residential integrity and quality of life. Leadership resulted in creation of Buckingham Pond Park in 1993-94, as well as many other open spaces. See for list of leadership results. Neighborhood website: see also:

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Albany Muni Golf Course/Crestwood Plaza
Albany Muni Golf Course and Crestwood Plaza. What have these two in common?
Thursday, March 29, I went for an early morning walk around Albany Muni Golf Course (Capitol Hills), with my Aussie Pals Mick and Paddy. It was a lovely brisk morning, below freezing. As the sun rose, the scattered ice began to melt.
As we walked along enjoying the scenery, it occurred to me that this truly beautiful setting might one day be in danger of being privatized just like the Office Campus, by a city government hungry for more cash, facing a landfill crisis, and an exodus of homeowners leaving behind a population consisting of the poor and elderly who are unable to pay for the schools and services they require.
I resolved to contact 8th Ward Alderman John Rosenzweig to have him sponsor legislation providing that the Capitol Hills Golf Course (Albany Muni) could never be privatized, that in case the golf course ceased to exist, the land would forever be public open space as a park and natural area.
Talk about ESP. A bit later than morning, who should knock at my door? Alderman John Rosenzweig. He had come to alert me that the City Board of Zoning Appeals would be considering a variance application from the Trustco Bank branch, now under construction at Crestwood Plaza, for approval of a drive up window.
John said he would write a letter in opposition to the BZA. I thanked him for that, reminding him that four, or so, years ago, our neighborhood association had defeated a similar application for a bank with a drive up window.
The reasons for opposing this latest drive up window variance application remain the same. It would generate more speeding traffic, and associated congestion, noise, litter and air pollution, present a safety hazard for pedestrians and others using the Crestwood Plaza, all of which would adversely impact the residential character and quality of life in this R-1B single family residentially zoned neighborhood.
I called John's attention to my thoughts about the city golf course and the need to protect the land in perpetuity as a public park/natural area, by means of a deed restriction. I suggested that John sponsor a Common Council Resolution to that effect. John agreed that it was a good idea, and said he would sponsor such a Resolution. I said I would work with him in that endeavor.
The city golf course site is a priceless jewel. In 1993, I ran for 8th Ward Alderman opposing then Mayor Thomas Whalen's plan, to build luxury housing on the Albany Muni Golf Course and called for creation of Buckingham Pond Park. I missed winning the Democratic Primary by 65 votes out of more than 3,000 cast.
However, I was successful in getting the golf course and adjacent Hartman Rd community garden site, zoned Land Conservation, blocking the luxury housing proposal, and creating Buckingham Pond Park through zoning the pond and adjacent shore area, Land Conservation.
So now, the responsibility for protecting both of these valuable public open spaces (park land/natural areas) rests with the current Aldermen, John Rosenzweig (Ward 8) and Joe Igoe (Ward 14), as well as Mayor Jerry Jennings, who is a neighbor, as well as Mayor.
The Crestwood Plaza is essentially a neighborhood pedestrian plaza. In an age when gas prices are skyrocketing, the future fuel supply dwindling and the age of the auto coming to an end, it behooves city officials to have the foresight to plan for the eventual return of population from the suburbs and outlying rural areas to the city. By maintaining and enhancing the residential integrity and quality of life of this and adjacent neighborhoods, now, their futures will be assured. This, in turn, will assure that the city property tax base, based on single family homes, remains strong, to support city schools and city government services.
J P Sullivan
T/Fx 438 5230


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