BuckinghamPondCrestwood NANEWS

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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 bpcnanews.blogspot.com for list of leadership results. Neighborhood website: bpcnanews.blogspot.com/ see also: albanycityconservative.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Joe Sullivan, President T/Fx 438 5230 Lonerangeralbany@aol.com
Your neighborhood association works when you do. Get informed.
Participate. Your time and effort are your dues.
Go to our neighborhood blog: http://bpcnanews.blogspot.com/
also: http://journals.aol.com/lonerangeralbany/lonerangeralbany/
Spring is here. Time to shape up our properties and neighborhood.
share information with family, neighbors, friends who do not have a
computer. Thank you.
NOTICE: The Trustco Bank branch under construction at
Crestwood Plaza has applied for a variance to add a drive
up window. The City Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a public
hearing on the application, April 12, 2007, 5:30 pm City Hall.
Please attend and speak in OPPOSITION to the drive up window
application. Ask the BZA to DENY. (VERIFY hearing DATE/TIME)
Can't attend? Send an e mail/ fax or letter IN OPPOSITION to:
The Albany City Board of Zoning Appeals c/o
melnickd@ci.albany.ny.us Doug Melnick, City Dept Planning
Fax 434 9846 21 Lodge St Albany NY 12207
Copy Mayor Jennings T 434 5100 Fx 434 5013 City Hall 12207
OPPOSE THE DRIVE UP WINDOW It will act as a magnet for
speeding traffic, associated congestion, noise, litter and air
pollution from vehicle emissions; create a pedestrian safety
hazard in and around Crestwood Plaza; thereby eroding the
residential integrity and quality of life, and property tax base
in this R 1B zoned single family residential neighborhood.
Whitehall Rd, Hackett Blvd, S, Manning Blvd, John David and
Gingerbread Lanes , Ferndale-Hopewell Sts and Collins Pl
Hurst Ave and Westford St would be most impacted.
We defeated a similar proposal four years ago.
8th Ward Alderman John Rosenzweig is writing a letter to the
BZA in OPPOSITION asking the BZA to DENY application.
We WELCOME TRUSTCO without the drive up window. JS 4/07

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

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hon Ray Joyce, Chairman For entry in record of 3/8/07 Planning Board Meeting
and Members Albany City Re: Hopi St proposed subdivision application
Planning Board

This statement is in opposition to the Hopi St subdivision proposal to build 6 housing units on
the 2.6 acre parcel at the foot of Hopi St, opposite Zuni St.

I respectfully ask the Planning Board to DENY this application for the following reasons:

1. The site is a relic landfill and not suitable for building quality homes that will attract
buyers seeking to buy such homes.

2. The costs of site remediation as conditions stipulated in the now expired 1999 conditional
approval of this Board make it highly unlikely that the developer would make a profit on
the proposed 6 units of housing.

3. The site is essentially a cul de sac at the juncture of two narrow lanes (streets) that poses
problem for traffic flow, emergency vehicle access, and snow plowing. Approval of said
application would only accentuate those problems.

4. Neighbors complain of insufficient pressure in the water and sewer systems that now exist.

5, New Scotland Avenue is already a busy commuter road at morning and evening rush hours.
This makes egress from narrow tributary lanes such as Hopi St hazardous as it is. 6 more
housing units and 12 or more vehicles would only increase traffic flow problems, thereby
increasing the risks of accidents. Traffic on New Scotland Ave/Rd routinely exceeds posted
speed limits.

The City of Albany is faced with a need to maintain or increase a declining population base; and to
maintain and improve the city property tax base.

The answer is not to build substandard housing on marginal sites, like this relic landfill, or that being
built as an extension of Buckingham Mews on Krum Kill Rd at Friebel Lane, that on Bender St, or
the subdivision proposed for the steep slopped, wooded ravine, containing two small wetlands and a
tributary of the Normans Kill, on Krum Kill Rd, opposite Ohav Shalom.

Such clustered or townhouse units do not readily find buyers. They only diminish the residential integrity
and quality of life of the single family zoned neighborhoods wherein they are located. This, in turn, rather
than increasing the city property tax , erodes that property tax base, which supports city schools and city

Such housing units would best be built mid town or downtown on the large city inventory of vacant lands/buildings.

In sum, Smart Growth Planning can be achieved by (1) maintaining and improving residential integrity and
quality of life in existing Uptown single family residential zones and 2) steering the cluster, townhouse type
housing to the those vacant lands and buildings in the city inventory, which are in walking distance of places
of employment.

This Smart Growth Planning strategy (1) maintains the Uptown property tax base (2) adds new housing to
the city property tax base in mid and downtown as well as rejuvenating those neighborhoods and (3)
reduces the increasing traffic flows on main corridors like New Scotland, allowing workers to live in city
neighborhoods and walk or take a bus to work.

Smart Growth Planning far exceeds the current piecemeal approval and construction of substandard housing
units on marginal sites, which is currently underway along the Upper New Scotland Ave/Rd and Krum Kill
Rd corridors.

The Planning Board should DENY the Hopi Rd subdivision, as well as the proposed "town house or condo"
proposals at Whitehall and New Scotland and the 7.2 acre wooded, wetland site on Krum Kill Rd.

Thank you. Joseph P Sullivan, President
Buckingham Pond/Crestwood
Neighborhood Association Albany

Tel /Fax 438 5230