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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:

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Two media outlets decided to
cover an issue pertaining to
zoning in the Buckingham Pond
Crestwood Neighborhood.
(See discussion below)

The BPCNA is a large single
family zoned residential 
neighborhood that pays the
lions share of the property 
taxes that support city
schools and city government

The BPCNA boundaries are
Western Ave, Rte 85/ NYS 
Thruway-Whitehall Rd
South Manning Blvd.

This neighborhood is so
zoned to protect  home
values, which in turn
allows the City to gain
a higher property tax
return to keep city schools
and city services operating.

Uses that would negatively
impact these neighborhood
values are not permitted.

The Family Promise plan is
to use Bethany Reformed
Mater Christi and St Sophia's
Churches to serve homeless
"families" with Bethany 
being the hub.  The program
involves injecting homeless
populations and services into
a prime  single family residential 
neighborhood where there
are no homeless. This is 
not a permitted use in this
R1B zoned neighborhood.

Family Promise and Bethany
quietly filed their application
for a variance without notifying
and talking it over, with 
neighborhood homeowners.

The City BZA notice of the
public hearing on Family
Promise's Application
arrived only to homes
located within 250 feet of the
Bethany Church.

The Notice arrived in the
afternoon mail roughly
four hours before the BZA
hearing on February 11.

I called the Mayor's office
and demanded the Family
Promise Application be
withdrawn or denied.

The Notice was not timely
and any BZA action could
have been legally voided.

It was withdrawn from
the Feb 11, BZA hearing

The question posed in
the Notice is too narrow.
The Family Promise
Application impacts the
whole BPCNA and 
adjacent single family
residential neighborhoods
as well as support for city
schools and city government

The proper question should
be what would the impact
of approving FP on home 
values and support of city

Family Promise and Bethany
Church erred in not coming
to the neighbors first to get
our reaction to their plan.

The Ministry of any church
is, first, to the neighborhood in
which it is located.

Most of Mater Christi's
congregation comes from
the BPCNA neighborhood.

In contrast, the majority
of the congregations of
Bethany and St Sophia's
do not.

Family Promise and Bethany
then scheduled a meeting
to promote their application
at 5:30 pm Monday 23
February at the church.

Not a convenient time
for working homeowners
on a night when freezing
temperatures and ice
prevented senior home-
owners from attending.

I discovered that the
BZA put the Family Promise
Application back on the
BZA hearing calendar
for Feb 25,

I contacted 8th Ward 
Alderman, Jack Flynn
and asked that he request
that the BZA hold the
hearing on March 11
in the neighborhood at
a time, date and location 
in the neighborhood to
allow all concerned
neighborhood residents
to be heard.

The BZA rescheduled
the hearing for March
11, but the date ,time
and location do not 
provide for maximum
participation of neigh-
hood residents.

We are requesting that
said meeting be held
on date and time at Mater
Christi to provide for
maximum participation 
of all concerned residents
of the BPCNA as well as
adjacent single family
zoned neighborhoods.

We recommend the
Family Promise Application
for a homeless program be
withdrawn or denied.

Family Promise is located
on Clinton Ave where the
zoning does not require a

This location, and others
in downtown contain 
numerous suitable places
for Family Promise to
conduct their homeless

A downtown location is
where most of the homeless
may be found and this
population has better
access to the services they
require there.

NOW- Regarding media
coverage of this issue.

WAMC Radio provided
a brief report on the 6 PM
February 24 news.

The report provided basic
notice and facts. Dave Lucas
offered no personal opinions.

Read/Listen to the WAMC
NE Public Radio report.
Click on link below.

In contrast Chris Churchill
presented a highly opinionated
slanted, inaccurate and attack
article which appeared on the 
Times Union front page 2/26/15
which is designed to evoke
emotional support for the
Family Promise homeless

Churchill interviewed me 
by phone  2/25/15

I answered his questions and
explained the reasons for and
how approval of  the Family
Promise App would have a
negative impact on home
values, the city budget and
support for city schools and
city services. But, it was clear
to me that Churchill was acting
as an advocate for Family
Promise and Bethany.

I asked him, in the interest of
fairness, to cite my website
address, which contains  a
series of posts which provide
links to sources that document
what is at play here.

Sadly, the link to my website
was excluded from Churchill's

I invited Churchill to come
over my house and we could
discuss the FP plan in depth
and tour the neighborhood.

Churchill did not respond
to my offer.
But a nice promo picture
of two charming ladies
appeared on the front page
in front of the Bethany


TheWAMC link:

and Churchill's column link:

Finally read my posts and 
and google HUD take over
of local zoning.

Readers who do this will 
get an accurate picture
of why  maintaining the
residential integrity and 
quality of life in the BPCNA
single family residential 
zoned neighborhood
is vital to residents, to City
efforts to balance the budget
and provide city services
as well a support for the 
city schools.
What is behind the 
Family Promise move 
and why approval of their 
variance application is not in
the best interest of  all concerned

including the churches 
that have signed on to the 
Family Promise Program
without recognition of the
negative domino impact
on home values, the city
property tax base , city
services, efforts to balance
the city budget and support
for financially stressed city

Charity begins at home.
The, first, priority ministry
is for churches and 
synagogues to protect the
residential integrity and
quality of life of the
neighborhoods wherein 
they are located.

Please read all the posts
on this website since
January.  The reader will see
how this issue has evolved
and can read the sources/
documentation  to back up
the explanation of why 

 The BZA should deny 
 the Family Promise
 variance request.

To be fair to all concerned
and in the interest of an
informed citizenry
Churchill should post the
BPCNA website for all to read.

We do not want to see Albany
become Detroit on the Hudson.

                   Joe Sullivan

PS Approval of FCC control
     of the internet, today, is
     an attack on free speech
     our Liberty and efforts
     to create an informed
     electorate which is essential
     to preserving our Constitutional

     This, and similar independent 
     citizen web sites will soon be
     shut down by the FCC.


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