"A tale of two homeless drop-in centers"
Page D1 Capital Region
Jordan reports that the Albany
City BZA will decide the Bethany
Family Promise Appeal on
March 25, 2015.
The March 11, BZA hearing record
is still open and there is time for
neighborhood residents, who have
not already done so, to OPPOSE
approval of the Bethany-Family
Promise plan -do so, in writing
to the BZA , Mayor and Common
The e mail addresses and telephone
BZA email@example.com 445 0754
Mayor firstname.lastname@example.org 434 5100
Read the Bethany Website history
Bethany Reformed Church began
in Albany's South End. Over the
years the church has moved a
number of times, as urban blight
followed every move ,finally arriving
at it's New Scotland Av location
Until the arrival of the present Pastor
Bethany was a quiet church devoted
to religious services and ceremonies.
Since 1953, the single family dwelling
at 738 New Scotland Avenue has served
as the residence of prior pastors and
The parsonage is not, and has never
been," A House of Worship" as
defined in the Albany City Zoning
Bethany now proposes to rent
the parsonage to Family Promise
of the Capital District, a 5013(c)3
not for profit corporation now
headquartered at 533 Clinton Ave
Albany , for use
as a "hub" for it's expanding
homeless social services program.
This would require certification by
the NYS Office of Family and Children
services as a day care center.
Compliance with the Federal and
State Disability laws
would require extensive, costly
remodeling of 738New Scotland Ave
The homeless hub is not a permitted
use in an R-1B single family residential
district. The City of Albany Codes
Dept correctly DENIED the
Bethany-Family Promise Application
of 11/24/14 in a letter dated 12/8/14
The BZA heard the Bethany-Family
Promise appeal om March 11, 2015
at City Hall, 5:45 PM.
We wanted the hearing to be held
at Mater Christi, in this neighborhood
at a convenient time/date
to provide for maximum participation
of residents of this, and adjacent
R-1B single zone family neighborhoods.
This request was ignored.
This writer and many other neighborhood
residents sent in testimony and comments
because the hearing would be held in
a cramped public space, with few available
Read Statement entered into BZA
March 11 Hearing Record, dated 3/10/15.
I had informed the BZA (Brad Glass) that
I and many others, would provide statements
for the hearing record, and NOT be attending
for reasons stated above.
It has come to my attention that Jordan
to the delight of similarly minded twits has
been tweeting far and wide that "Sullivan
the architect of neighborhood angst did
not attend." (the March 11 BZA hearing)
Now, you twits know the rest of the story.
If Jordan was an unbiased reporter who
did his homework, he would likely not have
tweeted such a half tweet. Another
example of bias and misrepresentation
of facts by Times Union "reporters"
who seek to land "flack jobs" on public
payrolls as a reward for their service to
Bethany Reformed Church has reached
the end of the line. The pastor is retiring.
The congregation is dwindling.
The parsonage is for rent because there
will be no new pastor and family. The
congregation is in desperate need of
funds to stay afloat a while longer.
Just sell the single family dwelling
738 New Scotland Avenue, to a young
couple with children from this neighborhood.
Renting 738 New Scotland Avenue
to Family Promise, is the foot
in the door, leading to eventual takeover
of the adjacent church and parking lot
of a dying church, by Family Promise
for it's expanding homeless social
This would amount to killing the
"golden goose" of the City by another
property tax exempt "not for profit".
The consequences would be devastating
for neighborhood home values, the
retirement plans of neighborhood residents
who will try to sell their devalued homes
collapse of the city property tax base
and no money to support city schools
and city services.
All compelling reasons why the City
of Albany must uphold it's existing
R1b Zoning Code by DENYING
the Bethany- Family Promise plan
to use 738 New Scotland Ave as
a "hub" for the Family Promise
homeless social services plan
which includes housing homeless
at Mater Christi and St Sophia's.
The Federal Law bandied about by
the non property taxpaying clergy
and not for profit Family Promise
RLUIPA ,is not a blank pass to
destroy a city.
Courts will not over rule local
zoning in the light of the compelling
reasons not to - including turning
Albany into Detroit on the Hudson.