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

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


The Albany City School Board
should be dissolved.

No more school budget votes.

The November 3 2015  defeat
of the 200 million dollar high
school should stand. The voters
have spoken.

The February 9 revote annulled.

Albany should return to a K-8
neighborhood school system.

The roof of the current High School
should be repaired.

This campus should be set aside
for students who value learning
and intend to go on to higher
education as well as become
good citizens.

Hackett Middle school should
become a GED charter school
for  students who would be best
served by learning practical
life skills, how to read, write
listen and speak coherently 
and become good citizens. 

The City schools should be
consolidated with city government.

One tax roll to finance both as
part of the City budget submitted
by the Mayor to the Common
Council for approval. 

Common Council Members
shall represent the people of
the wards who elect them, not
be a rubber stamp for the Mayor.

Administrative staff trimmed and
teachers assuming a greater role
in creating disciplined learning
environments tailored to the needs
and goals of students.

The Mayor and Common Council
shall be responsible and accountable
for the operation and performance
of City schools.

The Common Council shall pass
and send to the State Legislature
a Home Rule Request that the
above amendments be made to
state education law.

The Members of the State Senate 
Assembly who represent Albany
shall sponsor and obtain passage
of the necessary amendments to
NYS Education Law -this session.


                                             Joe Sullivan

Sunday, February 21, 2016



Example of biased,uninformed opinion  aimed at shaping
public opinion -


What Churchill refuses to admit:




Scroll down read posts that provide background
to understand why Justice Connolly upheld the
Albany City Zoning Code.

                                                    Joe Sullivan

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Read/listen to WAMC Radio
report on the Court Decison
annulling the Bethany/Family
Promise plan to use 738 New
Scotland Avenue as a rented
hub for the regional homeless
social services program.


Go ahead Mayor Sheehan
make my day.
Zoning is a local, state matter
not a among the enumerated
powers delegated to the Federal
government by the Constitution.

The Bethany-Family Promise
case has nothing to do with
religion. It is a matter of
upholding the City Zoning
Code provisions that protect
the residential integrity
quality of life in Uptown
single family residential

As Mayor of a City on the
brink of fiscal insolvency
you would be committing
political Hari Kari by not
upholding the the law, the
City Zoning Code provisions
that protect home values
the city property tax in
neighborhoods that provide
the lions share of support
for city schools and city

The Federal law you, Bethany
and Family Promise are relying
on, does not trump local zoning
laws (codes) that protect homeowners
and  single family residential
neighborhoods from land use
changes that will adversely impact
the residential character of a
single family residential 
neighborhoods that pay the
lion's share of taxes supporting
city schools and city services.

Just last year the U S Supreme
Court refused to hear a case
where state courts rejected
a claim based on challenging
a local zoning law, invoking

This year  (2016)Virginia courts
did the same:

Andon LLC v City Of Newport News
Virginia (4th Cir 2016)

Andon LLC v City of Newport News
Virginia (E.D. Va, Nov 20, 2014).

Family Promise can simply
return to its' downtown location
553 Clinton Ave and/or run their
program out of the former St
Patrick's Church on Central Ave.
where the Albany City Zoning
Code would not bar Family
Promise from operating a
regional hub for its homeless
social services.

Bethany can simply sell 738
New Scotland Ave a single
family dwelling to a local
family, with young children
who can attend Mater Christi
School  and Holy Names Academy.

Bethany volunteers can serve
the Family Promise operation(s)
downtown, where the homeless
are to be found.

Serve God, but do no harm
to the neighborhood and neighbors
who are protected by the provisions
of the City Code regarding R-1B
single family districts namely
Houses of Worship and single
family residential dwellings.

                            Joe Sullivan



Times Union, Thursday
February 18, 2016 pages C1 and 3.

Churchill  obviously did not read
the court papers before he wrote
the above column which is a biased
advocacy opinion  intended to sway
public opinion- not factual news

Read my Article 78 petition to gain
a clear understanding that Supreme
Court Justice Connolly properly
annulled use of 738 New Scotland
Avenue, a single family residential
dwelling, located in a single family
zoning district pursuant to the Albany
City Zoning Code based on a clear
interpretation of the intent, language
definitions and provision of the law.

Justice Connolly did not legislate
from the bench - he correctly decided
the case on the law.

Bethany Family Promise lawyers
and the Albany City Board of Zoning
Appeals did not read and comply
with the provisions of the Albany
City Zoning code with regard to
uses allowed in a single family
zoned residential district.

They did not seek a use variance
because they could not meet all
4 of the state law provisions which
must be met in order to obtain
a use variance. Most notably,
Bethany and Family Promise
could not prove that operating
a regional homeless social services
hub out of 738 New Scotland Avenue
would not alter the essential
character and residential integrity
of this residential single family zoned

Nor, could they prove that home
values, the city property tax base
and support for city schools would
not be adversely impacted.

In a City that is on the brink of
fiscal insolvency, approval of the
Bethany Family Promise application
would result in "killing the golden

Instead, Bethany and Family
Promise lawyers  took an end
run around the law seeking an
"Interpretation" from the BZA
approving the Bethany Family
Promise application on the
basis of religion, supported by
public opinion rather than the law.

In an "Interpretation Appeal"
the BZA is limited to a strict
interpretation of the law. The
BZA exceeded its' lawful authority.

In sum, Justice Connolly reached
the right decision - on the law!

Churchill's biased opinion piece
conclusions and its' headline
are wrong. 

Justice Connolly's Decision in
this Matter is not about religion
it is about upholding the provisions
of the Albany City Zoning Code
that pertain to protecting the
residential integrity and quality
of life in this single family zoned

It is a land use decision upholding
the zoning code which protects
home values, the city tax base
and support for city schools/
city services in a city on the verge
of fiscal insolvency.



In the Matter of


    Petitioner  pro se





The petition of JOSEPH P SULLIVAN to the court as follows:

1. Petitioner is a homeowner residing at 737 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208
    for these past 40 years, in an R-1B single family zoned District pursuant to the City
    of Albany, NY Zoning Code, aggrieved by a Decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals
    changing the use of a single family dwelling, 738 New Scotland Avenue, which is
    in close proximity to and in the same zone as the petitioner's home, which will
    reduce the use, enjoyment and value of the petitioner's home.

2. Petitioner is founder and President of the Buckingham Pond Crestwood Neighborhood
    Association these past 30 years, dedicated to maintaining/improving the residential
    integrity and quality of life in the neighborhood bounded by Western Ave, South Manning
    Blvd, NYS Thruway and Rte 85.

3. Respondent Board of Zoning Appeals  (Board) is a 7 member body, including Chairman
    Richard Berkley appointed by the Mayor, City of Albany, NY

4. This proceeding pursuant to  C.P.L.R,  Article 78 seeks judicial review of  the Board
    Decision  3/25/15 (Exhibit A)  in reversing a denial of a permit requested by Bethany
    Reformed Church 760 New Scotland  Avenue, Albany, NY 12208 for a change of use
    of 738 New Scotland Avenue,  the church parsonage, a single family dwelling located
    in an R-1B single family residential zoning district pursuant to the City of Albany Zoning
    Code, to a use as a rented "home base" Family Promise of The Capital Region
    (Family Promise) a 501 (c) (3) Not For Profit, to operate it's homeless-social services
     network, which is in the process of being established.

5.  The Code Administrator correctly interpreted the Code provisions  that a "home base":
     as proposed by Bethany, was not a listed permitted use in R-1B single family residential
     zoned district, that  the proposed change of use would require a USE VARIANCE
     ( Exhibit B  Code Administrator  Denial 12/8/15)  See also Code Article III Sec 375-8
       and 375-9 (D)

6.  Bethany appealed, not asking for Board approval of a use variance, but, rather for
     an INTERPRETATION by the Board to interpret Bethany's proposed ed use of
     738 New Scotland Avenue as" a use  permitted within its zoning district" 
     (Page 2 of Bethany Appeal 12/15/14)

7.  Bethany did not appeal for a reversal of the Administrator's denial of permit, nor did
     Bethany apply for a use variance, most likely because a party seeking a use variance
     must prove that granting of a use variance requires that the applicant prove, and the
     Board find, that granting the use variance
     will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood ( Code sec 375-26 (B-2 (g)

8. Petitioner submitted a statement to the Board, prior to the hearing and decision of the
    Board 3/25/15 stating:
    (1) the question presented at the hearing is not accurate  (2) The City Administrator
    has correctly denied Bethany a permit  (3) that the Family Promise program is a social
    services program, not a ministry of the church (4) that may one day take over the church
    at 760 New Scotland Ave and parking lot and (5) the Board has compelling reasons to uphold
    the Code including the negative, transformational effects on the neighborhood, home values, the 
    city tax base and support for city schools and city government services.
    ( Exhibit C Petitioner Statement for Entry in the  Hearing Record.  Refer also, to posts
    from January 2015 to the present regarding this matter
    on the neighborhood website:  http://lbpcnanews.blogspot.com

9. In an Interpretation Appeal the Board's review is limited to interpreting the provisions of
    the code. The Board must view the Code as, if, it were the Administrator, and make a
    decision accordingly. The Board cannot rewrite the Code or read something into it that is not
    there. Only the Common Council, the legislative
    body of the City, has the power to amend the Code.

10. Petitioner allegations regarding the Decision of the Board 3/25/15

   a) The correct property address in this matter is 738 New Scotland Avenue

   b) the correct parcel ID is 64-72-2-37.2 a 60 x 59  foot lot whereon the single
       family dwelling , with a taxable value of $240,000 sits ( 2014 City Tax Roll)

   c) The Matter presented  when interpreting the Code, as the Board is limited to do
       on such  and appeal  can only result in a denial by the Board based on the law.
      The question appears to be phrased in a way to result in the decision reached by the Board


    d) The Board  unlawfully reversed the Code Administrators denial and ordered
        unlawfully the  the Administrator to issue Bethany  a permit to proceed with the change
        of use  of  738 New Scotland Avenue from a single family dwelling in an R-1B single family
        zoned district to a new use as "home base" for the Family Promise homeless
        social services  network which is not a permitted use in said district as the
        Administrator correctly  interpreted the Code to read.

   e)  Contrary to #16  Decision Family Promise and Bethany entered into a lease involving
        payment of rent amounting to 1,300 dollars monthly by Family Promise to Bethany
        (see Record, November 9, 2014 letter of inquiry to Administrator inquiring is a use variance
        was need by Bethany, and supporting lease copy)

    f)   The "missions and ministries" referenced in the papers, hearing and decision in this matter
        are more about rent and other forms of income, including donations and government grants
        for Family Promise and  churches struggling to remain solvent in the face of aging
        congregations, reduced attendance and contributions.

    g)  Code Definitions shall be strictly construed,  738 New Scotland Avenue is a one (single)
         family dwelling, not a House of Worship. A House of Worship is a structure or part of a
         structure used for worship or religious ceremonies. A Use Variance is authorization by the
         Board for a use of land for a purpose ..not allowed or is otherwise prohibited by the
         provisions of this chapter . Administrator means The  Commissioner of Buildings and
         Regulatory Compliance of the City of Albany, NY or another City official designated by
         law to fulfill the duties of that position. ( Code Definitions Sec 375-27)
    h)  The Board did not properly interpret and apply the Code Definitions in (g) in arriving at it's
         Decision of 3/25/15

11. The Board was precluded granting a Special Use, or special exception, Permit by the Code.
      Section 375-27-B (1-(a)  a proposed use is not listed among the permitted uses for an R-1B
      district,  and (375-27- B (1-(c)  that  will have an adverse effect on the character of the
      and  neighborhood  and (375-27-B (1- (g) will not be in harmony with, or that will adversely
      effect the neighborhood.

12. In sum, the 3/25/15 Decision of the Board in this matter  was, contains errors of law
      made in contravention of  the law (Code), contains errors of law, is arbitrary, capricious
      and an abuse of discretion.

WHEREFORE  your petitioner deponent  requests that this Court:

       A) Annul the Board of Zoning Appeals
            City of Albany, NY
            Decision of March 25, 2015


        B) Affirm the City of Albany, NY
             Code Administrator''s
             Denial of a Permit to Bethany
             Dated   December 8, 2014

and such other and further relief as may to the Court seem just and proper.

 Date: April____   2015               ______________________________________________
                                                    Petitioner Signature
                                              ____Joseph P Sullivan_____
                                                      printed name

                                              _____737 New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY 12208____  

                                              _____518 438 5238_________________________

                                                    Joe Sullivan



Sunday, February 14, 2016


UPDATED 2 15 2016.

Hon. Justice Gerald W Connolly

Decision annulling BZA approval
of Bethany-Family Promise  "homeless
social services hub" at 738 New Scotland

See Decision and Order  Index No. 2436-15
dated/entered February 11, 2016 in the
Matter of:

Joseph P Sullivan Pro se 
Albany Board of Zoning
Appeals, et al.

Index No. 2436-15


JOSEPH P SULLIVAN                                                                        VERIFIED REPLY 

of  Petitioner Pro Se 
 ANSWER of 10/30/15

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS                                   

Petitioner says, in reply to the October 30, 2015 ANSWER of Attorneys for Bethany Reformed
Church and Family Promise and affidavits of Barber, Funderburke and Giordano:

1. Said Answer meter postmarked October 30, 2015, was received by petitioner in the US mail

delivery on 3 pm Monday, November 2, 2015.

2. Petitioners Verified Amended Petition parargraphs 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9, 10 q,b.c.d,e,f,g,h,i, and j

paragraphs 11,12,13,14,15, 16, and WHEREFORE relief requested from the Court are hereby  verified, again.

3. The Court will decide whether to grant the Petitioner the relief he seeks.

4. Respondent Answer paragraphs 9,10,11,12 and 13 are moot, having been addressed in
 The Court Decisions and Orders of 16 July 2015 and 30 September 2015.

5. Petitioner requests that the Court Deny costs and disbursements of this action to all

parties thereto.

6. The Petitioners motivation in this action is to preserve the residential integrity and quality of life in this R 1B single family residential zoned neighborhood, to preserve

the home values, not to increase property taxes of neighborhood residents, and protect the City property tax base which supports city schools and city government services.
    ( Deny  Barber Affidavit #4)

7. Petitioner says that the first obligation of Bethany and other churches and synagogues who have signed on to the Family Promise homeless, social service program, is to
 be a good neighbor to, and protect the interests of, residents of the neighborhoods wherein Bethany, and the others, are located.

 Serve God, but do no harm  to the neighborhood, home values, property taxes, the city tax base and support for city
 schools and  city government services ( Dispute Barber Aff, #4, 5,6,7)

8. Petitioner concurs Barber Affidavit # 8 is accurate, and admits that the proposed Family Promise rental and use of a single family dwelling, 738 New Scotland Ave the Bethany Church parsonage, as a "hub" for its' regional homeless social services program,  is not a permitted use in this R 1B single family residential zone pursuant to the Albany City Zoning Code. 

This is why the Bethany application to convert, or change
the use of said residential dwelling was correctly interpreted and denied by the City Code
  Commissioner. (Letter, December 8, 2014)


9. The aforementioned Letter correctly interpreted the City Code stating Bethany's proposal would require a use variance

A special use permit is not an option because the proposed
 homeless, social services "hub" is not a listed permitted use in an R 1B zoned district.

10. The Bethany Application of December 15, 2014  did not request a use variance because in order for the BZA to grant one, Bethany and Family Promise would be required to
 prove that the proposed :hub: would not alter the essential character of the neighborhood.

 Bethany and Family Promise could not so prove.

Instead, Bethany and Family Promise wrongly asked the Zoning Board of Appeals to interpret Bethany's change of use for 738 New Scotland Avenue from a single family residence to use as a rented homeless, social services  hub operated by Family Promise as a legitimate use  of a House of Worship
  ( Barber Aff  # 9) 

 738 New Scotland Avenue is a single family dwelling on its own lot with a taxable value of 244,000 dollars. (Albany City Tax Roll 2014) that has never been
 and is not, now, a House of Worship. Furthermore, the City Zoning Code defines a House of Worship as a structure, or part of, used for worship and religious ceremonies.

11, The Zoning Board of Appeals complied with the Bethany/Family Promise end run around the City Zoning Code and, in so doing, the BZA abused its authority and discretion
 issuing a determination that is contrary to law, in violation of of the Albany City Zoning Code.

The BZA failed its duty of uphold the City Zoning Code and  correctly interpret the strict language, definitions of the City Zoning Code as it is restricted to doing in an
 "Interpretation Appeal". ( Coons. J  Zoning Board of Appeals p 10)

12. The Code Commissioner correctly interpreted the Code. The BZA did not. 

The BZA exceeded its authority, abused its discretion and issued a determination contrary to, and in violation of
 the law (Albany City Zoning Code). 

The question before the Court in this action is who made
 the correct "interpretation of the City Zoning Code" in this matter? The Code Commissioner or the BZA?

13. The Court should rule that the Code Commissioners Determination, in this matter was
 lawfully correct  and be upheld and the BZA's determination was contrary to the law
 (Code), an abuse of procedure, authority and discretion and therefore be annulled.

14, As the Petitioner argues and the Court concurred its Decision and Order of 30 September 2015,  the RLUIPA questions are moot, and not before the Court because the BZA did not address them in its determination.

        Joseph P Sullivan, Petitioner Pro Se
                                                                              (518) 438 5230

Sworn to before me this

__7__ day of November 2015

Notary Public

Thank you Justice Connolly.

UPDATE 2 15 2016   Jordan Carleo- Evangelist 
Times Union report

                                                        Joe Sullivan


Thursday, February 11, 2016

ON AN APRIL 19, 2016

Contact NYS Comptroller DiNapoli
ask for an investigation and Legal
Opinion that because of errors
and irregularities in the February
9 Albany School District vote, that
the results be set aside and

that  a proper revote on the 
amended 180 million
dollar high school spending proposal
be  held on
Primary Day, April 19, 2016

when the election will be
conducted by the Albany County
Board of Elections, when all polling
places will be open and when 
maximum voter participation can
be expected.

Comptroller Di Napoli


Click on contact link.

                              Joe Sullivan

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


The February 9 Albany high
school spending plan vote is
exhibit A of voter fraud.

Read Times Union article
today, by Bethany Bump
wherein Albany School Board
President Bruce is quoted
as saying " Wow..."


The entire Albany City School
Board should resign!

Merge the city schools with
Albany City government.

Create one property tax toll
to finance both.

Index the property tax rate
to the high school graduation

50 percent graduation rate?
Property taxes reduced by
50 percent.

Return to K-8 neighborhood

Make the Mayor and Common
Council responsible and
accountable for the operation
and performance of city schools.

                         Joe Sullivan

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GET A ORDER            
19, 2016
The Albany School Board vote
today, Tuesday, February 9
asking City of Albany voters
to approve a flawed 180+
million dollar spending plan 
for Albany High School is
exhibit A of how to rig a
vote to achieve a desired
outcome for the spending
plan proponents.

The School Board (District)
conducts and controls the
election, coordinates absentee
ballots ,reduces the number
of polling places and holds
the vote on  an an obscure
date in winter when roads
and walks are slippery.
The School Board is a political
spawning grounds for the
"progressive politicians" that
now control the school district
and City Hall.
They know their vote base and
get them to the polls.
The same "progressives" who
supported candidate Teachout
in opposition to Governor
Cuomo in the last Gubernatorial
Now, these "progressives" are
begging the Governor for a
bailout to close a 12.6 million
dollar (or more) gap in the
current city budget.
Are "progressives" stupid?
In addition to being arrogant
control freaks? 

Meanwhile, these same "progressives"
are forcing another vote on
an ill conceived high school
spending plan.

Albany voters rejected the first
attempt to pass the high school
spending plan, in the November
2015 General Election.

Homeowners. When your roof
leaks, do you tear down your
house and take out huge mortgage
to build a bigger and better house?

Highly unlikely!

Voters, including homeowners
small businesses and apartment
renters will all pay more taxes
and higher rents, after the
City reassessment Notices go
out March 1.

Add, to this the uncertainty
surrounding where the City 
will get the 12.6 million dollars
to close the current budget

The Mayor has said that layoffs
service cuts and a 22 percent 
property tax increase are the
options, if the 12.6 million
dollar current city budget gap
is not closed.
What a lesson in civics, fiscal
responsibility and government
all of the above, are setting for
students in the Albany City

Now, for a lesson in judicial

An Order to Show Cause 

1. Why the February 9 vote
    results should be impounded
    including the ballots and
    lists of those who voted at
    each polling place.


2.  Why the vote on the 180+
     million dollar spending plan
     should not be rescheduled
     for Primary Day, April 19

     When the weather and voter
      turnout will likely be better

     and, when voters will have
     received Notices of their
     likely property tax and
     apartment rental increases

     and, when voters may know
     the fate of efforts to close
     the 12.6 million dollar gap
     in the current city budget.

As for today,  a resounding
"NO" vote must be made by
every homeowner, small
business owner and every
apartment dweller who is
eligible to vote.

                       Joe Sullivan