"(The rezone) affects me financially," said Harder.
The comments in favor of the rezone were often met with applause from the crowd and most comments spoke to the frustrations that will continue to be amplified if traffic conditions worsen.
"I would object to any large development coming into that area," said Angela Pitorski, of Chaucer Place, echoing the opinion of the majority.
Marge Flynn, of Marjorie Drive, opened her statement by saying she had no opinion either way but warned the town board, "I urge you to consider the results of your decision."
Flynn's major concern seemed to be the rising level of the water table in the area of her home, something that has perennially flooded her basement since the building of Crossgates Mall. Flynn worries more development would only worsen the problem.
The board took all statements into the record and all five members voted in favor of the resolution despite Harder's attempt for a formal protest, a petition he had begun too late to stop the simple majority vote at the June 20 meeting.
At the meeting Harder said he, under law, had more time to complete the petition, which would force a supermajority vote, four out of five, to pass the resolution. Runion said at the meeting that the town provided over 40 days of notice for any protests, far longer than the 10 days required by law.
In March, the planning board heard a concept plan regarding the area running from Church Road south to Krumkill Road, to be considered in a cluster development plan. Residents came out in full force opposing a project that would increase what they say is the already heavy flow of traffic near their homes.
Currently, according to town Planner Jan Weston, the land has federal wetlands that need to be preserved. Rezoning the land was recommended because although both zones allow for cluster development, the RA-3 would require developments on the lands be less dense.
"This would permit larger areas of wetlands and aesthetic features to be set aside," said Runion during a town board meeting early last month.""