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NISKAYUNA: Residents seek moratorium

"I was encouraged that the town has looked at how we can make more safe walking and biking routes. At a global level we have to change and we have to start here. I think a moratorium would be the sensible thing to do," MacKinnon said.

Strayer said the town couldn't be sued for imposing a moratorium because the developer has not put enough money, or energy into the project.

It is unclear whether a moratorium would hinder the Ingersoll nursing home from using the $3.5 million it was supposed to receive from the developer to start another nursing home.

Strayer also stressed that Niskayuna already has vacant areas for businesses, including St. James Plaza and Hannaford Plaza.

Residents want the town to look at more options before making any final decision.

"At the end of the day, if you decide to build the mall or tear the home down at least you can say I looked at all the options and I made a good decision," Strayer said.

Supervisor Luke Smith said he didn't understand where the residents were coming from when they said Niskayuna had out-of-control development.

"We made changes to the zoning laws to make sure we didn't have sprawling development on Route 7. There is limited available space for Niskayuna to expand its tax base," Smith said.

Smith said a moratorium would delay the process.

Councilwoman Liz Kasper said the moratorium is a delay, but for a good reason.

"It's not a malicious delay tactic, but it will allow us to come up with more uses and more ideas," Kasper said to Smith. "You have been pushing this, and I don't like it."

The board will discuss the Ingersoll House at its Tuesday, Feb. 27 meeting. Smith said action would probably be taken at the board's March 13 meeting. ""

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