Two words that can send many property owners and most local officials running screaming into the bushes (if they can find any) are instead being used as a springboard for thoughtful discussion and research by the town of Glenville's Open Space Committee.
Town resident Mark Storti, who has chaired the committee since its inception last May, said the goal is to present a blueprint for the town's future that echoes the ideas and opinions of all Glenville home, business, and property owners.
Having lived in this town for more than 20 years, I have the sense of community that we all share, said Storti. "For the last four or five years, people have been talking about how Glenville is being developed, and that they want to have a voice in what the future brings."
According to town planners, approximately 1,025 acres of open space, or 3.28 percent of Glenville's total land area, is owned by the town of Glenville, Saratoga County, or the state. Some of those spaces include the Sanders Preserve, Indian Meadows Park, Indian Kill Nature Preserve, the Lock 9 Canal Park, Daly's Island, and the Freemans Bridge boat launch.
The committee sent an open space survey to residents at the end of last summer, collecting thoughts on everything from town parks to parking lots. Tabulated throughout the fall, the committee received 473 surveys, representing a rate of return of just more than 4 percent. "We were pleased with this rate of response," said Town Planner Kevin Corcoran. "If you get five percent returned on anything you mail out, you're doing really well."
The responses indicated resounding support for preserving undeveloped land, with a distinct caveat.
"People want open space, but they don't want to raise taxes to buy land and protect it," said Corcoran. "They agree the town is losing valuable land to development, including streams, wetlands, forests and farms. Now they want to know what can be done about it."