BALLSTON: Land panel disbands

Callanan said the council has been following an orderly process for rewriting the comprehensive plan before enacting recommendations for land conservation.

"We've reviewed the comprehensive plan, and we're still working on the stormwater management plan," said Callanan. "We need to follow the proper steps. If we didn't intend to go ahead with the LCC, we would have disbanded it long ago."

Callanan said the board would most likely set up another committee once the other steps in the process are completed.

Master plan committee member Rick Kinley spoke from the audience Tuesday night in praise of the conservation committee's work.

"The members entered into this with very positive feelings and a lot of goodwill, and I find these resignations very unfortunate," said Kinley. "I appreciate all their work, and I hope the town council will re-think their position on this. This is extremely disappointing to say the least."

Councilwoman Mary Beth Hynes said the town has been working to stir up public interest and find ways to make the investment into preserving valuable open space land.

"With a $5 million budget, Ballston is at a disadvantage in comparison with larger communities with big surpluses like Clifton Park when it comes to open space preservation," said Hynes. "Our residents do support preserving open space, but the challenge is to figure out how we can pay for it. Grant money is scarce and involves a match by the municipality in most cases."

Hynes acknowledged the difficult task the conservation committee faced.

"I think the committee did an admirable job in identifying a number of tools to preserve open space," said Hynes. "Not all of them might be workable for our town, and all have pros and cons associated with them. Executing a plan is always the hard part. Instead of vast, sweeping changes, I see this process as more incremental and grass roots."

Hynes urged town residents to become involved in the campaign to save open space.

"We would like to partner with any town residents in conservation efforts," said Hynes. "There are many possible options to investigate.""

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