Guilderland residents spoke out against plans to develop a sizable chunk of land on French Mills road at a Planning Board meeting Wednesday, June 26.
The parcel being considered is 84.7 acres, and the owner, Richard Bohl, plans to break the land into a four-lot subdivision, giving one of the plots back to the town.
The board approved the concept in a 4-to-1 vote, but final approval depends on the mitigation of environmental issues and specifics about access to water and waste removal.
Bohl hired the engineering firm Infinigy to develop the land.
The scenic view of the Normans Kill and wildlife conservation were among the most contentious reasons locals spoke out against the development.
Remember that one of these parcels is part of the master plan that we have for walking paths. It would be a shame if we couldn't do this path along the Normans Kill, said Guilderland pathways committee member Marty Gnacik.
The safety of wildlife was also an issue that struck a chord with a number of locals, as well as the preservation of the natural habitats in the area.
"There are many different species living down there. It's a corridor. It's a concentrated area down there. That creek is literally a highway," said Craig Nashods, a local resident.
"I don't look at it from a scientific view, I'm just looking at what's there," said Nashods.
He also said a similar development plan was shot down in 1996 because of environmental concerns.
The board inquired about how Infinigy could meet the environmental guidelines.
"Show us how you propose to cluster it to meet our standards," said Stephen Feeney, chairman of the Planning Board.
Mike Tucker, a representative of Infinigy, said he believes the environmental concerns are something his company will be able to deal with.
"I think that all the issues are ones that we can work through," Tucker said. We are giving [the county] a considerable amount of space to act as a buffer.