Nisky apartment plan spurs rezone plea

Residents express concerns over proposed land development

— Leslie Gold, a Pawtucket Avenue resident, said she thought the study information for traffic and children was “generic” to the Capital District and didn’t represent the town properly.

“The existing apartments in the area tend to have more children and they also tend to be far more apt to have the traffic concerns realized, because there is very little bus service to most of Niskayuna,” said Gold. “I also think adding apartments to that area of Balltown (Road) is just not consistent with the neighborhood.”

Former Democrat councilman William Chapman said he voted against the 2006 zone change and was concerned the rezoning proposal would limit the town’s growth of its technology-aimed business corridors.

“I would also mention that this area is in the Metroplex Service District, which is eligible for financial assistance from Metroplex,” said Chapman. “Our neighbors in Rotterdam and Glenville in recent years have had good success with development activity in Glenville and the tech park … I think it is long past time that we take some steps to develop our own technology park.”

Nancy Schaffer, daughter of Wayne Wagner, rebutted objections towards the apartment proposal.

“We have been paying taxes on that property forever,” said Schaffer. “It always seems like as soon as we get one step ahead we have to go two more behind … We have been patient for almost 30 years.”

She contested there are very few school age children living in apartment buildings, because once a child is old enough the parents typically would move to a condominium.

“I would hope that now that you are our Town Board that you take in consideration Mr. Wagner and his children and my own family,” said Schaffer.

Regarding surrounding communities’ tech and industrial park growth, she said Niskayuna should focus on its own priorities.

“This is Niskayuna, let’s do what is best for Niskayuna,” she said. “Don’t worry about the others, they will take care of themselves as you take care of yourselves.”

If the Town Board does approve the zoning change, Adress acknowledged there is still “a long way to go” through the Planning Board process before anything is built.

“It would be nice for Mr. Wagner before he dies to be able to do something with the property,” said Schaffer.

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