Editor, The Spotlight:
Like the old series “The Twilight Zone” the residents of our Ballston Lake community went to bed in their lakeside homes and woke up in the “Asphalt Zone”. No this was not a dream, the quiet lifestyle of the lake community is now threatened by an asphalt plant proposed for the Curtis Industrial Park.
One of the reasons the site was chosen for this plant was that the park is zoned by the Town of Ballston as “industrial” and allows “manufacturing” or to be more specific; heavy industry. The prevailing wisdom of the zoning was that we “must” have zoning that allows heavy industry somewhere in the town, why not in the existing industrial park. This zoning wisdom seems to be heavily flawed when you realize that noise, fumes, smells, pollution, dust and traffic of “heavy industry” doesn’t fit well in one of the most environmentally sensitive areas of our town.
The prevailing wisdom that we “must” allow heavy industrial use is based on zoning laws that indicate that the town could be sued if we do not allow this use somewhere in town. So to comply with the “law” we allow heavy industry in our industrial zones. The funny thing is that Clifton Park, Malta, Milton, Saratoga, Wilton and Charlton don’t allow heavy industry in their towns. It appears that none of our neighboring towns fear a law suit enough to allow heavy industry. It also appears that since we are the only town around to allow this zoning we get the plant. No need to sue the surrounding towns when the Town of Ballston has the welcome mat out.
It is time to correct this zoning issue in the Town of Ballston. We simply change the word “manufacturing” to “light industrial” and define “light industrial” using language from zoning law in any of our surrounding towns. We also need to limit the expansion of any existing heavy industries like the proposed asphalt plant. It may be too late to stop this plant but we can minimize the impact of the “asphalt zone” by restricting expansion.
It is also time to review all zoning in the Town of Ballston. We have live in a great community we need tough zoning to avoid over development and the loss of our rural character. Global Foundries is here, look at the changes in Malta. What will our town (and our schools) look like 10 years from now? We need to be proactive before we all wake up in the “over developed” zone.
Town of Ballston