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A place for peace or play?

Opponents of proposed sports complex say it would destroy serenity of the adjacent cemetery

Memory Gardens sits on a ridge that is one of the highest points in the town of Colonie and is the final resting place of approximately 36,000 people. The tree line separates the cemetery from the proposed sports complex.

Memory Gardens sits on a ridge that is one of the highest points in the town of Colonie and is the final resting place of approximately 36,000 people. The tree line separates the cemetery from the proposed sports complex. Photo by Billy DeLap.

While opponents of the field cite noise as one of their biggest concerns, the visual impact of the dome and the 75-foot-tall lights has also been part of the discussion. Memory Gardens staff are also worried people would drive into the cemetery to park and walk to the fields, which would be closer to the fields than the proposed complex’s parking lot.

Nezaj said those are non issues.

“If we have lights, it won’t bother them because they’ll only be on at night,” he said. He also said there are ample parking spots planned, and he doesn’t think seeing the fields will be an issue because of the ridge and the trees that separate the field and the cemetery.


Meanwhile, Memory Gardens has a created a petition on Change.org which has currently been signed by 1,354 people. They have also sent out letters and asked people to write to newspapers and voice their opposition.

Despite the organized opposition to the sports complex, Nezaj said he has been getting a lot of positive feedback to his plans.

“A lot of people are coming up to me who say, ‘I’ve got people buried there, and I support it,” said Nezaj.

There will be a zoning board meeting held at the Public Operations Center on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m., at which time the public can comment on the proposed sports complex.

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