As a resident of the Town of Colonie living near the proposed Radtke Farm development between Aviation Road and Albany Shaker Road, I am writing to express my opposition to designating the site as a Planned Development District and to urge the planning board to vote against this proposal.
I believe that we have zoning laws for a reason. When the families moved into the neighborhoods surrounding the Radtke Farm, they did so with the understanding that any additional development would preserve the character of the community. Currently the proposed site is zoned for single family homes, consistent with the adjacent neighborhood. The latest proposal for the Radtke Farm Project, tabled at the meeting on April 16, asks for the creation of a PDD, which would circumvent the existing zoning regulations and permit the construction of 248 high-density residential units right in their backyards. I believe it would be wrong and unfair for the planning board to break that trust with these residents and allow the construction of an imposing structure so close to their homes.
Furthermore, as someone who lives adjacent to the development area, I can attest to the fact that traffic on Albany Shaker Road is already a serious challenge. Construction of such a large project would further clog the roads and harm the quality of life for the existing residents. It is simply too much, too fast.
Lastly, many of my neighbors have also expressed concerns for the environmental impacts of such a project. They are worried at the loss of greenspaces and the clear-cutting of trees that would likely happen in a project of this magnitude. As an Eagle Scout myself, I know how precious greenspaces are and join them in wanting to see that space pass onto future generations rather than be lost to the short-term needs of development.
Our neighbors are not against all development. Having a range of housing options is essential to the future of Colonie. Many of my neighbors want to be able to downsize into an apartment as they progress through different phases of life. Additional assisted living facilities are key to allowing our seniors to age-in-place among a community they know and love. But I urge the Planning Board to be thoughtful about where that development is allowed to take place, and to not allow an exception to the rules in this instance. When the proposal is brought up again for consideration, I ask the Planning Board to reject it.
Candidate for Albany County Legislature