Editor, The Spotlight;
Tonight, I join my neighbors and speak in opposition to a zoning “Special Use” Permit for 645A Albany Shaker Road. Traffic and overdevelopment in Colonie, especially in the Albany Shaker/Maxwell/Old Niskayuna Road area is out of control. For the residents, for businesses, for shoppers, and for our public safety professionals, traffic has become an everyday ordeal of lost time and money that erodes our quality of life and taxes our already over-stressed infrastructure.
All my neighbors can tell you first-hand about the constant traffic jams in the Albany Shaker/Maxwell/Old Niskayuna Road corridor, and most that I speak to wonder why a “Special Use” is even being considered for this site. Current zoning does not allow for retail development. There should be no more “special use” permits for retail development in the Albany Shaker/Maxwell/Old Niskayuna Road corridor.
As political appointees, the Colonie ZBA is not accountable to the voters of the town and should never have been empowered with the authority to convey zoning “special uses” to developers. Any time a non-zoned use is proposed by “special use” permit, the ZBA should only be allowed to make a recommendation to the elected Town Board.
There are at least three traffic studies of the corridor currently underway. When all these studies are complete, they should be shared with the public so the implications of new development can be discussed before any more zoning changes are allowed. Many local residents feel like they are being ignored and have no voice in the process. It is only thanks to vigilant residents and neighborhood leaders that this project has not been approved already.
The July ZBA hearing was cancelled at the last minute, and many residents were unable to voice their opposition. I urge you to listen to the residents and reject this shortsighted request for rezoning in the Albany Shaker/Maxwell/Old Niskayuna Road corridor.
Editor’s note: This letter was submitted to the Town of Colonie Zoning Board of Appeals to be read into the record of the Sept. 3 meeting. The writer is the Republican candidate for the Albany County Legislature 23rd District.