If you live, work, and drive through Colonie on a regular basis like I do, then you know that the Oct. 11 Spotlight editorial entitled “Moratorium on Colonie development won’t help matters” is based on half-truths and one major lie — that the development process is “working well in Colonie.”
The truth is that while you can disagree about the merits of my plan, the current development process is not working well for 99 percent of town residents. How do I know? I know because I have been out speaking with Colonie residents since late spring and it is the number one concern I hear at doors.
That is why I sat down with my team and laid out a systematic plan to address overdevelopment and traffic in the Town of Colonie. A proposal that to date, is the only comprehensive plan that has been proposed to fix this serious issue and start bringing back the quality of life town residents expect. The proposal was developed after speaking with members of multiple community groups like SAVE Colonie, West Latham Neighborhood Association, Birchwood Neighborhood Association, and others who have supported the concepts within my moratorium. That is who this is designed for, the residents.
Furthermore, my opponent loves blaming the past administration, even though she has been in office for a decade. Supervisor Mahan must be hoping the fog of time will cloak her misleading attacks as truth. After reviewing the 2005 Comprehensive Plan, we noted the increased need for affordable senior units, and the early talks surrounding the Maxwell Village project consisted of building moderate senior housing. This site was supposed to be similar to that of the Beltrone and Carondelet Planned Development Districts. These were projects designed to give alternative living options to seniors that kept them independent and in affordable units.
It was the Mahan controlled Town Board and appointed Zoning Board of Appeals that voted for the absolute final project approval and approved amendments to the PDD in 2009 and 2012. It is also a clear indication of Supervisor Mahan’s priorities. What we saw as an opportunity to help the aged and disabled, she used to benefit developers and her campaign coffers — a true tale of two Colonies.
This moratorium on density development is just a first step while we update our data and solicit real community and stakeholder involvement in the process. Colonie developers have survived previous full-stop moratoriums in this town and will continue to thrive under this limited one.
Moving forward, we need a town government focused on cultivating policy that puts people before profit and community before campaign cash — because at the end of the day, only the Mahan Administration, wealthy developers, and aliens could believe that the current development model is working in Colonie.
Editor’s Note: The author is the Republican candidate for Colonie town supervisor.