Common Council May Vote on Hotel on
Monday, April 6 at 7:00 PM
Questions? Email Lynne Jackson
The Albany Common Council is poised to vote on the proposed Marriott Hotel in the Pine Bush on Monday, April 6 at 7:00 PM.
This may be the last chance for the public to comment on this project.
Please come to the Common Council meeting at 7:00 and speak at the open public comment period to voice your opposition to the proposed Marriott Hotel.
Location: Albany City Hall, Second Floor, Eagle Street, Albany
Contact your Common Council member by phone or email:
Ask your Common Council member to vote NO on the proposed Marriott Hotel.
The Albany Common Council is currently debating a procedural issue to determine if the final vote on the proposed hotel will take place April 6 or April 20. It is essential for EVERYONE who cares about the Pine Bush attend this meeting and express their opposition to the hotel.
If you can, please stay until the end of the meeting - so you CAN WATCH HOW YOUR COMMON COUNCIL MEMBER VOTES. Maybe, with enough eyes on the Common Council, the hotel will be voted down.
For more information, see:
Volunteer, Save the Pine Bush
Planning, Economic Development and
Land Use Planning Committee
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 5:30 PM
Location: Second Floor Courtroom, City Hall
(Please note, the meeting is in the Court Room, NOT the Common Council Chambers, where a Zoning Board meeting will be held)
The Committee will consider the proposed Marriott hotel site. Everyone who cares about the Pine Bush should attend and speak against the proposal.
Read the Findings Statement for the proposed Marriott hotel which is the subject of the meeting.
Events since the Common Council voted to accept the FSEIS
Read Steve Downs Letters to the Common Council about
the rare worm snake in the Pine Bush.
The colony of worm snakes at the hotel site is the only known site of worm snakes in upstate New York:
January 7, 2009
December 31, 2008
The Department of Environmantal wrote two letters to
the Common Council:
November 25, 2008 - not agreeing with the mitigation
December 15, 2008 - DEC proposing more mitigation
The developer's response to DEC of December 19, 2008
Albany Common Council
Voted to accept the Hotel Final Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement
at its regular meeting, Monday, November 17
TIME: 7:00 PM
WHERE: Albany City Hall, Eagle Street, Albany
Read the Final Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement (21.5 MB download)
Scroll down for more information on the proposed hotel
Rare Worm Snake found on the Hotel site!
Its time for the City to do the right thing
ALBANY: In a letter sent to the City of Albany, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Analyst Angelo Marcuccio detailed the discovery of an Eastern Worm Snake on the site of the proposed hotel in the Pine Bush. Not just near the proposed site, on the site!
Reptiles and amphibians are often considered slimy and scary animals by many people. However, these herps (short for “herpetofauna”, which is the general term for amphibians and reptiles as a group) are extremely important to the viability of ecosystems. Most herp species in New York State are in a state of decline, primarily from loss of habitat. Loss of our herp species is devastating for the environment and devastating for our Pine Bush.
The last time a worm snake was observed in Albany County was in the Pine Bush was near the Karner Blue butterfly hill (and near the proposed hotel site) in the late 1980’s. The snake found this summer is the only worm snake found north of Orange and Putnam counties since the NYS Reptile and Amphibian Atlas was initiated in 1990. The worm snake is native to the Pine Bush. The fact that it has not been observed in the Pine Bush for over 20 years, and now has been found on the proposed site of the hotel is extremely significant.
According to wikipedia, worm snakes are described as being small (about 14” long), and these elusive snakes spend most of their time buried in loose soil or leaf litter. They eat mostly earthworms and sometimes soft-bodied insects. Little is known about their mating habits.
The global picture here is that New York State is losing herps at a serious rate. The local picture is that the Albany Common Council has the opportunity to save the known habitat of a special concern reptile.
What will the Common Council do? Will they say they do not care about the status of reptiles in New York State and allow the North Dakota developer to pave occupied worm snake habitat? Or, will the Common Council do the right thing, and facilitate a land trade between Theraldson and the Harriman Office Campus (that needs a hotel)?
Call or write to your Common Council member today. Tell them you are simply fed up with the City allowing far-away developers to destroy our Pine Bush and its inhabitants!
Brief Report on Hotel Hearing:
August 5, 2008
Dear All Pine Bush Supporters,
Last night, it was standing room only at City Hall, when a couple of dozen
supporters of the Pine Bush attended the public hearing about the proposed
It was great to see and hear so many people come to support the Pine Bush!
Channel 6 covered the story and Channel 23
The fight is NOT over! Please, take a moment to contact your Common Council
member and ask them to vote against the proposed hotel in the Pine Bush.
Thank you, everyone, for your support!
Read about the oral argument here.
UPDATE: The City of Albany has appealed Save the Pine Bush's win of the hotel case to the Appellate Division. The oral arguments for the case will be heard Friday, May 30 at 9:30 AM in the Appellate Division (click here for directions).
The City of Albany is arguing that Save the Pine Bush does not have standing - the right to bring the case to court. The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) is in a crisis. If the court rules that Save the Pine Bush cannot sue the City of Albany for not following SEQRA, then who can?
Everyone who is interested in hearing the case should plan on attending. Lynne Jackson will be walking to the court and leaving her house at 8:30 AM. There is plenty of parking at Lynne's house, and you would be welcome to join her. To make arrangements and for directions, email Lynne.
Read the papers filed by attorney Steve Downs:
Save the Pine Bush Response
Save the Pine Bush Appeal
UPDATE: February 4 , 2008 at 7:00 PM, City Hall, 24 Eagle Street, Albany
The Honorable Dominick Calsolaro has introduced a resolution asking the corporation counsel of the City of Albany to not appeal Save the Pine Bush's win of the hotel case in NYS Supreme Court. The resolution passed, but, the City's lawyer ignored the Common Council's wishes.
Mr. Calsolaro's resolution.
For more information see:
Stop the Hotel! - Ask the Governor and the Mayor To Do the Right Thing, Jan/Feb 08
City Can’t Decide! - More about the Hotel Case, Jan/Feb 08
Here is a pdf of the resolution. Attend the meeting or call or email your Common Council Member and ask them to support this resolution.
UPDATE January 12, 2008: Honorable Dominick Calsolaro, Ward 1, introduces legislation to require the City of Albany withdraw from Appealing Save the Pine Bush's win of the hotel case.