COLONIE: The Town of Colonie Operations Center was the setting
for a public meeting on a proposal to construct a RV (recreational
vehicle) storage and washing facility. This proposal would
place asphalt or building on top of more than 10 acres of Pine
on this approximately 40 acre site, called 106 Cordell Road.
residents packed the Planning Board’s meeting to express
their displeasure at the proposal. It was standing room only.
The developer, Steven Owen, is proposing to construct 23
buildings to store RVs, boats and cars. The entire site will
by a fence, and will include a sewage disposal area. The proposed
development will slice a sand dune.
Residents attending the hearing pointed out that many of
them had invested all of their money to purchase their dream
of which cost $200,000 and up. Residents expressed concern
about these large RVs driving along the narrow roads with no
and how this will impact pedestrians and bicyclists.
Lynne Jackson, of Save the Pine Bush, noted that this parcel
is an extremely important connector parcel of Pine Bush to
area to the west. Should this parcel be developed, it will
be much harder to create a link of Pine Bush ecosystem from
the main part of the Pine Bush Preserve.
Ms Jackson also pointed out that approval of this parcel
would be considered “segmentation” under the State Environmental
Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Mr. Owen developed several other
contiguous parcels of land in this area and no environmental
was written, no consideration given to the Pine Bush ecosystem
destroyed, and no mitigation was required. The Albany Pine
Bush Preserve Commission was not notified of any of these other
Because no environmental review was conducted, Mr. Owen was
not required to preserve any part of the other parcels. Save
Pine Bush believes that this entire 40-acre parcel should be
Ms Jackson proposed that either Mr. Owen donate the land for
a tax write-off, that the Town of Colonie purchase the land,
a land trade of equal value should be made between Mr. Owen’s
parcel and a parcel of similar value at the Harriman State
Office Campus. Ms. Jackson pointed out that two land trades
possible, that two have already occurred, one, a 40-acre site
on Rapp Road and the other, the SEFCU building.
After listening to everyone who wanted to speak, the Planning
Board tabled further discussion of the proposal for the evening.
Planning Board Chair noted that the NYS Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC) asked for more time to determine if it should
take lead agency status for SEQRA. The lead agency is the government
agency responsible for conducting the hearings and environmental
review. Usually, in a planning board case, it would be the
town planning board. However, because of the environmental
DEC may decide it wants to be the lead agency.
The Planning Board meets every Tuesday at the Operations
Center on Old Niskayuna Road in Colonie. The next decision
Board needs to issue is the lead agency status. Though the
Planning Board will certainly make a decision soon, consideration
issue is not yet scheduled. To find out when the Planning
Board will make its decision, go to the Town of Colonie Planning
Board website at: http://www.colonie.com/pedd/agenda.html