Roman Catholic Diocese Proposes Senior Housing in the Pine
Bush Karner Blue in Serious Trouble It is with great sadness
that Save the Pine Bush reports that the Roman Catholic Diocese
has proposed Avila House Independent Senior Campus in the Pine
Bush. This proposed housing would be located behind the Teresian
House on Washington Avenue Extension, on an ideal spot for Karner
Blue habitat. It is not too late to oppose the development —
no approvals have been given yet.
Save the Pine Bush does not oppose the construction of housing
for our senior citizens. We only oppose constructing the housing
in the Pine Bush. Senior housing can be built anywhere, but
the Pine Bush cannot.
For years, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission has worked
to preserve a "corridor" or escape route for the Karner Blues
to move from the isolated tiny preserve of butterflies at Crossgates
Maul to the main part of the Pine Bush. This tenuous corridor
is extremely narrow in portions, and, as Karner Blues do not
read, let alone follow road signs, the wider the corridor preserved,
the more likely the Karner Blues will survive. Area 29 is between
the Pine Lane housing development and Teresian House. Already
this corridor is narrow, but with if this proposed housing is
constructed, it may totally prevent any type of fire-management
of the corridor and curtail the possibility of Karner Blues
moving through the corridor. To view an aerial photo of the
site, go to: http://www.savethepinebush.org/Action/termap.html.
Even the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission believes this
site is extremely important to preserve. The land where the
proposed senior housing is to be located is called "Area #29".
On page 21 of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission's Implementation
Guidelines, Area 29 received its own paragraph:
"Additionally, corridors critical for linking isolated Karner
blue sites with the Preserve are recommended for full protection.
This includes area 29. Destruction of this area could: 1) prohibit
species migration across major sections of the Preserve, 2)
destroy the chance of maintaining existing unprotected corridors,
and 3) have significant negative impacts on an adjacent Karner
blue butterfly subpopulation."
Of course, there are other reasons for not building this housing
project here. First, the size and shape of the current Pine
Bush preserve is not yet adequate for the Pine Bush to survive.
This would destroy another 20 acres of Pine Bush. Next, seniors
in this development would need to have a car, because nothing
is within walking distance. This type of senior housing is typical
sprawl, where the only destinations within walking distance
are the senior center and Teresian House. The Draft Environmental
Impact Statement did not even mention mass transit.
At a time where other cities are desperately trying to bring
back the Karner Blue to its original range (re-introductions
of Karner Blue are occurring in Ohio, Indiana, and Toronto),
it is crazy for Albany to allow the destruction of such important
Please write to the Bishop to ask him to re-locate the Avila
House Independent Senior Campus outside of the Pine Bush. Write:
Bishop Howard Hubbard, Roman Catholic Diocese, 40 North Main
Street, Albany, NY 12203.
Printed in the August, September, 2001 Newsletter