Save the Pine Bush, You can fight City Hall and win!

Ken Runion Visits

Save the Pine Bush

Albany, NY - Town of Guilderland Supervisor Ken Runion spoke to a large and enthusisatic crowd at the April Save the Pine Bush vegetarian lasagna dinner at First Presbyterian Church in Albany. Saying that "I agree we should do whatever we can to preserve the Pine Bush," Mr. Runion offered some techniques that should be discussed to preserve the Pine Bush.

Mr. Runion pointed out that Guilderland has gone through some tumolt in the last few years and now Guilderland needs to plan for the future. The Guilderland Comprehensive Management Plan process was setup by his predessessor. Though he is not on the Guilderland Comprehensive Management Plan Board and does does not attend the meetings, he does watch the Board discussions from his TV set. Business, farmer and FORCE (Friends Organized for Responsible Community Expansion) interests are all represented on the Comprehensive Management Plan Board. The Board's dicussions are very lively and diverse.

Once the Board has approved a Comprehensive Management Plan, the plan will be submitted to the Guilderland Town Board for approval or disapproval. It would be important for the Board to use the plan in the future, should the plan be approved.

Stating that the Pine Bush is a unique area, Mr. Runion spoke about various methods which should be examined to achieve preservation of the Pine Bush. First, he spoke of transfer of development rights. This could possibly be achieved by having overlay districts. One overlay district would be in the Pine Bush which would restrict development. Another overlay district (not in the Pine Bush) would allow development. A method to transfer development rights from one to the other should be considered.

Guilderland needs to get funds from the State to purchase more land in the Pine Bush for Preservation. Currently, the parks director is negotiating for a large parcel of Pine Bush located in the partial protection area. The parcel would be used for both preservation and recreation. Also, the Town is currently speaking with Willie Janeway, executive director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, about donating Fucso Park to the Preserve, which is in the full protection area.

Techniques for preserving the Pine Bush through legal zoning methods needs to be closely examined. Mr. Runion did point out that the Town cannot confiscate properties, that land must be purchased.

Mr. Runion stated that he believes that once public water is brought to an area, development will follow. Mr. Runion sees that there will be a large growth in the Town in the next 10-20 years. Perhaps at first, development does help with the taxes, and it is s great for the first 2, 3, 4 years. Then, the services the Town needs to supply catch up, and there is no more tax benefit. "Growth and developmet does not reduce taxes," he said, "In the long run, it increases taxes."

 
published May/June 2000 Newsletter
Last Updated 5/23/00

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