Save the Pine Bush Comments on Proposed Hotel

written by Lynne Jackson

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April 29, 2005

Richard Nicholson
Historic Preservation Planner
City of Albany Department of Development and Planning
12 Lodge Street
Albany, NY 12207

RE: Residence Inn Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Dear Mr. Nicholson:

Save the Pine Bush is extremely concerned about the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that has been prepared for the Residence Inn development in the Pine Bush in the City of Albany.

Our specific comments are detailed below. However, we would like to begin by asking, “What is the City of Albany’s policy on the preservation of the Pine Bush?” There are only a few parcels remaining in the Albany Pine Bush that are privately owned, but undeveloped. Almost all of the land in the Pine Bush ecosystem has either been purchased and added to the Preserve or was destroyed by development. This parcel of land may be extremely important to the survival of the Karner Blue, and thus a very important parcel to preserve.

There is only one Pine Bush. A hotel can be built anywhere and should be located somewhere else. Many plans for the revitalization of the City of Albany are currently being written and considered. None of those plans include building in the Pine Bush.

Save the Pine Bush believes that this land must be acquired for addition to the Preserve. The City of Albany should work out a land trade with this parcel for land at the NYS Harriman Office campus. This would bring the hotel proposal closer to where people can walk and bicycle to obtain services, and save this important parcel of land. The City of Albany has participated in two successful land trades for Pine Bush. It is time to consider this solution for this parcel.

The DEIS for the Residence Inn is a very long document. Many people concerned about the environment are volunteers and use their free time to review such documents. Save the Pine Bush asks that the Common Council extend the comment period for an additional 60 days to allow people more time to review the document and make comments.

We will comment on the following areas of concern:

Table of Contents

Questions of Illegal Clearing & SPDES Violation

Karner Blue

Pine Bush Ecology

Land Ownership — Identify the Principals

Financial & Economic Impacts

Compliance with “Partnership to Progress, Realizing
Albany’s Future”, Evaluating The Implementation of
Albany’s 1985 Strategic Plan, 1989

Water Resources

Air Pollution

Public Health Issues


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