Another Subdivision Proposed for the Pine Bush

Another Subdivision Proposed for the Pine Bush

Another Subdivision Proposed for the Pine Bush

by Lynne Jackson, Jan./Feb. 91

The Hellman Family Foundation has proposed building a 13-home
subdivision on valuable Pine Bush. Though one-half of the property
would be set-aside as forever wild, the thirteen homes on the other
half of the lot would do immeasurable damage to the sensitive Pine

Developers seem to think that if they build only on part of a parcel
of land in the Pine Bush, and leave the other part “forever wild”
that they have done their bit for Pine Bush preservation.

Leaving little bits of Pine Bush here and there does not preserve it.
It creates a checker-board effect, where one square is developed and
the next is not. Unfortunately, the plants and animals who live in
the Pine Bush do not understand these arbitrary boundaries. They do
not know that they have to transverse the manicured lawns or vast
expanse of parking lot to get to more parts of the Pine Bush on the
other side.

For the Pine Bush to survive, large tracts of contiguous land must be
The site of this proposed sub-division in near the intersection of
Kings Road and Old State Road. Two-thirds of the site is ear-marked
as primary preserve under the NY Natural Heritage survey.

The Hellman Family foundation is a non-for-profit philanthropic
group, named for the late Neil Hellman, that supports local
institutions. The proceeds from this development are to go to the

In addition to the ecological importance of this parcel, there is
historic importance. One of the oldest roads in the nation, called
the King’s Highway, runs through this parcel. This is the most
historically significant public road in New York and one of the most
significant in the country. The road’s origins are veiled in the mist
of antiquity, the first definite reference to it being in a Beverwyck
Court Review in 1660. It was then called by the Dutch the Maquas Padt
(The Mohawk Path) in the next year it was the road taken by the
pioneers to settle Schenectady and may have been widen from a foot
path to a wagon road for that purpose at that time.
In a publication written by Lewis Evens and printed by Benjamin
Franklin in 1755 there is a description of a route to the English
which “opens from Albany westward into the heart of the continent To
avoid a great Cataract of 75 feet, in the Mohawk River [the Cohoes
Falls], they carry all the goods, destined for the Inland Trade, 16
Miles overland to Skenectady in Wagons. There they embark on the
Mohawk River.” The King’s Highway was the road that opened up the
The Guilderland Planning Board gave concept approval for this
development on November 19, 1990. This approval is conditional upon
the submission of an Environmental Impact Statement.

Editor’s note: The Nature Conservancy purchased this parcel for
preserve in October of 1992. I guess SPB’s history of winning
lawsuits put the Hellman Foundation off!

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