City Owned Land Up for Grabs

City Owned Land Up for Grabs

by Lynne Jackson

In 1969, the City of Schenectady passed an ordinance preserving the Woodlawn area, stating that this land should never be sold and kept for public purposes:

“WHEREAS, there is now a great shortage of vacant land in the City of Schenectady available for municipal purposes; and

“WHEREAS, there is a growing need for the municipality to set aside a sizable plot of land to be utilized for public purposes; and

“WHEREAS, the City of Schenectady presently has title to several lots in the Fourteenth Ward Woodlawn Area . . .

“Now, Therefore,

“The Council of the City of Schenectady, in regular meeting convened, ordains as follows:

“SECTION 1. The plots of land now owned by the City of Schenectady in the above described area of Woodlawn shall not be sold but shall be retained by the municipality for public purposes and further that any additional plots acquired by it in this area shall be treated in the same manner and shall be held for public purposes.

“SECTION 2. This ordinance shall take effect immediately.’

The City Council unanimously approved this ordinance on November 3, 1969.

From the language of the ordinance, it is obvious that the Council was concerned about preserving open space in the City of Schenectady for the public benefit. It seems that more than 30 years later, the issue of “vacant land in the City of Schenectady available for municipal purposes” is more of an issue rather than less. If anything, there are more pressing reasons to preserve open space and unique areas in the City than there were in 1969.

The City of Albany, Towns of Guilderland and Colonie, and the State of New York have spent millions of dollars acquiring Pine Bush lands for preservation. It is ironic that the City of Schenectady is contemplating selling its own piece of contiguous Pine Bush for development.

Less than 10% of the original Pine Bush remains. All contiguous Pine Bush parcels are important to protect. This land would allow access to the Pine Bush ecosystem by residents of the City of Schenectady.

Please call or write a city council member and ask them to honor the 1969 ordinance, and keep the City’s Pine Bush preserved. As this is an issue for all residents of the Capital District interested in Pine Bush preservation, you do not need to be a resident to contact a council member.

To Contact Your Government Representatives:
Mayor Al Jurczynski
City Hall, Schenectady 12305 — 382-5000

Joseph Allen
944 Strong Street, Schenectady, 12307 — 393-5656

Mark Blanchfield
1144 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady, 12308 — 370-3153

Denise Brucker (City Council President)
327 Patrict Court, Schenectady 12304 — 381-6810

Edward Kosiur
9 Nassau Avenue, Schenectady 12304 — 377-8810

Catherine Lewis (Minority Leader)
1164 Curler Avenue, Schenectady 12308 — 382-0579

Frank Maurizio (Majority Leader)
1121 Lexington Avenue, Schenectady 12309 — 393-5939

Michael Petta
134 Duane Avenue, Schenectady 12307 — 346-7324


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