Name of the project: Rapp Road Residential/Western Avenue Mixed Use Redevelopment Projects
Email comments to: Kenneth Kovalchik, Town Planner, Kovalchikk@togny.org
The Town of Guilderland Planning Board should reject the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed development by Pyramid (Crossgates) to build massive apartment complexes, office space and expansive retail on Rapp Road, the Mall Road and Western Avenue. This proposed development includes a Costco with 700 car parking lot and a gas station.
The Town of Guilderland Planning Board should remove itself as lead agency because it illegally allowed alteration of the site during the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review by permitting a wooded lot to be clear-cut of its trees on March 26, 2020.
The following are not adequately addressed in (DEIS):
The proposed development borders the Pine Bush Preserve and the proposed development is completely within the boundaries of the Pine Bush study area. The Albany Pine Bush is considered the best example of an inland pine barrens ecosystem in the world. The Pine Bush contains 78 wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the federal and state-endangered Karner blue butterfly) and state-threatened frosted elfin butterfly, and the largest inland sand dune system in eastern North America. The site has been designated a National Natural Landmark, a National Heritage Area Site, a NYS Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Appendices F and G in the DEIS are inadequate to evaluate the impact of the proposed development on the plant and animal species in the Pine Bush.
This Pine Bush habitat is threatened by the proposed development, whether it is adjacent to the construction or a few hundred feet away. These species are important not only to the Pine Bush, but to the local ecosystem as well. The cumulative impact of this development plus other proposals on the Pine Bush is not adequately addressed in the DEIS.
The world is experiencing the sixth major extinction. The mitigation measures offered in the DEIS are inadequate to address the destruction of 46 acres of land. The proposed development decreases the size of the Pine Bush and the mitigation measures offer no possibility for expanding the habitat.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is woefully incomplete because it does not adequately address the effect this massive development would have on the ecosystem of the Pine Bush, or the effect on plant and animal the species.
Please make sure to get your comments in to the Planning Board by Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
The DEIS is so long, what should I read?
Read the letter Pyramid/Crossgates sent to the Planning Board on what they are offering in exchange for being allowed to build.
Read the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. It is not that long.
Read comments from SEQRA agencies.
Read comments from non-SEQRA agencies, including the Chamber of Commerces.
Published in May/June 2020
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