Stop by the Save the Pine Bush Table at Albany Lupine Festival, Saturday 10-4 PM. Details: albanylupinefest.org/

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COLONIE: In the spring of 1997, developers proposed to build the Golden Bear Golf Dome on 19 acres of Pine Bush in the Town of Colonie. Save the Pine Bush volunteers attended all of the public hearings about the project, read and commented on the environmental impact statements, and made known to the Planning Board that this land should be preserved.

At the time the Planning Board was about to give the final OK to go ahead and build, the developers pulled out. The developers had spent over six months working on getting the approval, prepared an Environmental Impact Statement, and attended meetings and hearings, just to pull out .

The newspapers reported that the developer withdrew his proposal because it took so long to get through the Planning Board and environmental review process, that he would not be able to build his project before winter, and thus would not have enough money. We also heard rumors that the developer was afraid of a lawsuit by Save the Pine Bush, and that any litigation would further delay the construction. For whatever reason the project was withdrawn, the Golden Bear Golf Dome was not built in the Pine Bush.

This ugly thing which was to be located between Siver and Curry Road in Colonie, was proposed to be built on 19 acres of Pine Bush. It would have consisted of an outdoor driving range, a pro shop, a parking lot, a miniature golf course, and, to top it all off, a 7 story (75′) inflatable vinyl dome. This white vinyl dome would have glowed at night and would have been higher than any other building in the Pine Bush. The Golden Bear Golf Dome was eventually built — far from the Pine Bush in Latham, on Route 7 east of the Northway. It is worth a visit to see what the Pine Bush escaped.

Because the Golf Dome was not built, The Nature Conservancy was able to purchase the land a few weeks ago.

Our Pine Bush volunteers were diligent in following the project from the very first time it was proposed until it was withdrawn. Many thanks to volunteers who attended all of the meetings of the Town of Colonie Planning Board where this project was discussed, and spoke against the project at any time the Planning Board asked for comments.

Printed in the May/June 2002 Newsletter