Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What's with that Pesky PDD?

Seems a mystery that the PDD application related to the Capital View Casino attempt on Thompson Hill hasn’t been withdrawn, rescinded or neutered.  There appears to be some sort of “tap-dance” going on, but no one is stepping forward to explain anything.  The last I heard was that there was a resolution in the works to extend the PDD “by mutual consent.”  That just doesn’t make sense, given the statement below from a friend of mine who has the experience to know what he is talking about…..

“I do not see how they can extend the PDD re-zoning for anything other than a casino. The resolution specifically made reference to, and was based on, the state law that preempts casinos from local zoning. If they plan to develop anything other than a casino, they will need to start the entire process over.

In addition to the above issue, the only reason amenities (restaurants, hotel, parking garage and lots etc.) we're included in the PDD was the claim by the applicants that they were called for in the Request For Applications (RFA) issued by the State Gaming Facilities Location Board for casinos. Again, without a casino, none of these things can be included in a PDD, where the underlying zoning is Residential Buffer (RB).

Finally, the vote of at least one ZBA member to re-zone was based on the strange definition that a patron of the casino was a "resident" of the PDD. I am not sure how such an absurd concept can be applied to any other use.”

It just might be time for the Town Board, where the ultimate authority resides, to assert its authority and put the matter to rest. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Community Advocacy Continues.......

One thing we have learned with the casino fiasco, the illegal Plat approval, construction and sewer connections without building permits is that the political machines in this Town on both sides of the fence consider governing to be playing the "footsie fix" with the insiders and the players.  The public interest be damned.  In this connection, here's the letter from Thursday's Advertiser by Tina Tierney addressing part of the problem.  

By the way, a bunch of us will be bringing our $50 checks for Save East Greenbush to the Library meeting on the 10th - in "honor" of Phil Malone's fundraiser at an out of state casino.  The guy is just tone-deaf to his constituents.  

 "To the Editor,

The residents of East Greenbush learned many hard lessons in 2014, beginning in April when the Town Board quietly passed a resolution to support the siting a casino on a parcel of land zoned Residential Buffer.  Throughout the year the hard lessons continued when the majority of our elected officials continued to accommodate developers over vocal opposition from citizens. The approval of the developer's Planned Development District allowed Residential Buffer zoning to be changed to accommodate the proposed casino, and that PDD is still in effect. If our home is our greatest purchase, shouldn't these homes be protected from arbitrary zoning changes that accommodate developers?

The hard lessons learned taught us that we cannot rely on our elected officials to represent the best interests of homeowners. We learned that we must advocate for ourselves. Citizens should not be forced to hire attorneys to assure that we are represented, or to assure that developers are required to follow zoning laws. Since the Facility Location Board failed to license the proposed casino, why hasn't the PDD application for the proposed casino been withdrawn? 

Recently, the moratorium on all new sewer connections in East Greenbush has been lifted and the Waste Water Treatment Plan is fully operational.  Supervisor Langley wrote in this publication,  "With the order lifted, the Town has great potential for growth and development, simply put; new business, residential developments and communities can now be connected to the WTP."  How can we be assured that contortions to zoning won't occur throughout our town? 

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 7 pm, please join your neighbors at the East Greenbush library. Let's work together to advocate for our future, and plan community-based fundraisers for legal expenses that were incurred due to our lack of representation.

Christine Tierney, East Greenbush"