Wal-Mart not worth the negative effects

*Wal-Mart not worth the negative effects

Wal-Mart not worth the negative effects

At the last planning board meeting, I learned some new things (hope you did too): Traditional Designed Neighborhood: That is where my neighbors and I live, homes built in the ‘50s and earlier. Not just houses but our traditional court where kids can grow up and play in a grassy center where parents can keep an eye on them and know that the court is a quiet refuge. Building a Big Box store across the street from our court puts our quality of life and that of our neighbors on Route 50 in severe jeopardy. (More cars turning into our court.)

The current expansion has many flaws and will likely block our neighborhood from a safe, timely exit from our own driveways.

• Seven to eight cars going northbound at the light block potentially 15 families from leaving their driveways.

• Four cars turning right northbound block the northbound lane — will cars use the turn lane as passing lane? They currently use the shoulder to pass.

• Three cars going south block two houses from leaving right or left.

• Unless Vern has a green light out of his driveway, his house is often not accessible unless he has a left turn light into his driveway.

• Where the additional 12-foot of property will come from still hasn’t been explained and the encroachment on the local Traditional Designed Neighborhood.

Planning Board Vice Chairman Jeffrey Cwalinski stated: “If we made a mistake, we will correct it going forward,” — based on a project that proposed condos/apartments that are not allowed in Ballston Lake district. (Ironically they are allowed in my district.)

Town Planning And Zoning Attorney Peter Reilly stated: “Coming in with a completely different project leaves a bad taste in the Planning Boards mouth.” Also the condos/apartments, (ironically big-box stores aren’t allowed in the Ballston Lake/Burnt Hills district.)

It was proposed as a local grocery store and then turned into a Wal-Mart — doesn’t that leave a bad taste in your mouth? Like chewing on a stink bug. Perhaps if the town board made a mistake in approving this Planned Unit Development District under false pretenses — “If we made a mistake, we will correct it going forward.”

There is really no option but declare a positive declaration on the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) to truly look at everything, property values, quality of life for nearby residents, the impact on wildlife that is being disturbed. I have had more wild animals in my yard since the developer ripped out trees and took away habitat. What will happen when almost 20 acres of blacktop is laid down anda massive building and cars are constantly driving back there and lights are on all night? What about the Gorski Pond?

Better still, stop the process completely. See what was proposed when they asked for the PUDD and hold them to a smaller footprint and no two-story buildings. If you have looked at the picture they supplied, behind the cemetery it is offensive to the families visiting deceased loved ones.

We can have smart growth and develop responsibly, or you will allow this monstrosity and see what happens. You are responsible to residents of Ballston, not out of town developers.

I reviewed the most recent letters and there were a dozen opposed and one supporting Wal-Mart, and that individual lives 5.8 miles from the project in Milton. The concerned citizens live in Ballston or in the village. People actually affected by this decision.

What are they providing to benefit the community? Nothing. Where is a park? Sports fields for our high school and middle school? Trails linking the Zim Smith Trail? Sidewalks all the way to Carpenter Acres? Funds dedicated to assist our school district? Commitments to use local labor to build the building and to employ local residents?

The Southern Saratoga Chamber of Commerce was trying to negotiate a kiosk to support local businesses. So I went to the one at Exit 9 on I-87. There were about four local businesses with brochures, four out of hundreds. Our local businesses can’t spend money to print brochures to advertise in Wal-Mart.

Demand better. We are worth more than a Wal-Mart.

David Stern


Categories: Letters to the Editor

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