Albany County

Sewer project offers balance, protection

Morgan Ruthman, Delmar


Ballston residents will vote on the proposed Route 50 sewer extension on April 18. The vote is occurring while significant zoning changes and limits on expansion of town water infrastructure are also being considered. Like many upstate communities, the town of Ballston is seeking to balance responsible growth against preservation of its rural and agricultural character. The town has crafted a series of zoning reforms in consultation with an experienced municipal planner which, if implemented, will impose protective limits on future development.

However, the town’s ability to target development and balance its tax base, both of which are stated goals in its Comprehensive Plan, will be limited without infrastructure development in key areas. Specifically, the town’s proposed Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program, which targets development in “receiving” areas where density bonuses are obtained from rural land in “sending” areas, can’t fulfill its potential without basic infrastructure to draw upon.

Residents are right to be concerned about incurring additional costs, though these can be mitigated through applicable exemptions and state grants. In addition, user costs will decrease as well-suited developments connect to existing infrastructure in the future. Ballston leadership has taken a thoughtful approach to the proposed sewer distric

On balance, it enables the town to achieve its long-term goals of channeling development while protecting important rural and agricultural land resources.

Morgan Ruthman


Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Leave a Reply