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What you need to know for 04/23/2017

Nothing harmful or illegal about rezoning proposal in Glenville

Nothing harmful or illegal about rezoning proposal in Glenville

*Nothing harmful or illegal about rezoning proposal in Glenville *War on women is about control over

Nothing harmful or illegal about rezoning proposal in Glenville

I would like to respond to the Aug. 18 Viewpoint [“Proposed land use changes along Mohawk illegal, harmful”] that asserts the proposed zoning changes along Route 5 are illegal.

The 71 properties to be rezoned to “highway commercial” already are commercially zoned and this proposal does not involve any properties currently zoned in rural residential and agricultural, land conservation, or riverfront/recreation. The [zoning] board also took care not to rezone any properties that lie within the sensitive Wellhead Protection and Primary Recharge zones of our aquifer.

The board supports this rezoning because we believe this four-lane state highway corridor is underperforming as a commercially zoned area. By upgrading the commercial zoning designation, we are allowing the property owners to better market their properties. The board has taken steps in recent years to re-energize the Town Center and Freemans Bridge Road. We now turn our attention to the redevelopment of Route 5.

The contention that this rezoning is not consistent with the town’s Comprehensive Plan and is illegal, is simply untrue and does not reflect current law in New York. The courts have consistently held that zoning decisions and amendments do not have to be tied to a comprehensive plan, but that zoning decisions must be made as part of a “comprehensive planning process.” Simply, there must be a reasoned rationale for zoning decisions and amendments; which there is.

Further, the town’s Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1990 and is simply dated. It does not reflect current thinking, nor does it account for the growth and changes in land use that occurred in the last quarter century.

Lastly, I want to counter the claim that this rezoning effort will open the door for industrial development in the Route 5 corridor. Industrial and manufacturing uses are not permitted in the this district, and it would make no sense to encourage such uses given the small lot sizes and the lack of water and sewer services in the Route 5 corridor. There is also a strict site plan review process in place to ensure that projects fit the fabric of this community.

The board has consulted all parties and did not take this request lightly. A zoning change represents a significant change to land use and we weigh the pros and cons to the entire town. While some may disagree with zoning changes, this one is neither harmful nor illegal and is designed to help reinvigorate the corridor and strengthen the town for all.

Chris Koetzle

Glenville

The writer is the town supervisor.

War on women is about control over their wombs

Congratulations to Denise Turgeon and her outstanding Aug. 19 letter regarding the ongoing war on women by the majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives. Add to that the several Republican-run states that are trying to shut down Planned Parenthood facilities, and/or defund them, so that many women will not get basic preventive health care. There is indeed a war on women, and the far right, along with the Catholic Church, is leading the charge. Kudos to Ms. Turgeon and her research. Her letter is in my archives.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Kathleen Gallagher, whose snarky remarks about [funeral director] Susan Daly and the Daly Funeral Home cannot go unanswered [Aug. 20 letter]. My family and I had personal interaction with the Daly family when my husband died several years ago, and I can attest to their superb care and sympathy for my adult children and me.

Surely, Ms. Gallagher should understand the difference between mourning a wanted child who died in utero, and an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy.

Susan Daly is not a hypocrite, as Ms. Gallagher implies, and the Women’s Equality Agenda had important points, e.g., achieve equal pay, stop sexual harassment in the workplace, strengthen human trafficking laws, stop pregnancy discrimination once and for all, and protect victims of domestic violence by strengthening order-of-protection laws, just to name a few. The abortion portion was to ensure that New York’s abortion law reflects federal protections and current medical practice.

I’m tired of people like Ms. Gallagher who do their level best to make women who have abortions feel guilty about it. There are as many reasons for having an abortion as there are women who are having them, and none of those reasons, Ms. Gallagher, are any of your business nor anyone else’s, for that matter. This is a decision that should be made by a woman and her doctor, not by the Catholic Church, and certainly not by the far right-wing wackos in this country.

Advocating intrusive vaginal probes is a favorite among with far right, and yet, these are the same people who want government out of their lives! Go figure.

Cynthia Swanson

Niskayuna

Swimming pool rules needed, and to be enforced

As the building inspector for the town of Glenville, I have been following the stories regarding Rotterdam’s enforcement of the New York State Building Code regarding swimming pools very closely.

While the Gazette’s reporting of the story wasn’t necessarily inaccurate, it was presented in a way that swayed the debate away from the real issues. An Aug. 16 editorial by the Gazette gave a more accurate and balanced reply to the initial story. However, the debate over the enforcement of these codes continues.

Swimming pools are regulated by the building code, and municipalities are required to enforce those rules. If there is a discussion or debate to be had on this topic, it should be why aren’t we doing a better job of enforcement. The code requires pools that hold more than two feet of water to be protected by a four-foot barrier. This code is the result of many tragic accidents and is intended to protect toddlers — little children who aren’t able to understand the risk. Too many of these children die or are injured every year, and the sad truth is that most, if not all, are preventable.

There is nothing that our department takes more seriously than enforcement of pool codes. Kudos to Rotterdam and all of the other code departments that enforce these rules; it is not always easy— especially in light of some of the budget constraints we face.

I’m not sure if the enforcement of pool codes in the town of Glenville has ever prevented the death of a child, but we are doing every thing we can, not to be responsible for one.

Paul Borisenko

Amsterdam

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