SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Residents will get a chance to have their say on the future of 166 acres of farmland in Saratoga Springs on Sunday.
Pitney Meadows Community Farm Inc. will host a public forum on the land’s development from 2 to 4 p.m. at Universal Preservation Hall, 25 Washington St., according to a news release from the nonprofit organization.
The forum, titled "Called Around the Silo: Designing the Future of Pitney Meadows Community Farm," comes two months after the nonprofit purchased the farm from the Pitney family -- owners of the land for 184 years -- for $2.43 million. The December purchase was supported by the city of Saratoga Springs, which used $1.13 million from its Open Space Bond Fund to buy the development rights.
A 3-D concept drawing shows what Pitney Meadows Community Farm in Saratoga Springs could look like in the years to come. (LA Group)
Last week, the City Council voted unanimously to proceed with a review of the nonprofit’s request for a zoning change and have the city take the lead on the SEQR environmental assessment.
“For five years, we’ve been envisioning what we could do with this remarkable property when the purchase was completed and a new nonprofit organization was established to fulfill it," said Sandy Arnold, the nonprofit’s president, in a prepared statement. “The community’s input will help us determine where best to focus our time and resources.”
Longtime open-space advocate Barbara Glaser will discuss the farm’s history, and board member Katie Petronis will detail uses of the property permitted by its conservation easement, the release states. Mike Ingersoll, principal of the LA Group, will share an updated site plan -- with 3-D images -- and discuss the process for seeking a zoning change.
Attendees will be asked to share ideas and resources in areas such as community gardens, educational programming, trails, building renovations, grant writing and fundraising, working with local schools and the YMCA, the establishment of a historical center and the training of a new generation of sustainable farmers, during two 14-minute breakout sessions.
The organization has raised $650,000 from donations, and volunteers want to raise another $225,000 to pay off a bridge loan provided by Adirondack Trust, the release states.
Attendees are asked to RSVP at www.pitneymeadows.org.