Saturday, February 20, 2010

Board ignored new ordinance

TIMES UNION - Letter to the Editor
First published: Friday, February 19, 2010

As a resident and elected official who represents downtown Albany, I am deeply disappointed by the Fort Orange Club's decision to demolish two buildings to make way for additional parking. What is even more disturbing than these proposed plans however, is the Albany Planning Board's recent vote allowing the project to go forward.

The board's approval completely ignores Albany's recently enacted demolition review ordinance. Indeed, many of the factors the ordinance requires the board to weigh in reviewing demolitions were blatantly ignored, along with the testimony of nearly two dozen citizens, architects and historians who showed up in person to oppose this plan.

Demolition of structurally sound buildings to make way for parking does not fit into Albany's comprehensive plan, nor is it good urban planning or policy. One can only hope that in reviewing future applications, the planning board actually looks at our new ordinance and doesn't simply ignore what it was meant to protect, namely meaningless demolitions that destroy the fabric of our city.

Albany County Legislator
6th District

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