Kevin Vandenburgh, a local developer in the City of Troy, recently is under contract with an option to buy land from the Golub family (the owners of Pricechopper) to build a 200-unit apartment complex.
The land he bought, however, is the last natural and undeveloped forest along the Hudson river in the City of Tory. And what is more: it is a culturally and historically important space for several tribes of the Mahican peoples — the original people of this area. Today, countless important archeologically important artifacts remain on this land.
Kevin Vandenburgh plans to pave over the indigenous history of this land.
The development also threatens the last natural Hudson river waterfront forest in the City of Troy.
To do so, the developer seeks a rezoning of this land (currently it is zoned as single-family residential — R1) and the Troy City Council shows all intentions to grant this rezoning.
In opposition to this development, a coalition has formed that is lead by the Schaghticoke First Nations and brings together numerous local residents, several community organizations active in the City of Troy and many other local, regional and state-wide environmental and cultural NGOs and community organizations.
A spokesperson of this coalition explains: ‘This only underscores the broad opposition to the development and shows how irreversably harmful the development of this land would be to the local community, the entire city, and the larger region’.
If the city council grants the rezoning, the proposed 200-unit apartment development would move forward.
This development will eradicate an unique natural space, last remaining forest and important indigenous cultural site forever.
A community activist explains that there are countless alternative vacant sites in the direct vincinity of this forest: ‘It’s not as if the council has no other choice. If they move forward with their plans,the city council members yet again will go on the record to show that they value profits for the wealthy more than the interests of the people they are supposed to represent’.