The Letters of Support listed on this page have been compiled from written testimony from members of the community and experts who have voiced their opposition to this project, and that have been public recorded in the Meeting Minutes of the Troy City Council and Troy Planning Commission meetings. All of these letters are on record and available to the public.

FRom 09.10.20 Troy City Council Meeting Minutes

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Dear Troy City Council Members,

My name is Cherokee Lynn. I own a home at 47 Adams Street in the Riverside neighborhood of Troy. I’m writing to urge you to stop the review of the Lansingburgh zoning change request.

I am a mother of a toddler and almost every night, we walk around Troy. I point out leaves on the trees, the vegetables planted in my neighbor’s garden down the street, the now fading sunflowers, the squirrels, and the beautiful Hudson River. Not once have I pointed out a housing development.

This is because the future I want for my son is one defined by a respect for our natural landscape and for the Indigenous people that cared for this land that we now occupy. Wouldn’t it be great if, and especially as we are in the midst of a climate crisis, this natural and cultural asset was preserved for the use and education of future generations? The good news is it can be and it is a simple choice. The same talent that might be used to put up new apartments could certainly be used to develop the already existing abandoned and neglected buildings in Lansingburgh. The value of this undeveloped land to our community is far greater than any benefit that could be obtained from a collection of unnecessary and unwanted apartments.

We have the opportunity to preserve land rich in cultural history that can be enjoyed by ALL people in Troy. Let’s take that opportunity.

Thank you. Best Regards, Cherokee


SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

To: Meeting of the City Council on Thursday, September 10, 2020
Re: Proposed Development and Proposed Change in Zoning Code for 1011 2nd Ave, Resolution to refer

to Planning Commission

Respectful greetings:

My name is Roberto Múkaro Borrero and I am sharing this testimony on behalf of Sachem Hawk Storm of the Schaghticoke First Nations and the Schaghticoke First Nations, Inc.

The Schaghticoke are an Indigenous Peoples of this region who are opposed to the development and rezoning proposal for 1011 2nd Street due to a number of factors, but among the most important, is the historic significance of this land.

This property has great historic and cultural significance for the Indigenous Peoples of the Mahicantuck River Valley including the Schaghticoke First Nations, as well as the Munsee and Lenape Nations. This land was a permanent and semi-permanent settlement of various groups of Algonquin-speaking indigenous Peoples and included a critical ceremonial ground. The land was also a quarry for the production of tools and weapons, particularly arrowheads and still contains a significant portion of indigenous artifacts. According to the statements made by the developer during the May hearing of the Planning Commission, a majority of test wells produced a significant amount of artifacts.

The property’s historical-archeological significance is reaffirmed by several studies, including historical and cultural assessments connected to the GE remediation (see Decision 2002), a recent study and report conducted by Hartgen Archeological Assoc, a study in 2015 by Ann Morton, and long-running explorations, studies and examinations by Hetty Jo Brumback. All these studies identify the entirety of the property waterfront as bearing key archeological artifacts. There are strong indications that despite the rest of the property not having been independently examined, important artifacts and archeological potential remains for the rest of the property and beyond.

Despite these verifiable privately contracted surveys, research in association with these reports indicate inadequate assessment and archeological recovery on this site. The development of the site and space can negatively impact and threaten the cultural and historical heritage, as increased foot traffic, artifact- hunters, and pollution all can contribute to major disturbances and irrevocable loss.

Website: Email:

Additionally, it is also important for the Council and community members to note that according to state and federal law, a DEC SPEDES permit is necessary associated with the ground disturbance of this project exceeding one acre. Other state and federal agency permits or funding may also trigger SHPO involvement. A coordinator of the Archeology Unit Program confirms this in official correspondence with a member of the Friends of the Mahican tuck from August 12, 2020 regarding the site, and states:

“Given the archaeological sensitivity of 1011 2nd Street, the SHPO will likely request an archeological survey to document archaeological sites that are located within this project area, if a survey has not already been undertaken.”

Schagticoke First Nations is aware that there is a wide scope of legal grounds for why the requested change in zoning code cannot be granted, as stated in written supplemental evidence submitted by the Friends of the Mahicantuck prior to this hearing. Further, we are also aware that there are other locations in the area that could be better suited to the development being submitted.

In closing, we call upon this Council to consider that instead of destroying the last tract of forest on the waterfront in Troy, we could work together in collaboration with property owners, and local community groups toward providing a unique opportunity for racial and environmental justice, education, and sustainable tourism in the area.

Respectfully submitted,

Roberto Múkaro Borrero,
On behalf of Sachem Hawk Storm
and the Schaghticoke First Nations, and Schaghticoke First Nations, Inc.

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Dear members of the Troy City Council, Mayor Patrick Madden, and guests,

Kristoph DiMaria, resident and business owner in our city, living in South Troy and formerly of Lansingburgh, here to implore you all to make decisions that uphold city integrity on two important issues tonight.

The first is Ordinance 69 regarding the payment of settlements to Troy PD Officer Dominic Comitale who resigned from his position after several evidenced and published accounts of misconduct, violence, and abuse. Do not pay this man with our tax dollars, or at all. Stop rewarding egregious and unacceptable behavior from the Troy Police Department at our expense. Transform the complicity and corruption continously exemplified by the City Council, the Mayor’s Office, and the Police Department into policies and values our community embodies and can trust to be equitable . We can no longer abide these detrimental practices that harm our community members and your relationship to us.

At a time when Troy, along with the rest of New York State – and indeed the nation – is under global examination for how it will move forward in upholding the health and well-being of its residents during this chaotic and uncertain time of structural violence, COVID, and the failure of many institutional systems, I must stress that demonstrating accountability for the overt problems within the city’s organizations is a crucial first step towards actual progress. You must take action. Address Troy 4 Black Lives demands in a public forum between their organization and your offices. Resist undue pressure from Dominic Comitale and the Troy Police Benevolent Association led by Nick Laviano. Return the benches to Barker Park and engage in visible, active harm reduction there and throughout the city. Work with us.

The second issue is that of Resolution 91, pertaining to the zoning change proposed to the City Planning Committee for the 11-acre property at 1011 2nd Ave. Reject this proposal and deny the sale of this lot to developer Kevin Vandenburgh. The evidence represented by nearly a dozen community members at the committee meeting on August 27th overwhelmingly points out the environmental, social, historical, cultural, and indeed legal issues that make this apartment project not only untenable, but illegal.

Councilmember Anasha Cummings expressed his concern and support for the proposal’s rejection at that meeting, citing the complications and potential costs that would be in no one’s best interest but the developer, complications which are severely misaligned with the city’s coordinated development plan and current zoning of the area. Councilmembers Kim Ashe-McPherson, Sue Steele, and President Carmella Mantello inconfidently supported the proposal by providing statements that they know the developer, are friendly with him, and trust him to do the right thing. These tenets are neither supported by fact or science nor do they take into account the concerns of the residents you serve.

Furthermore, it has come to my attention that the indigenous representatives of the Schaghticoke First Nations people have been excluded from tonight’s meeting on the grounds that they are not residents of Troy. It is my understanding that this decision by the Council is illegal under New York State Law, specifically the New York State Department Of State Commission for Open Government, clearly stating that this restriction and the exclusion of nonresidents from speaking violates State Open Meetings Law. This means that the Troy City Code governing public participation at public meetings is in open violation of state law. You must reconsider.

I will not recapitulate my points made at the previous meeting to the whole council, along with many others’, as you are able to do the due diligence of examining those minutes and the video of the meeting. It is your responsibility to be ethical, transparent, inclusive, and to uphold the law. Your decisions on these issues will continue to define the City Council, Mayor’s Office, Police Department, Code, Zoning, and a litany of other departments as either integral and actively bettering the place we live for all who live here or as bumbling, unlawful power brokers deaf to the needs of the people they swore to uphold and protect who put many of you in the offices you now hold.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely, Kristoph DiMaria

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Dear City Council President Carmella Mantello,

We deeply appreciate your prompt response. We also appreciate bringing to our attention the City Rules, Sections 2-25 and Sections 2-34.

However, as we mentioned in our initial letter, we wanted to bring to your attention that these rules are inconsistent with New York State Open Meetings Law, and urge you to remove the restrictions to ensure compliance with the NYS Open Meetings Law or otherwise clarify why this inconsistency with NYS law exists.

Additionally, we want to mention that “The Friends of the Mahicantuck” represents and is comprised of Troy residents.

We are sending this inquiry not on our own behalf, but as we are concerned about this rules and that they work to exclude various members of the Mahican peoples with ancestral ties to this land as well as to the lands of the City of Tory, which includes amongst others, the Schaghticoke First Nations, Lenape and Munsee Nations.

The rules as they are presently written, are inconsistent with NYS Open Meetings Law. And they also act in general excluding to peoples who maintain strong ties to these lands and who lived on this lands for many thousands of years before the City of Troy was founded.

It is for these reasons that we ask the Troy City Council and the Administration to revoke the residency requirement and restore consistency with state law for the upcoming as well as for all future public meetings of public bodies.

We thank you for your considerate attention and are looking forward to clarification and swift action on this matter,

With the best wishes,
The Friends fo the Mahicantuck

P.S. We ask this correspondence to be included in the minutes of the Thursday, September 10th, meeting, as it regards items on the agenda and the general rules governing the meeting.

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Dear Mrs. Mantello,

I write today as a Troy resident to voice strong opposition to the proposal to amend the City of Troy Zoning Map to rezone map parcel number 70.64-1-1 on 2nd Avenue. I urge that the Troy City Council votes against the resolution to move this proposal to the planning commission.

As a Troy resident with a near decade-long career in environmental policy, specifically regarding climate and water, I have deep concerns about how this project would impact the City of Troy’s environment. For 5 years, I served as the Water and Natural Resources Director and Environmental Advocates NY, and I’ve worked for the past two years as the Environmental Policy Director at the New York Public Interest Research Group.

This parcel is the last remaining natural, untouched forest on Troy’s Hudson River Waterfront and offers crucial benefits to the entire City. Allowing this proposal to move forward would eliminate the environmental benefits of this forested area and jeopardize the City to more flooding, increased sewage overflows, and increase the City’s greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, this project would be a deep injustice to the Mahican people who have historical ties to this land.

Below, I’ve outlined my concerns in further detail:

1. This project would threaten the City with more flooding. Natural buffers and forests are key for flood prevention, and this area of Troy has already suffered from significant flooding. In January 2020, the Golub Corporation announced they are closing the Price Chopper in Lansingburgh due to significant flooding.1 As the climate continues to warm, more frequent severe storms will also impact the area. According the the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), 100-year storms are projected to become 20-50% more likely by the 2020s, and 70-190% by the 2050s. This translates to 15.3-16.8 feet flood heights along the Hudson River.2 Additionally, climate change is

1 “Price Chopper/Market 32 to close North Troy store,” CBS 6 Albany, January 27, 2020, 2 “Climate Summary for Communities,” NYS DEC, page 8,

leading to more frequent precipitation east of the Hudson River. By the 2050s, precipitation may increase 12% from baseline 1971-2000 levels.3

Additionally, as the climate continues to warm, the Hudson River will continue to rise, causing more flooding over time. High estimate projections for sea level rise indicate the Hudson River may rise by 27-30” by the 2050s.4

To reduce the risk of severe flooding, DEC recommends that communities “use natural vegetated buffers to protect assets from flood risk,” and “identify and conserve natural areas contributing to stormwater management.”5 Natural resources, like trees and other green spaces, absorb water from running off into waterways, and also absorb excess rain and flood waters. Allowing this proposal to move forward is the exact opposite of best management practices to prevent flooding.

The developer claims because this area is above the 100-year flood zone, it would not negatively impact flooding. This is false, because removing greenspace means fewer natural resources to absorb excess rain and snow melt, causing more runoff to the Hudson River and surrounding area.

2. This project would eliminate a carbon sink for the City. Forested areas are necessary tools for climate mitigation. Forests and other greenery absorb greenhouse gases. Troy is a Climate Smart Community and has important goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.6 In fact, Troy has specifically pledged to reduce GHG emissions through the use of climate-smart land use tools and to enhance community resiliency.7

DEC lists numerous actions Climate Smart Communities are both mandated and recommended to take. Amongst these actions, DEC includes in its PE6 climate-smart land use section developing a natural resources inventory, developing a tree planting program, and, critically, preserving natural areas through zoning or other regulations. Under the section PE7, enhance community resilience to climate change, DEC recommends conservation of natural habitats and climate smart resiliency planning.8

As a Hudson River community, leading the State to reduce GHG emissions is important, but removing this forested area would negate these goals. There is no way to replace the benefits offered by a continuous forested area.

3 Ibid, page 6
4 Ibid, page 5
5 Ibid, page 9
6 “Climate Smart Communities: City of Troy,” CDRPC, November 2015, content/uploads/2015/05/City-of-Troy-Community-Profile.pdf

7 Ibid.
8 Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification Action Checklist – Version 3.7 (Apr. 24, 2020), NYS DEC,

3. This project would strain the City’s sewage infrastructure. The capital region is surrounded with cities that have combined sewage systems, which are designed to take both stormwater runoff and wastewater from homes and businesses. These systems are old and were not designed to handle modern capacity. As a result, the capital region alone contributes 1.2 billion gallons of sewage into the Hudson River annually.

Troy is one of the cities with a combined sewage system, and of the cities in the capital region, has the most sewage outfalls in the area. This proposal could include as many as 240 new units in the area, which could lead to far more wastewater entering the City’s wastewater system.

There is no question that this plot of land, as it currently exists, offers the most benefits to the City of Troy. There is nothing that can replace the benefits offered by a contiguous forested area. While the developer has proposed to include waterfront access to the Hudson River, that is not enough to negate the negative environmental impacts associated with the project. It would also be an unconscionable environmental injustice to the Mahican people.

Thank you for consideration of these comments.


Elizabeth Moran 50 2nd Street Troy, NY 12180

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Ms. Carmella Mantello, President and Members of the City Council

City of Troy
433 River Street, Suite 5001 Troy, NY 12180

Subject: Ordinance Authorizing Amendment Of City Of Troy Zoning Map Established By Troy Code Section 285-49 (A) To Rezone Tax Map Parcel Number 70.64-1-1 On 2nd Avenue In North Troy From R-1 Single Family Residential Detached To P Planned Development

Dear Ms. Mantello and Members of the City Council:

Scenic Hudson is writing to urge the Troy City Council to deny the rezoning request referenced above on 2nd Avenue from R-1 (Single Family Development–Detached) to P (Planned Development). Such a rezoning would not be in accordance with the recently adopted Realize Troy Comprehensive Plan (2018) as required by N.Y. General City Law Section 28-a(12).

Realize Troy Comprehensive Plan—its purpose and how it was created
Urban Strategies, Inc., the planning firm hired by the City to craft Realize Troy, describes the Comprehensive Plan as a three-part community planning initiative: an economic strategy, a waterfront master plan, and a city- wide comprehensive plan. According to Urban Strategies, the planning process was based on a “strong focus on public consultation, both in-person and using a variety of social media channels, and aimed to establish a clear vision and set of action strategies to address both the current and future needs of the City” (emphasis added).

Further, Urban Strategies’ website states that the Comprehensive Plan established “a clear community-based vision and action plan to guide the city’s overall development over the next 20 years” (emphasis added) and Realize Troy identified “short and longer-term community needs, reinforced and confirmed a set of broadly supported community goals and created a blueprint for future government actions” (emphasis added).

SOURCE: troy/#:~:text=Realize%20Troy%20is%20a%20three,a%20city%2Dwide%20comprehensive%20plan.&text=It%20w ill%20establish%20a%20clear,over%20the%20next%2020%20years.

Scenic Hudson’s recommendations are prefaced with the City’s Planning consultant’s description of the Comprehensive Plan’s purpose, as well as and the robust public participation on which the plan, its vision for the City, and its land use recommendations are based.


Rezonings must be in accordance with Comprehensive Plans

The requested rezoning would directly conflict with Realize Troy’s recommendations—and, therefore, the community’s vision—for the subject parcel. If it were to be in the best interest of the City of Troy and its residents to commit this undeveloped, wooded parcel to high density development, in this case 240 apartments, one would think that Realize Troy would have recommended this parcel for higher density uses as a Major

Reinvestment Area. However, Realize Troy envisions just the opposite.

N.Y. General City Law Section 28-a(12) requires that “All city land use regulations must be in accordance with a comprehensive plan adopted pursuant to this section.” Scenic Hudson believes that a rezoning from Single Family Residential to Planned Development would not be in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan’s designation of Low Rise Residential and would therefore violate N.Y. General City Law Section 28-a(12).

Further, according to the New York State Department of State “New York’s zoning enabling statutes (the state statutes which give cities, towns and villages the power to enact local zoning laws) require that zoning laws be adopted in accordance with a comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan should provide the backbone for the local zoning law.”

Realize Troy’s vision for the subject parcel

First and foremost, the Comprehensive Plan (Map 14) identifies the subject tax parcel as “low rise residential” (see Appendix A attached to this letter). The parcel is currently zoned R-1 (Single Family Residential—Detached) which would permit approximately 10 single family homes on the site. The concept plan submitted in association with this rezoning requests proposes 240 multi-family units, a land use with density wholly inconsistent with low rise residential and would therefore not be in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan as required by N.Y. General City Law Section 28-a(12).

Further, one of the “action strategies” proposed in Realize Troy Comprehensive Plan is the establishment of seven “Major Reinvestment Areas.” According to Realize Troy:

“Major reinvestment areas are locations in the city in most need of renewal and which also have the potential to accommodate most of the population and employment growth planned for Troy. Strategic initiatives in these areas are intended to catalyze neighborhood revitalization, transform derelict portions of the waterfront and spark economic development. They include large-scale redevelopment opportunities that can result in distinct new employment and mixed-use areas, sites appropriate for significant park and other public realm improvements and areas for neighborhood growth and revitalization.”

Realize Troy, page 68 These Major Reinvestment Areas are the places envisioned by the community as priorities for renewal,

neighborhood revitalization and large-scale development.


The Plan identifies two Major Reinvestment Areas in Lansingburgh. One area includes the Hannaford’s parcel immediately to the south of the subject parcel. Realize Troy conceptually proposes redeveloping the Hannaford’s site with a large building fronting 126th Street, parking behind the building, and mixed-use 1-4 story residential buildings with required ground floor retail fronting 2nd Avenue (see Revitalize Troy, page 71 and 72; also attached here as Appendices B-1 and B-2). Realize Troy does NOT propose extending this mixed-use development—nor any high-density development, including apartments as proposed in this rezoning—onto the undeveloped, wooded parcel to the north.


During the development of the Realize Troy, undertaken with robust public involvement and adopted by the City Council just two years ago, it was not anticipated that the undeveloped, wooded subject parcel (Tax Map Parcel Number 70.64-1-1), zoned R-1 and identified in the Comprehensive Plan as Low Rise Residential, would be an appropriate place for intense development. If so, the adjacent Major Reinvestment Area would have been extended to include this parcel. Further, Realize Troy specifically includes this parcel in the “Low Rise Residential” land use category. Therefore, the requested rezoning would not be in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan.

In light of the above Scenic Hudson urges the Troy City Council to deny the application to rezone Tax Parcel Number 70.64-1-1 on 2nd Avenue from R-1 (Single Family Development) to P (Planned Development). Such rezoning would not be in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan as required by N.Y. General City Law Section 28-a(12).

Thank you. Sincerely,

Jeffrey Anzevino, AICP Director of Land Use Advocacy

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

City of Troy
C/O City Council 433 River St Troy, NY 12180

Re: Rezoning Riverfront Parcel 1011 2nd St

Troy, NY

Troy City Council,

Extension Office 65 First Street Troy, NY 12180

The Stockbridge-Munsee Community Tribal Historic Preservation Office wishes to address Resolution 91. Resolution Referring Lansingburgh Zoning Change Request To Planning Commission For Review And Recommendation (Council President Mantello) (At The Request Of The Administration) **Pending Finance Meeting, September 10. The Stockbridge-Munsee Community Tribal Historic Preservation Office operates from its offices here in Troy, NY. We conduct Section 106 and NEPA reviews on Federal undertakings along with all state and local consultation projects. Our efforts in Historic Preservation maintain government-to-government relationships and ensure Tribal interests in the Tribe’s traditional homelands along the Hudson Valley are represented. We wish to address the Tribe’s concerns with the proposed rezoning of the Riverfront Parcel in north Lansingburgh, what is 1011 2nd St Troy, NY.

The Lansingburgh Riverfront Parcel has high archaeological sensitivity and cultural significance for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. Within the boundaries of the Parcel exists a number of National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligible archaeological sites. The recorded Chert Quarries Precontact Site represents immense cultural and educational significance. For thousands of years this site was used for the extraction of resources for Mohican people. Materials from the Chert Quarries Precontact Site have been identified miles away and represent a crucial component of past social trade networks that linked this region to distant Native American communities. These sites have been at the center of archaeological research studies on the lifeways of past peoples in the area and a focus for our work in site protection. The Tribe’s traditional homelands continue to be crucial to the living cultural heritage of the Stockbridge- Munsee Community today. Due to the immense cultural sensitivity for the Tribe and known archaeological sites we are concerned with the current rezoning proposal. We want to bring awareness to the Troy City Council on the cultural significance of this Parcel. We ask that the Council consider its decision to rezone this parcel for future development. The Stockbridge-Munsee Community Tribal Historic Preservation Office

(518) 244-6891 Email:

Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Historic Preservation

Main Office
W13447 Camp 14 Rd

Bowler, WI 54416

Extension Office 65 First Street Troy, NY 12180

proposes to work with the City toward NRHP nomination and ultimately protection in perpetuity of these culturally significant archaeological sites and green spaces for its entire community.

Should you have any questions, please contact me at Sincerely,

Nathan Allison
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

I’m emailing you in regards to the new apartment site on 2 ND Ave behind Hannaford store. That property has a raw sewage pipe there that enters the river and has a toxic odor coming from it. That property has a native American stone quarry on it and it’s a multi component native American site on it also. I think developers will destroy all the archaeology history there. And it’s a good possibility that it is a native American burial site too. The raw sewage pipe comes from the water treatment plant on RT.40 and they dump lots of lime and other toxic chemicals in there. The toxic chemicals have leeched into the ground there for years. The locals could take legal action if people get sick from the raw sewage. The fumes alone are not good. Go there you will see. I’d like to attend a public meeting if possible. My name is Michael roll and I live at 125 st, Troy, n.y. 12182.


SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Hi folks,

I am a homeowner in Troy, lover of nature, and teacher of Social Studies. I’m also someone who is devastated and disappointed in the fact that the Committee is even considering the proposal for development.

Troy is rich in housing stock. Troy has HUNDREDS of apartments and other opportunities for living both closer to the city center AND off sacred land. Troy is better than this.

Last year when teaching my 7th graders, I made sure to talk about the wonderful work the city did back in …. 2008 (?) when the indigenous cite was unearthed in South Troy. The partnership with Sage and the creation of the haudenosaunee space was a boon to this city that I love so dearly.

Let’s honor our history, as well as that of the haudenosaunee and leave development off the land. There are other ways for Troy to recoup what was lost in the pandemic AND leave what little green space there is left for the current inhabitants (critters) of the forest.

Jenn Baumstein Pinewoods Ave Troy NY 1180

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Dear Finance Committee,
As a current Troy resident and a lifelong Capital District citizen, I am voicing my strong opposition to the rezoning of 1011 2nd Ave in Lansingburgh for three main reasons:

1- It is an insult to our long history of Native genocide. 2- It will irreparably damage our local ecosystem.
3- It doesn’t make business sense.

First- The long history of stealing indigenous land needs to end. This is embarrassing that you are considering this rezoning.

Second- If you do decide to allow the destruction of this zone, a full environmental impact study needs to be done first. Looking forward ten years in the future, what will the increased stresses of these new developments have on our already clogged roads, pipes, infrastructure, and flood zones? What precious remaining wildlife will be displaced?

When we look around the capital district, there are many other projects that put our native wildlife in direct threat- like the proposed Costco in Guilderland on the border of the Pine Bush Preserve, the Norlite Facility sending toxic waste into our air, the Albany Port expansion, and many others. We cannot let this endless destruction of our native land continue; it always hurts public health in the long run, whether through health complications or natural disasters.

Lastly, this doesn’t make business sense for our city. Selling out our land for the opportunity to have more renters is short-sighted. The inflated prices of these new developments will drive up the cost of living and push out existing residents. These new renters will place unnecessary strain on our infrastructure, add little to the tax base, and leave when they want to settle down somewhere else.

There are plenty of other redevelopment opportunities in Troy for Mr. Vandenburgh to pursue that would add long-term value to our city. What about the blight of Troy’s other neighborhoods? What about the dozens of large buildings, old churches, abandoned houses for sale? Look somewhere else and work within our already existing neighborhoods.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Hannah Stenzel Elm Pl
Troy, NY 12180

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

To the Troy City Council:

I am unable to attend this evening’s meeting, so I am submitting my comments for the meeting record of September 10, 2020. I am writing to comment on a resolution and ordinance that will be discussed this evening.

Regarding Resolution 91: Proposed zoning change before the City Planning Committee for the 11-acre property at 1011 2nd Avenue in Lansingburgh. I am writing to urge Troy City Council to NOT rezone 1011 2ndAvenue. This is a wooded area along the Hudson River with much environmental and historical significance. I urge the City Council to not participate in the handing over of this parcel of land to a developer for the housing project proposal. The worth of this land is so much more than this proposal. There are other areas of the city that could be developed in such a way. I urge you to stand with the members of the Schaghticoke First Nations and concerned residents of the city to not allow this project to move forward.

The second is Ordinance 69. The city of Troy has paid out SO MUCH of taxpayer money in settlements to former Troy PD Officer Dominic Comitale. I find it insulting that the city is contemplating an additional payout to this officer whose career with the Troy PD was mired with misconduct, with violence, with abuse of his position. I find it irresponsible of the City of Troy to consider budget cuts to the city in the time of Covid-19 while continuing to find pockets of money to send to a person who should have been fired long ago.

Please do what is right in these two cases.

Thank you,
Angela Beallor
Troy, NY

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Please vote NO tonight on the rezoning of 1011 2nd Ave in Troy. This is historic land that would better serve the community as a public park and cultural center. Be on the right side of history by protecting sacred land of the Native people of this area. Thank you for investing in our community!

Sincerely, Brooke Degener

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Dear Ms. Drogan and all the members of the City Council,

I am writing to register my objection to the proposed zoning change for development of land at 1011 2nd Avenue in Troy. This land is a precious piece of riverfront forest with cultural significance to the Mohican people. There is absolutely no argument that can be made to support its development. As a long time resident of Troy, I ask you to please take seriously the wishes of your constituents to preserve this unique property.


Donna Simms Balsam Ave. Troy, NY 12180

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Dear Anasha:
(and any other council members willing to listen)

I understand that my letter may not be read at the virtual meeting, but nonetheless, I am writing to add my voice to the chorus of opposition to the senseless development of land just north of Hannaford in Lansingburgh. In case some of the the reasons that should justify your opposition need to be reiterated:

1) This is some little remaining forest on the banks of the Hudson. We need more trees, not fewer.
2) This land has archeological significance to at least one indigenous tribe that is still active in the area.

3) There is a glut of housing in Troy… new housing going up everywhere you look and much property in need of reclamation and re-development. Demolishing forest to make another ugly complex is bad planning.

4) There is a vacant plaza (formerly Price Chopper) 1/4 mile away that could be used by this developer if that was some deal that could be worked out.

Furthermore, I find it disturbing that the council has not allowed voices of native people affected by this decision to be heard in the lead up to this decision. We are living on stolen land, after all. I understand that the law protects the rights of all residents, but particularly in these times when the importance of black, brown, and indigineous lives are so much in the forefront of our collective mind, it seems particularly foul to exclude these voices from the dialogue as they would provide an important dimension to the situation. Disallowing these voices to be heard is a move that really reinforces some of

the ugliness that has come to light with respect to the historical and ongoing police treatment of people of color as well as the ongoing coverup of the Thevenin murder, and now the disgusting Comitale settlement. This is Troy – the place where developers steamroll the people and get sweet tax deals while the police murder and beat up black folks. We/YOU can do better. Please vote accordingly.

Thank you for reading.

Andrew Lynn 9th Street

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

I am writing today to let you know that I am opposed to the proposed development of 1011 2nd Ave currently pursued by Kevin Vandenburgh.

Not only should we not be developing this land, we should be treating it with a deep respect and reverence. It is a site of historical and cultural significance to its original custodians, the Schaghticoke First Nations as well as the Muncee and Lenape Nations, as well as the last 10 acres of forest on the Hudson River in the City of Troy.

I visited this site for the first time recently and was awestruck by the beauty of this peaceful oasis, and dumbfounded that both the developers and the city of Troy do not recognize the inherent value of this parcel of land. This entire neighborhood is a quiet and lovely spot and erecting an apartment complex there would increase noise, traffic, and pollution.

Please weigh your other options. You don’t have to destroy the last untouched waterfront forest in the City of Troy.

Listen to those that care, be creative and imaginative, work with the people not against them. This would make our city great.

Jennifer Bartels 2nd St., Troy

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Dear City Council President Carmella Mantello, Dear Members of the City Council,

We request that the following statement also be entered into the meetings for the meeting on September 10th.

We are writing you regarding the posted rule that members of the public may only speak upon registering prior to city council meetings, and that only residents of the city of Troy may speak at said meeting.

We are reaching out to you, as we are concerned about this rule for several reasons.

First, we are concerned that this will prevent indigenous leaders from speaking.

The indigenous community has ties to the land in Lansingburgh, which is on the agenda for consideration in RES 91, from speaking.

This is outrageous as, as Planning Committee Chair Anasha Cummings rightfully pointed out in the meeting on August 27th, the indigenous peoples were “here first”. In fact, the land in question itself contains artifacts dating back to 1500-3000 BC, making this site National Register Eligible.

Second, it will prevent the City Council from hearing critical information provided by fact witnesses and experts regarding certain agenda items.

Third, restricting the opportunity to speak, and assigning different rules for different members of the public, is in direct conflict with the Open Meetings Law

This has been clearly stated in numerous public opinions issued by the New York Department of State Committee of Open Government, including in a communication from February 24, 2006, stating:

“While public bodies have the right to adopt rules to govern their own proceedings [see e.g., Education

Law, §1709(1)], the courts have found in a variety of contexts that such rules must be reasonable. For

example, although a board of education may “adopt by laws and rules for its government and

operations”, in a case in which a board’s rules prohibited the use of tape recorders at its meetings, the

Appellate Division found that the rule was unreasonable, stating that the authority to adopt rules “is not

unbridled” and that “unreasonable rules will not be sanctioned” [see Mitchell v. Garden City Union Free

School District, 113 AD 2d 924, 925 (1985)]. Similarly, if by rule, a public body chose to permit certain

citizens to address it for ten minutes while permitting others to address it for three, or not at all, such

a rule, in my view, would be unreasonable.

This opinion has been reaffirmed repeatedly in commission opinions, including from February 27, 1997, stating:

“In short, it is my view that any member of the public has an equal opportunity to partake in an open

meeting, and that an effort to distinguish among attendees by residence or any other qualifier would be

inconsistent with the Open Meetings Law and, therefore, unreasonable. Moreover, as suggested in the

opinion addressed to Mr. Fishberg, people other than residents, particularly those who own property or

operate businesses in a community, may have a substantial interest in attending and expressing their

views at meetings of boards of education and other public bodies. Prohibiting those people from

speaking, even though they may have a significant tax burden, while permitting residents to do so,

would, in my view, be unjustifiable.

We therefore urge you to revise the rule for this and any further meeting of a City of Troy public body,

ensuring that participation rules are consistent with the Open Meetings Law, by ensuring that

participation in public meetings is possible for every member of the public.

With sincere greetings,

The Friends Of the Mahicantuck Troy Community Organization

SOURCE : 09.10.20 Troy City Council Minutes

Troy City Council
433 River Street
Troy, NY 12180

Dear Hon. Sirs/Madams,

Re: September 10, 2020 Hearing
Ordinance Authorizing Amendment – Parcel No. 70.64-1-1 Spot Zoning
Our File No.: 7754.19332

I represent the Friends of the Mahicantuck and the Schaghticoke First Nations.
I am writing to respectfully request that this letter — as well as a prior letter that my office submitted on behalf of my clients to the Planning Committee — be added to the meeting minutes and be considered in consideration for the Resolution Referring Lansingburgh Zoning Change Request To Planning Commission for Review and Recommendation that is being heard before the Council on September 10, 2020. The prior letter referenced above is attached hereto as Addendum A. Ultimately, this letter and Addendum A are being submitted in opposition to the Ordinance Authorizing Amendment of the City of Troy Zoning Map Established by the Troy Code Section 285-49 (A) to Rezone Tax Map Parcel Number 70.64-1-1 on 2nd Avenue in North Troy (the “proposed rezoning”).

This letter is being submitted in addition to and to supplement Addendum A.
In particular, this letter addresses comments from the City’s Commissioner of Planning & Economic Development, Mr. Strichman, at the Planning Commission‘s hearing on August 27, 2020. As discussed in Addendum A, the rule prohibiting spot zoning is well established under New York common law. E.g., Matter of Yellow Lantern Kampground v. Cortlandville, 279 A.D.2d 6, 9, 716 N.Y.S.2d 786, 789 (3d Dept. 2000). With respect to section 81-f of the
N.Y. General City Law, that statute neither specifically addresses spot zoning nor does it authorize the designation of an area as a planned development area in a manner that violates the rule against spot zoning. N.Y. Gen. City Law § 81-f (McKinney’s 2020). Instead, that statute

Buffalo |Rochester |Williamsville |Ellicottville | Jamestown


Troy City Council

September 9, 2020 Page 2

authorizes such a designation only if it is consistent with a city’s comprehensive plan, which actually is consistent with the rule prohibiting spot zoning. Id.1

Furthermore, statutes — such as section 81-f — will only be applied to supersede or abrogate common-law rules — such as the rule prohibiting spot zoning — when the statutory language is specific that the legislature intends to abrogate the common-law rule. Hechter v. New York Life Ins. Co., 46 N.Y.2d 34, 39, 412 N.Y.S.2d 812, 815 (1978) (“it is a general rule of statutory construction that a clear and specific legislative intent is required to override the common law”); People v. King, 61 N.Y.2d 550, 555, 475 N.Y.S.2d 260, 262 (1984) (“if the terms of a statute are subject to two interpretations, that which most comports with the common law should be adopted”). In other words, if section 81-f is to be interpreted to overrule the rule against spot zoning with respect to planned development designations, the statutory language needs to specifically and unambiguously state so. See id. However, section 81-f includes no such language, but, instead, actually further reinforces and applies the rule against spot zoning to planned development designations by requiring that any such designation be consistent with the comprehensive plan. N.Y. Gen. City Law § 81-f.2

Therefore, since section 81-f does not specifically address spot zoning and does not provide any indication that it was intended to abrogate or in any way effect the long-standing common law prohibition against spot zoning, that statute does not protect the proposed ordinance from being invalidated on the basis of spot zoning. Moreover, even assuming, arguendo, that section 81-f did somehow abrogate the common-law rule against spot zoning, that statue still requires that any designation of an area as a planned development area be consistent with the Realize Troy Comprehensive Plan (May 2018) (the “Comprehensive Plan” or the “Plan”). Indeed, for the reasons discussed at length in Addendum A and as supported by the overwhelming wealth of evidence that presently is in the record on this matter, the proposed

1 From a more practical perspective, since section 81-f requires that any re-designation be consistent with the applicable comprehensive plan and since a determinative factor for spot zoning likewise is consistency with the comprehensive plan, any argument that section 81-f abrogates or even impedes the rule against spot zoning is circular and meaningless at best.
N.Y. Gen. City Law § 81-f; Matter of Yellow Lantern Kampground, 279 A.D.2d at 9-10 (quoting Matter of Save Our Forest Coalition v. City of Kingston, 246 A.D.2d 217, 221, 675 N.Y.S.2d 451 (3d Dept. 1998)).

2 During the Planning Committee’s public hearing on August 27, 2020, Mr. Strichman stated that there were several cases supporting that section 81-f made the rule against spot zoning inapplicable to planned development re-designations. However, based on citation research for section 81-f through Westlaw’s “KeyCite,” not a single reported case in New York has ever cited or analyzed that statute. I would welcome Mr. Strichman to provide this office with copies of the cases that he was referencing or citations to the same, as well as welcoming any opinion letter from the City’s legal counsel. Indeed, a free and open debate on the legality of the proposed rezoning would be healthy and beneficial.


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September 9, 2020 Page 3

rezoning would constitute impermissible spot zoning and would violate section 81-f because it, in fact, is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

Furthermore, in addition to being highly inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan, the proposed rezoning also is inconsistent with the City’s own local law for “P Planned Development” districts. See Code of the City of Troy, New York, Art. IV, § 285-57 (available at (last visited Sept. 8, 2020) (the “City Code”). Specifically, the proposed rezoning is inconsistent with the City Code in the following respects:

  •   Residential density is “[n]ot to exceed eight units per acre” under § 285-57(D) of the City Code, but the proposed project would consist of approximately 25 units per acre — more than three times what is permitted under the City Code (Project Narrative for Second Avenue at 2 (Aug. 19, 2020) (“Project Narrative”)).

  •   The “[m]aximum building height” allowed under § 285-57(E)(3)(f) of the City Code is 40 feet, but the proposed project would entail several structures of approximately 60 feet in height (Project Narrative at 2).

  •   “To the extent feasible, at least 10% of the total number of dwellings within this District should be in single-family detached structures” under § 285-57(H)(1) of the City Code, but the proposed project would not entail any single-family structures (see Project Narrative at 2).

  •   “Building height, size and design shall be appropriate to the location within the district where proposed” under § 285-57(H)(2) of the City Code, but the proposed project would entail large, three-to-four story, 60-foot-high, multi-family structures in a location that is currently undeveloped open space that is surrounded by single-family residences (Project Narrative at 2).

  •   “Landscaped open spaces or open areas left in their natural state should be provided at a ratio of not less than 1,000 square feet of open space for every dwelling unit” under
    § 285-57(H)(4) of the City Code, but it is highly unlikely that a 240-unit project with all of the attendant amenities, utilities, et cetera would be able to achieve this required ratio (see Troy Second Ave. Concept Plan C-2 (Aug. 2020) (“Concept Plan”)).

  •   “Where feasible, natural features such as streams, rocks, outcrops, topsoil, trees and shrubs shall be preserved and incorporated in the landscape of the development” under
    § 285-57(H)(6) of the City Code, but the proposed project would unnecessarily eviscerate many of these features (compare Troy Second Ave. Existing Conditions C-1 (Aug. 2020) (“Existing Conditions Map”) with Concept Plan).

    Even more concerning, however, is that the Project Narrative utterly fails to address these obvious concerns, and, in fact, it highlights them. While the developer most likely is unwilling to incur the costs of addressing these concerns without a rezoning first, catering to a developer’s interests in such a manner, at best, is highly irresponsible. A change in local law should not even be considered without thoroughly addressing the consequences of the change, especially here


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given the environmental and cultural significance of the property at issue. Put simply, the Council’s approach to legislation should not be “legislate first, ask questions later,” regardless of how inconvenient it is to developers.

For the reasons discussed above and those discussed at length in Addendum A, it isrespectfullysubmittedthattheproposedrezoningwouldconstitutespotzoning. Section81-f of the General City Law has absolutely no effect on whether the proposed rezoning would be impermissible spot zoning. Indeed, section 81-f requires any re-designation to be consistent with a comprehensive plan, which is a key factor in the spot-zoning analysis. Again, the proposed rezoning is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and there has been no meaningful, non- superficial submission or argument to the contrary. Thank you in advance for your courteous consideration of this submission.


Phillip A. Oswald

cc: Mr. Steven Strichman {via electronic mail –} Commissioner of Planning & Economic Development
City of Troy, Planning Department

Ms. Carmella Mantello {via electronic mail –} President
Troy City Council