Friends of Clifton Park Open Space would like to draw public attention to our growing concern about how new development proposals are proceeding in Western Clifton Park. 

Starting in 2000 there was a long and public process involving two, town-wide surveys, an Open Space Planning Committee, and a Generic Environmental Impact Study of the area. That activity resulted in the current zoning which was put in place in 2005. There has been consistently strong support for protecting the natural areas in this part of town.  These measures were meant to reduce development potential residential development from 7,500 homes to a maximum of 2,500 in the study area.

It would appear that these underlying principles are being ignored for recent development projects, including: solar farms, Planned Unit Developments, and through variances approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

The ZBA recently approved variances for two duplex buildings (four residences) on 4.57 acres of buildable space on Route 146A. Such development would normally require 12 acres.   For this parcel, as is today without variances, current zoning would allow a single family residence to be built.  Just as anomalous, projects such as this one are normally presented to the Planning Board first, and then referred to the ZBA, if necessary.   That normal process was by-passed here.

This action is a recent example of the erosion of the hard fought and publically conceived protections established over the last two decades to preserve Western Clifton Park’s open space, agriculture and wildlife habitat.  Please join us in continuing to support these principles.

Susan Burton,

Vice President Friends of Clifton Park Open Space

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