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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another Oak Hill?

We are told the Planning Board meeting Monday included the "fast tracking" of a so called senior citizen project near the RT's 4 & 43 intersection. This is the land that was recently rezoned to a senior citizen status at a recent town board meeting.

On the surface the Planning Board actions would appear routine. But the comments of the developers and their attorney that evening should raise concerns. One Planning Board member, aware of this developers track record at the Oak Hill apartments, asked whether they could guarantee that they would not come back to the town to reverse the rezoning to permit the units to be occupied by non seniors, ie families with children. The developer would offer no reassurances.

Obviously, the last thing either the town board or planning board would have or should have approved is another apartment complex like Oak Hill, especially one at that busy, and getting busier, intersection. Families with children at this intersection is a recipe for danger given the serious accidents that have occurred here over the last decade. But the developer knew such a project would never be approved by the town or the public had it been presented as a non senior development. Hence, the developer presented the proposal in a manor that would bring acceptance in the initial approval process. The Senior Citizen status prevents that as long as the town does not agree to rezone the property in the future.

The project also rips off taxpayers at both the local and school tax level because they intend to seek an IDA Pilot agreement from the RCIDA. The agreements deprive local government of the normal property tax rates over a graduating scale of 10 years to full assessment. Schools would be hit even harder, as in Oak Hill, if children were residing at the development.

So lets watch and see what happens over time, because all we can do is hope that a bait and switch maneuver will not occur down the road.

Fallout from Judicial Appointment for Endorsements Continues

Republicans are smarting from the disclosures that members of their local committee told Conservative town board members seeking the GOP endorsement to run this year that they had better vote for their party nominee to fill a vacant judgeship or they themselves, will not receive the Republican endorsement.

We have been informed that an audio tape of one such conversation with a GOP Committeeman was made using a cell phone and that the conversation was directed at Councilman Lou Desso who needs the GOP endorsement next month to run for County Legislature. When informed of the tape, we suggested that it be turned over to the Albany Office of the FBI since it is a violation of Federal and State Law to seek an official act in exchange for something of value, including a political party endorsement. It's often referred to as the Hobb's Act and the Feds have a perfect record in prosecuting those charged under its provisions.

We'd love to make that tape public here on the Pipeline Radio Channel so email us a copy before you put it in the mail. We'll see a great dealing of squirming with that tape!

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