Opponents Of Saratoga Hospital Expansion Launch Website

The opponents of the Saratoga Hospital expansion have created a website with background information and coming events.  Readers interested in their campaign can find the site here   

4 thoughts on “Opponents Of Saratoga Hospital Expansion Launch Website”

  1. Time to move?

    Reminds me of an old story told to me years ago about relatives trying to stop the expansion of Idlewild Airport in Queens. They got a great deal on some property in a wonderfully new, upscale development in Ozone Park (I think…or was it Springfield Gardens?–hmmm).

    Anyways–Old Dad said; “They knew they were by the airport, what did they expect?”
    Well, progress only goes one way (usually speaking). Dad said they got what they deserved (wise guys).

    That was the 1950’s.
    Today? You can guess the outcome.

    Idlewild is now JFK International Airport.

    Saratoga Hospital is poised on being the greatest, professional medical arts institution in the Northeast. Just ask Mollie Wilmot (lol) and Mary Lou.

    We can see it now: “SARATOGA UNIVERSITY TEACHING & RESEARCH HOSPITAL.”
    Hey, it’s plausible. (lol)

    Fight the good fight, people!

    -JC

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  2. I have been following this issue since the beginning back to when I was still working in City Hall and it was not appropriate for me to speak publically. Now, that is no longer the case. I have one huge bit of confusion. Just what is the real reason these neighbors are against this particular expansion?

    When this proposal was first brought in front of the City Council, what I heard (over and over) was concerns regarding light pollution, noise pollution, traffic and concerns for those who walk in the area. Now, they are saying that they want it to be developed as residential. That seems directly in contrast to the initial concerns as building apartments, houses or townhomes there would surely contribute to light pollutions, noise pollution, and absolutely TRAFFIC. Instead of having the property developed in a small section – as the hospital has proposed while keeping the rest of the properly forever wild – they would likely have the entire property developed. So, instead of cars coming to an office building between 8:00a and 5:00p, Monday – Friday, they would have them 24/7. Each home would likely have anywhere from 1-3 cars per home. They would come and go at all times of the day. Oh, and perhaps a few motorcycles that would be louder than those pesky helicopters one of the neighbors complained about initially. Of course, if the people in those homes have children you will have school buses. And, don’t forget those noisy trash collectors coming just about every day. So, there you would have increased both traffic and noise.

    While the hospital proposed lighting that would dim each evening and be downlite, they would have streetlights – lots of streetlights throughout the entire piece of property – not just one section.

    So now when I go to meetings, I don’t hear all these concerns that were so critical a few years ago. Now that the legal issue is not about a zoning change but an adjustment to meet the already voted upon Comprehensive Plan, the concerns are all about residential VS Industrial.

    So, as I started this, my question is, what is the real issue other than “We need to have our way and we’ll change the conversation to be right!” Facts be damned!

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  3. Gayle you heartless ….

    It seems that zoning becomes an issue when people feel threatened by a project near them or when they entertain one of their own. I wonder if most people have attempted to navigate through the zoning ordinance before getting involved in an organized opposition? This discussion has many threads, yet this land was never promised to its adjacent owners that it would remain as such through eternity. I have to wonder what the land was zoned beneath Birch Run and Park Place years ago when those neighbors in their rural residential neighborhood just to the east must have wondered about the impacts of the then proposed density from all of the condos and later the apartments (which were challenged by the condos), not to mention all of the traffic, the noise, the loss of their long view and the deer, opossums and raccoons. Seriously, the proposed building is sited in the furthest corner of the site and will be buffered from the nearest apartments and condos by plantings, so that the point of view will not be like the image of One West Avenue that practically has you looking up its nostrils.

    As residential, the parcel never attracted much attention and most likely if it had been subdivided and developed as such, the quiet of the night would be disturbed by the lights of residences, the sounds of their music, their cars, their pool parties with their surrounding barriers and that wild long view would be just a memory. Imagine if the city chose to rezone this parcel the same as that of the current dense Suburban Residential zone that comprises of Birch Run, Park Place and the other adjacent garden apartment complex? Would the opposition be as great, or greater?

    I’ve walked this property and have to imagine what this proposed building would like from the perimeter of its boundaries. A useful tool in this discussion may be for the consultant to provide perspectives from vantage points at the ground and at a second story level across this site with its proposed planting (of large caliper specimens) in order to quiet the clamber that is being generated so far. I think clear minds will resolve the issues and maybe the next developers will choose not to build to their boundaries (or on the golf course) assuring their residents a buffer which they always maintain and control – but that hardly ever happens.

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  4. I’m always reminded of the Regatta View resident who appeared before the Planning Board to oppose the construction of the Saratoga Springs Rowing Association’s boat house, because according to him, it would increase the activity on Fish Creek with events such as regattas. The irony was not missed by most in the gallery that night. The perceived intrusion of just one building within the long view of some of the residents within this dense Suburban Residential (SR-2) community bordering this parcel, is not an, “irresponsible change (by the municipality), compromising the quality of life and property values for all residential neighbors”, as referenced in their feedback. For starters, the options for this property could very well be more invasive.

    As stated, when these properties were developed, in order to maximize their return on investment, little thought was given to buffering that landscape which did not come under their control. In contrast to someone who might plant a large tree or a row of cedars on their property as screen planting to control a view and create privacy, the developers of Birch Run and the Townhouses built to their edges and in one case, over the edge – implying to its owners and residents of a forever wild landscape beyond. If these dense residential neighborhoods were concerned about this parcel’s future, shouldn’t they have purchased it to protect their view and their cache, given that the Club property was assured for the most part secure? Unfortunately, a certain degree of responsibility for assuming “forever wild” must be borne by the owners who now claim fowl and irresponsibility.

    Where else in the city does a resident have control over the views across another’s property? When a neighbor removes trees, receives permission to build an addition or accessory structure that might change that vista, or when a municipality develops municipal land. The cry is often to leave the land as green space or build another park even though several may exist within walking distance from the property under discussion or do nothing.

    Furthermore, politicizing and sensationalizing these viewshed issues does little to address the realities of the objective decisions that must be addressed by our officials who are bound by land use, zoning and our Comprehensive Plan. It’s inconceivable that the Golf and Polo Club will change venues or that Sunnyside Gardens will not always be there, yet like the Pitney Farm, there are no guarantees – with private land.

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