Grassroots groups trying to put brakes on development projects in Guilderland

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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The fight against a proposed Costco and development of a large apartment complex in the Town of Guilderland is still on.

“It’s gonna cause environmental problems; it’s going to cause traffic problems.”

Steve Wickham is talking about a proposed Costco and gas station at the intersection of Western Avenue and Rapp Roads and a 222-unit apartment complex on a wooded parcel along Rapp Road.

“So you are dramatically increasing the density, and we already have traffic problems.”

Wickham is with the Guilderland Coalition For Responsible Growth. Beyond congestion issues, he’s worried about the environmental impact in the nearby Pine Bush, which is home to unique species like the Karner Blue Butterfly.

The company behind both large scale project is Pyramid, which owns Crossgates Mall. The Syracuse-based company has been quietly buying up adjacent parcels of land, including building a new hotel on Western Avenue and gobbling up a nearby neighborhood, which now resembles a ghost town.

Town Supervisor Peter Barber says the projects fit into Guilderland’s transit plan, which, in part, diverts traffic off of Western Avenue and onto the road that circles the mall, leading motorists onto the Northway.

“The key is putting them in the best locations,” he added.

But final approval of the apartment complex and Costco are a ways off.

“And that’s because we are waiting for a more comprehensive environmental review to be completed,” said Barber.

But Wickham and others feel that review will be slanted in favor of Pyramid, so they created an informational video and set up their own GoFundMe page to pay for their own study.

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