Save the Pine Bush to protest Pyramid Crossgates development at Planning Board meeting

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Guilderland sign

Hamlet of Guilderland sign in 2007. (Doug Kerr / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Environmental activists are planning a protest in opposition to the proposed Pyramid development by Crossgates Mall.

The Guilderland Town Planning Board is holding a virtual meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, and the activist group Save the Pine Bush anticipates that they will accept an environmental impact statement submitted by the developers. This would give Pyramid the green light to transform the area into parking lots, offices, apartments, a gas station, and the only Costco within about 90 miles.

Save the Pine Bush and concerned neighbors plan to gather at 6:30 pm on Wednesday at Guilderland Town Hall—with strict face covering and social distancing guidelines in place—to express opposition to the planned project with protest signs and banners. They characterize the current environmental impact study as “woefully incomplete.”

Take a look at the Final Environmental Impact Statement draft that’s up for discussion:

“We need to protect our ecosystems right here,” Lynne Jackson from Save the Pine Bush told News10 in February, “and I think that this development by Pyramid Crossgates will have a significant and negative impact on the ability of the Pine Bush to survive.”

Protest organizers describe Wednesday’s meeting as a “surprise”: “Unlike all of the other meetings which have been on the website since January, this July 29 meeting appeared on the Town website just last week, and July 29 is the fifth Wednesday.” The Planning Board holds scheduled meetings on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

For their part, Guilderland’s Planning Department did send notice on July 22 that they would vote on the economic impact statement, which was most recently updated at 10:51 a.m. on Wednesday. Take a look at their notice below, which seems to address the Rapp Road housing projects, with no specific wording on the Costco development:

Proponents of the proposal say there is a lot of community support for a potential Costco in the area, and that the land in question is already zoned for commercial used and has been developed previously.

The lands included in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve are not threatened by any development plans. Rather, much of the Capital Region area is generally considered a unique and native pine bush habitat.

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