GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The latest legal challenge to halt the proposed development of a Costco near Crossgates Mall will play out Wednesday afternoon. The Appellate Court will hear arguments against the project brought forth by Save the Pine Bush.
“I hope the Third Department will hear us and I hope they’ll give us an opportunity to argue about the environmental issues,” said Lynne Jackson, a volunteer with Save the Pine Bush.
The group is fighting to preserve the region’s pine bush ecosystem, “To bring up our environmental issues on why we believe the pine bush is so important that Costco should not be built,” Jackson explained.
In October, a State Supreme Court judge dismissed their petition, citing a decision made in another case related to the Costco that also brought forward environmental concerns. However, Save the Pine Bush argues the court only ruled on certain issues brought forward in that case, not theirs.
“The residents sued over their issues, which more had to do with zoning and procedure. But our issues have to do with the environmental impact statement, the impact of this development on species, with the importance of preserving the pine bush,” said Jackson.
That case brought forward by neighbors in Westmere initially halted the project. In November 2020, a State Supreme Court justice struck down the project. In a 77-page decision, Justice Peter Lynch stated the proposal violated the State Environmental Quality Review Act, amongst other concerns.
However last July, the Appellate Court reversed that decision. When asked about the project, Guilderland’s Town Supervisor said he believes the applicant is awaiting the appeal, but says Costco is still interested.