Dominick Calsolaro

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Letter sent to Common Council President Shawn Morris:

Published on 12/1/2008

December 1, 2008

Hon. Shawn Morris
Hon. Richard Conti

Attached is a letter from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to Rich Nicholson, Department of Development and Planning, concerning the Council's adoption of the SFEIS for the Tharaldson Development Company's proposed Residence Inn project in the Albany Pine Bush.

I am very upset that we were not given a copy of this letter before allowing the introduction of Resolution No. 86.121.08R "Resolution of the Common Council regarding adoption of a supplemental findings statement in accordance with Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law (SEQRA) and the regulations promulgated thereunder and the zoning ordinance in connection with Tharaldson Development Company's application for rezoning of 124-128R Washington Avenue Extension".

As you will note in the letter, DEC is disturbed that we adopted the previous resolution without input from the DEC. DEC also requests in the attached letter, dated November 25, 2008, that we take no further action on the project until DEC has met with the developer to determine mitigation procedures for the worm snake.

This is the second time that the Council was not informed of a letter from a concerned agency regarding this project that raised critical issues concerning the project (the first time was last year when the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife took the developer to task for failure to investigate the possibility that the site in question may be home to native flora and fauna beyond the Karner Blue butterfly). If it was not for the Albany Pine Bush Commission alerting me to that letter, we never would have known of its existence and it would not have been made a part of the DEIS.

The Council should NOT take any further action on the Tharaldson proposal until ALL involved agencies and interested parties have had the time to review all materials and to sign off on the project!

Please look into the reason(s) why the Council was not given a copy of this letter prior to the introduction of Resolution No. 86.121.08R and please do not allow any action on the newly proposed resolution until DEC has informed us that they are completely satisfied with the developer's proposal.

Thank you.

Dominick Calsolaro
Common Council Member - First Ward