Town approves parking lot for Stuyvesant Plaza despite objections

GUILDERLAND – Stuyvesant Plaza, last week, got approval from the town to add a parking lot with 26 spaces behind T.G.I. Friday’s, despite protests from the McKownville Improvement Association.

The McKownville Reservoir Park, nearly five acres of green space behind the plaza and adjacent to Western Avenue, will lose half of an acre to the new parking lot.

“Taking away a large piece of the park is bothersome,” said Don Reeb, president of the McKownville Improvement Association. “It is a terrible hardship for McKownville.”

“It actually isn’t parkland,” said Janet Kaplan, vice president of real estate for Stuyvesant Plaza. “We have an easement from the town.”

The town approved a project to improve stormwater drainage and build the reservoir park in 2009, to help alleviate flooding issues on Western Avenue, near the plaza. The project, in addition to replacing drainage pipes, turned the former McKownville Reservoir into a pocket park, by adding trails around the small pond, benches, and picnic tables.

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 The village board is set to make a decision on the application at the public hearing scheduled for Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the village hall.

Jean Cataldo, the town clerk, who is also a Democrat, said there is a minimum requirement of 10 posted notifications for a caucus.

Rather than closing a school to solve the problem of empty classrooms, the Guilderland School Board will pursue filling the space with pre-kindergarten programs.