Ballston Town Hall

Town Board Votes 3-2 for Controversial Water Line

BALLSTON – The Town Board on Tuesday voted 3-2 to proceed with a controversial water line extension into an agricultural district.

Following the vote, during the public comment portion of the meeting, several people complained about the decision to facilitate development of agricultural land. They also urged the board to adopt a moratorium on new developments in the agricultural district, as proposed by Councilman Chuck Curtiss, while the board tries to revise the zoning code. The next zoning workshop meeting will be Saturday March 11 from 8 a.m. to noon.

“There is overwhelming support by the public for a moratorium,” said Kevin Draina. “We need to stop developing in the rural district.”

The 3-2 vote was to approve the “Final Notice of Intent — Agriculture Impact Statement for the proposed petition for extension of water district for Goode Street project.” Voting in favor were Supervisor Tim Szczepaniak, Councilman Bill Goslin and Councilwoman Kelly Stewart, who also all said they opposed Curtiss’ proposed moratorium. Voting against the resolution were Curtiss and Councilman John Antoski.

The board’s position represents a change in policy from a 2004 resolution, and may fall afoul of the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. The issue is also complicated by the opposition of Goslin and others to dense housing developments on the east side of Ballston Lake, while those on Curtiss’ side of the debate are more concerned about protecting farmland in the larger western part of town.

Stewart said after the meeting that the proposed development at Goode Street and Route 50 has already been approved, and that its density would not change because of the provision of public water instead of wells, even though the wells would likely have problems providing an adequate water supply.

In other business, the board adopted a law to settle a lawsuit and amend the Beacon Hill planned unit development district, which is east of Route 50 and south of the Mourning Kill. The changes limit the amount of allowed commercial space and exclude apartments as an allowed use.

Ballston Supervisor Tim Szczepaniak and Eagle Scout Tim Zukas/Ballston Journal

Ballston Supervisor Tim Szczepaniak and Eagle Scout Tim Zukas/Ballston Journal

Tim Zukas, who has been active in improving Jenkins Park, was recognized for becoming an Eagle Scout.

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Reporter Bob Conner has worked 21 years in various positions at the Gazette of Schenectady, and before that four years as a reporter at the Glens Falls Post-Star. He won two first-place writing awards from the New York Associated Press Association for newspapers with circulation between 50,000 and 250,000. Bob has a Phi Beta Kappa bachelor’s degree in journalism from New York University, and an associate’s degree in chemical dependency counseling from HVCC. He is a published author and is currently writing a historical novel about the last four months in the life of Ulysses S.Grant

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