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Abele Builders has recently proposed a 94 unit apartment complex off of Exit 8 in Clifton Park. The proposal was submitted to the town March 5 as a planned unit development in an area zoned for single family homes. The project will need Town Board approval to change the zoning. We are asking members of the Clifton Park community to join us in opposition of this proposal, as there are a number of issues that would arise from it. In addition, we also oppose any proposal that would open up Christinamarie Drive.

1. Traffic - The traffic on Crescent Road at rush hour is already congested. This proposal would add approximately 200 cars coming from John McKenna Way at the traffic light by CVS. This would create an awful bottleneck for people coming from Southbury, Lapp, or further west on Crescent. It would also add additional traffic getting on at Exit 8 in the morning which would slow down the Northway further north even more than it currently is. Abele has claimed that this complex would create a "walkable" living environment for its residents, which is false. There is not a grocery store within walking distance, therefore, this claim is completely misleading. Any proposal that opens up Christinamarie Drive to Crescent Road would also create a traffic issue on Crescent Road, as traffic would divert down this road instead of Southbury. The residents of Christinamarie Drive purchased homes on a dead end street and should not have this taken away from them.

2. Schools - Okte Elementary School is already crowded. Adding additional students from a 94 unit apartment complex would place more strain on the school. This would result in larger class sizes. It could also cause the school district to have to make a large capital expenditure in order to accommodate the larger population, resulting in an increase in school taxes.

3. The land is zoned single family residential - Numerous people purchased a home in this neighborhood under the assumption this would remain a single family home neighborhood. We have not heard and do not believe there is a good reason for this land to be rezoned. Abele is basically asking for the law to be changed so he can profit at the expense of current residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. This would set a dangerous precedent in Clifton Park for any other homeowners that have vacant land near them, as developers could begin asking for rezoning to develop additional apartment complexes.

4. Water/Noise - The land where the apartment complex is proposed has a large amount of wetlands. Developing this land could create water issues in the surrounding neighborhoods. There are multiple waterways that could be disturbed, which could cause basements that are currently dry and useable to become wet. People have invested money to finish their basements knowing they were dry and could now lose both the investment and useable space. Tearing down trees would also cause noise from the Northway to increase in the surrounding neighborhoods. Animal life would also be disturbed and could result in pest issues for surrounding neighborhoods.

5. Property Value - Property values in the surrounding neighborhoods would go down as a result of the factors above, as well as the visual eyesore apartment buildings would be. The lighting, noise, and traffic would be intrusive to the lives of the residents of the neighborhoods around the proposed apartment complex. Also, construction would be invasive to the lives of the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. There are numerous homeowners in these neighborhoods that purchased a home within the last few years with the expectation of living in a mature established community.

6. Abele's History - First, Abele has not approached this openly with residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. Abele approached residents of Christinamarie Drive months ago regarding the proposal, yet did not approach residents of other surrounding neighborhoods. Abele attempted to gain the support of the residents of Christinamarie Drive with the premise that if this proposal was not approved, the Company would have to open up Christinamarie Drive to Crescent Road. The Town Board made clear that they could not foresee any scenario where this would be approved by the Town. It is clear Abele only has the Company's own interest and profit in mind despite the costs it would have on many residents of the Town. Second, Abele already has a poor track record with this particular piece of property. It was made clear in the Planning Board minutes dated July 8, 2003, that Abele "disturbed significantly more protected wetland than was permitted” during construction of Christinamarie Drive. In addition, it was noted that “the violations continued even after the problems were identified and the developers were asked to comply with the approved plan.” This was described as “the most egregious disturbance without explanation that occurred in the Town.” It is clear Abele has a history of not following plans, not communicating with neighboring property owners, and neglecting violations they were clearly aware of. There is no indication that this project would be handled any differently, particularly based on Abele's attempt to gain support from residents of Christinamarie Drive based on the premise their street would be opened up to Crescent Road if this proposal wasn't approved.

In conclusion, we ask for support in opposing this proposal, as it is clear at the end of the day that the only beneficiary of this project would be Abele. We would like to make clear that we oppose ANY rezoning of this land for use other than single family housing and any proposal that would open up Christinamarie Drive. Please sign your full name and include your street address for us to present to the Town Board.

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