Monday, January 11, 2010

HRDTC Turns Down UAlbany Request for use of Harriman Campus Land

At today's meeting of the Harriman Research and Development Technology Corporation, the Board turned down a request by UAlbany to use 11 acres of Harriman Campus land for the location of its housing project.

According to Peter Wohl, President of HRDTC, the responsibility of the Corporation is to obtain the maximum value of the Harriman Campus land. The UAlbany proposal failed to meet his objectives. The University would receive the land in a transfer between state agencies. There would not be any money from the lease or sale of the land.

Additionally, UAlbany use of the land would not produce additional tax revenues for the City of Albany, nor would it further promote the primary goal of HRDTC to further research and development projects in Albany. For these reasons, Mr. Wohl called for rejection of the UAlbany proposal, and the Board agreed with his recommendation.

As a result, UAlbany's alternate plan for the location of the housing project has been rejected. UAlbany will continue development along the property line along the west side of Tudor Road.

I have two comments about the effects of this decision:

Whether it is UAlbany or HRDTC as the responsible agency, the housing project is slated to proceed, despite the concerns of the Eagle Hill neighborhood, UAlbany's preferences, or the opposition of many of our elected officials. The actions of the board of the HRDTC should be brought to the attention of the public and our elected officials.

Second, UAlbany will continue with the only plan that they have prepared at this point. On Thursday night, there will be a meeting to discuss the Environmental Impact Statement that they have prepared. Please read their report, attend the meeting, if possible, or provide your written comments to UAlbany by January 22nd.

We have been successful in reaching UAlbany, and obtaining some respect, and meaningful changes. Please hold onto hope for a better outcome for Eagle Hill!

Steve Sokal

1 comment:

  1. You are certainly correct that this issue should be brought to the attention of public officials and city politicians. Poorly planned development of this area is a threat to the welfare and quality of life of residents across wide areas of Albany. Albany taxpayers must start demanding more effective representation from elected officials and more cooperation among all the bureaucracies