Dear [Common Council Member],

I write to ask you to oppose Resolution Number 56.72.19R, which seeks to oppose sustainable development in Albany. This resolution is nothing short of a statement that the City of Albany does not keep its word to those who wish to invest in making our city a better place. The City recently revised its zoning laws to allow for mixed-use, gentle density along the major thoroughfares in our neighborhood centers, and this review included an exhaustive environmental impact study. There was significant public input during this process.

Now, in an abrupt reaction, some of our neighbors are calling for the City to go back on its word—to tell investors that we didn’t really mean it when we rezoned the city and told developers that our neighborhood centers along busy thoroughfares should be vibrant places. The proponents of this resolution have used every NIMBY trick in the book to oppose rental construction projects when they are located near them. Worst of all, they are using gamesmanship to advance this anti-neighbor agenda: they are attempting to misconstrue the law by adding up the number of units in two projects, over a mile apart from each other, to claim that they are one development for purposes of SEQR. Not only is this incorrect, but it would open the city up to needless litigation.

Please, do not allow this resolution to brand Albany as anti-investment and opposed to having new residents. The simple fact is that Albany needs more people to be financially viable. Over 160 people signed this petition, which sets out a compelling case to oppose the goals of Stop the Stories:

Throwing up yards of red tape with no legal basis will only deter any future improvements to our city, force the rest of us to continue paying high property taxes, and thrust our city into unnecessary litigation. Developing our city’s neighborhood centers into vibrant communities that contribute significantly to our tax base is not only desirable to the future residents who will revitalize our city—it is also an economic imperative to keep our city’s finances stable.

Please vote against the Red Tape Resolution. Support the goals of Albany 2030. Don’t turn back the clock. Albany cannot afford it.

Thank you,