It’s Amazon Prime Day, but many homeowners in Schodack say they aren’t shopping — as the proposed Amazon distribution facility is moving forward. Some homeowners are still working to stop the online retailer from moving in.
The Birchwood Association, a group of homeowners in the area near the site, filed an injunction Friday to get the construction stopped while their lawsuit with the developers hangs in the balance.
“What we’ve always wanted from day one is just do the right thing: do the full environmental impact study because you’ve met the criteria, mitigate any concerns, and if it works, it works,” said homeowner Frederick Lanz.
Lanz says he believes the town knows the answer to the environmental impact study, or EIS, and is avoiding doing it because they want growth.
“They want to change the corridor of Route 9, which I understand that,” Lanz said. “We’re all for that, we’re all for smart growth.”
By smart growth, homeowners say they’re interested in something more beneficial, like an executive park with offices or restaurants and shops where people could walk or bike.
Bob Jansing, vice president of the Birchwood Association, says he’s concerned about the facility on top of one of the town’s natural recharge aquifers, because homes near the site are on well water.
“Any incident that happens to contaminate our wells, we’re finished,” Jansing said.
Jansing says Scannell Properties won’t tell them what would be stored on the property or how it could affect the aquifer. Spectrum News reached out to the developer, who issued this statement: “Scannell is unable to comment at this time. We will reach out when we are able to comment.”
But the aquifer isn’t the only concern homeowners have.
“The other concern is about 300 or so trucks a day coming to this facility and additional hundreds of cars for the workers,” Jansing said.
Both Jansing and Lanz say their town officials are doing nothing to back them up or enforce the building permits currently in place.
“Our town supervisor said, ‘If you’re that concerned, hire professionals,’ and we were under the impression that it was their job to protect us,” Jansing said.
Lanz said he trusted Town Supervisor David Harris.
“Supervisor Harris ran his campaign, ‘There will not be any million square-foot warehouse, I’m all against that,’ and then he turns around and says, ‘I’m all for it,’ so where does that leave us as taxpaying residents? He totally turned his back on us,” said Lanz.
Spectrum News reached out to Harris, who says he cannot comment on any pending litigation.
Jansing said the injunction is expected to go into effect in August, if a judge ruled in their favor. Then an EIS would need to be done before construction could start back up.
We told you about a similar, but smaller delivery warehouse proposed in the Village of Colonie, as well as off Central Avenue. Mayor Frank Leak says that’s still on track, but additional traffic impact studies are underway. Leak directed us to planning Commissioner Chris Dennis for more specifics, but Dennis hasn’t returned Spectrum News’ calls.