The Schenectady Heritage Foundation [SHF] has submitted comments to the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority (Metroplex) concerning the Environmental Impact Statement that Metroplex is reviewing for the development of Mohawk Harbor. Unlike the original draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement, the draft Supplemental EIS includes an amended development plan that takes into account the proposed Schenectady casino. Dated September 21, 2014 the SHF Comment to Metroplex focuses on the “potential negative impacts on the preservation of the Stockade Historic District. These concerns are flooding, traffic and quality of life.”
The Foundation’s mission “is to foster historic preservation in Schenectady County.” Its concise and thoughtful letter makes three major points about preserving the important and unique Stockade Historic District:
- “No aspect of the Development can be allowed to exacerbate flooding in the Stockade Historic District.”
- “Traffic generated by the Development – with or without a casino – must be directed away from the residential Stockade Historic District.”
- “The quality of life in the Stockade must be protected and improved for it to continue as a historic district, and for it to thrive as the City’s premier urban neighborhood.”
More specifically, the Comment asserts that:
Ever-increasing vehicular traffic over the centuries has taken a toll on the irreplaceable historic architecture in the Stockade. Volume, noise, fumes and vibrations already cause damage to the fragile plaster walls, leaded glass windows, original stone and brick work, and slate sidewalks in the historic district.
The Foundation Comment also states that increased traffic would reduce safety in the City’s “most walkable urban neighborhood”, creating a safety hazard for pedestrians and limiting emergency vehicle access. In addition, to help assure the quality of life in the Stockade, the New Urbanism concepts endorsed by the City of Schenectady’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan should be “required in the Design of the Development.”
Note: Point Two of our STATEMENT in OPPOSITION to the Schenectady Casino [at pages 3-8] explains why the risk of damage to the Stockade Historic District and its residential quality (mainly due to a likely increase in crime and a significant increase in traffic) is too great to allow a casino to be located nearby. The Statement also addresses four other significant reasons to oppose the Schenectady Casino.
p.s. On another subject: Click here to see the “tunnels”, also called pipe chases and utility corridors found under ALCO Building 332 while demolishing its foundation.