Concerned citizens in this city of 26,000 people, known for its classic downtown and horseracing tourism, have told City Councilors that a 274,000 s.f. big box retail development on the edge of route 87 is “the wrong horse to bet on”, and are fighting an effort by Widewaters developers of Dewitt, NY to create a new commercial planned unit development on 55 acres of land currently zoned light industrial and urban residential. The proposal includes a 132,000 s.f. Home Depot, and would destroy 24 acres of meadow and woodland, and create substantial traffic leading to the central business district. Over the past 25 years, Saratoga Springs has invested public and private dollars into creating an award-winning downtown district. The developer has admitted that its project does not conform with the city’s master plan, which calls for carefully controlled smaller satellite commercial centers. The developer claims its projectx will create 500 jobs, and destroy 0 jobs. But a Home Depot meeting a $54 million sales level could pull as much as $32 million from the existing business market. In essence, the developer is asking to rewrite the city’s master plan to allow them to reverse the character and financial commitment of the city thus far. The city already has building supply sales per capita twice that of the state of New Yark. Home Depot has a store in nearby Albany, and is planning stores in nearby Latham and North Greenbush, among others.
The Concerned Citizens of Saratoga Springs needs to raise money to continue their public and legal battle. To inquire about how to help, contact the Concerned Citizens at 518-587-3836, or write them at Box 686, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.