What we have our inconsistent messages from City Hall.
On the one hand, the Administration knew about the parkland issue in September of 2007. Corporation Counsel David B. Mitchell told Metroland:
“We knew that back in September when the project first began to surface,” he said, referring to the designation. “This is not an obstacle that is new.”
Despite the 2 acres designation as parkland, the obstacle is not an issue, according to Mitchell:
It has become an issue, he said, because Dunne “and his folks are clear in their intent to try to stop this project.” The administration is aiming to move along the alienation process to swap parkland for this parcel.
How, and more importantly why, Dunne "and his folks" intend to stop the project is unclear. As Mitchell states, this is not a new obstacle. However, the Administration is aiming to move along the alienation process.
In fact, Mitchell agrees that the land is municipal parkland protected by the Public Trust Doctrine:
The issue, on which both Mitchell and OPRHP agree, is that the land is “indeed municipal parkland protected by the Public Trust Doctrine.”
It's good to see that our Corporation Counsel has spoken with the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historical Preservation. According to Carol Ash's (OPRHP Commissioner) letter:
Perhaps too busy with the alienation process to return calls? Maybe not. According to the Times Union:
Troy Corporation Counsel David Mitchell said the city is hoping to move "as expeditiously as possible" to develop the parcel, but will not necessarily commit to the often slow process of seeking legislative approval.
But, according to The Record:
Mitchell explained that the city has anticipated this situation from the beginning and has been in touch with the office of state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno in case the project needed legislative approval.
The Record Editorial of March 4, 2008 notes that the paper contacted the Senator's office and that nothing "has been filed." Rather cryptic.
So, lets sum up:
- Parkland issue known since September of '07
- Not a new obstacle
- Land is municipal parkland subject to the Public Trust Doctrine
- Administration moving expeditiously as possible to develop the land
- City won't commit to alienation process
But the Administration has other ideas as well.
“The Troy Housing Authority donated this property to the city of Troy, to use as a park during the duration of what they called ‘the project,’ ” Mitchell said. “The deed clearly articulated that. . . . The project was the construction of the Kennedy Tower, which has long past been concluded.” The THA board has signaled it would remove that covenant from the deed.
Signaled it would remove the covenant from the deed? Signaled? Forget the fact that won't cut it: Either the Troy Housing Authority will or it won't remove the covenant and if the Troy Housing Authority will do so, does it take three months?
Last but not least is the tortured legal argument set forth by Mr. Mitchell. Apparently, nothing really needs to be done anyway:
“The Troy Housing Authority donated this property to the city of Troy, to use as a park during the duration of what they called ‘the project,’ ” Mitchell said. “The deed clearly articulated that. . . . The project was the construction of the Kennedy Tower, which has long past been concluded.”
The Troy Housing Authority donated to the City a "Construction Park". During the course of construction a park would be available to the citizens. Children and families could stroll over debris, duck while "I" beams swayed overhead and rent bouncy-bounce jackhammers. Bring your own lanyard and don't forget those earplugs.
It's quite obvious that this two acre parcel is a cursed, ancient, Native American burial ground.
Walk to the light, Dave, walk to the light.
Not surprisingly, the developer is not pleased with the delay:
And the longer the issue is not resolved, the more problems there are, said developer Joseph Nicolla of Columbia Development Cos.
"The reason we haven't gone back to the city with any concrete plans is that we're working on this issue," Nicolla said, adding that his original hope was to acquire the land and start building by spring.
"Do I believe it can still get it done this spring? Sure," he said. "Anytime that there are delays I'm always concerned about it."
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