Our Land Use Committee doesn’t hold splashy events like the recent Pollinator Palooza, but we work every day to support development policies that reduce environmental impacts and make our community more livable for everyone. Here are two of the issues we’re working on right now. If you’d like to help with these and similar efforts, please email info@sustainablesaratoga.org.

Trucks Rumbling through Downtown Saratoga Springs Residential and Business Districts

Saratoga Springs enjoys several key features of a sustainable city, including a strong, diverse, and resilient economy and a compact, walkable downtown with a relatively dense mix of retail, commercial, and residential uses. However, in all seasons, trucks of every size drive along several state highways through residential neighborhoods and converge on Broadway, the city’s award-winning main street.

Trucks clog Broadway in Saratoga Springs NY

For years, business owners and residents repeatedly have raised concerns about the impacts of downtown truck traffic, such as noise, congestion, safety hazards, reduced business income, and lower property values. In recent months, members of the Van Dam Church Neighborhood Association have articulated their experiences enduring heavy truck traffic in their neighborhood. In addition, the possibility of creating a truck bypass on state land in or near the city’s State Park has resurfaced, an idea that concerns Sustainable Saratoga on several levels. Sustainable Saratoga believes that the time has come to finally address this difficult issue, and that the City should work with the community, using a methodical, data-driven, and transparent process, to find sustainable and publicly acceptable solutions.

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Creating More Affordable & Diverse Housing in Saratoga Springs while preserving “The City in the Country”

It is expensive to live in Saratoga Springs. This is the downside of the decades-long success story that transformed a down-and-out community in the 1960s and 1970s into the thriving city we love today. We are the envy of similarly sized cities all over New York and throughout the northeast, but it is still increasingly difficult for people of low and moderate means to afford to live here and to find the type of housing to fit their needs. We have an affordable housing problem, and some are suggesting that we abandon the “City in the Country” concept–the bedrock principle of our Comprehensive Plan–to solve it.

Sustainable Saratoga urges that we not abandon the thing that makes Saratoga Springs special with quick-fix solutions that will not work. Rather, we need to tackle the hard work laid out in the 2015 Comprehensive Plan to make our community more affordable for its citizens. We do not need to reinvent the wheel–but we do need to take action.

In recent years, cities across the country have adopted a variety of broader and more comprehensive measures to address their affordability challenges, some of which could work in our city.

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Learn more about on the Land Use Committee page