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Niskayuna Planning Board moves forward with Holocaust Memorial

March 26, 2018 11:33 PM

There was mixed emotions at the Niskayuna Planning Board meeting Monday night. The board was voting on a resolution to make a recommendation to the Niskayuna Town Board about a special use permit for a Holocaust memorial on Route 7. 

It would use some of the land from Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery.

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The Planning Board voted to give a positive recommendation to the Niskayuna Town Board for the special use permit.

"Bottom line, it's an educational memorial,” said Developer Dr. Michael Lozman, who is an orthodontist in the area. "This is not a replica of a concentration camp, this is not drive by and seeing Auschwitz, this is all symbolism."

But some Niskayuna residents at Monday night’s meeting said they dodn't want to have drive by the site every day and be reminded of horrible times in history. Others expressed excitement for the site, and its possibility to be a teaching tool.

Lozman said the memorial site would have three aspects. A railroad car to symbolize how people were taken to concentration camps, railroad tracks, and a 20 foot high wall to symbolically represent the gas chambers that killed many people at concentration camps.

“We’re going to have an evergreen barrier so you're not really going to see this from the road and you're not going to see it from the adjacent homes," said Lozman.

But one resident who would live across the street from the memorial disagrees.

“Imagine looking at it every day whether they say it’s going to be covered or not,” said Resident Bob DiSarro.

Another big concern from residents Monday night was the traffic the memorial could bring to Route 7. Developers at the meeting said a study showed people wouldn't’t notice a difference.

“The traffic study they're using is from 2015,” said DiSarro. “Since then they’ve added Albany Medical Urgent Care and Latham Galleria.”

But Lozman said he’s happy with the Planning Board’s decision to move forward.

“It says a lot about the community that it's in,” added Lozman. “It shows it's a caring community and we really need to fast forward into the future."

Even though the Planning Board made a positive recommendation for the special use permit for the memorial, the Niskayuna Town Board will now have to schedule a public hearing on the matter before it can even vote on the special use permit.

Credits

Emily De Vito

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