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Neighborhood Association looks ahead

September 16, 2011

by Michael Bellizzi

The Pine Hills Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting Thursday night inside the Hanner Cultural Center at LaSalle School in Albany. With approximately 25 people in attendance, the Association discussed several topics throughout the evening’s session; none more so, however, than that of the city’s ongoing Albany 2030 plan, and the current state of public safety in the neighborhood of Pine Hills.

(Michael Bellizzi)

An idea which began three years ago, Albany 2030 is thus the city’s first comprehensive plan in its 300 year history. The vision, as stated in a slideshow presentation by principal planner Sarah Reginelli of the Department of Developmental Planning, is for Albany 2030 to develop “a resilient, sustainable community-based, long-term plan… one that utilizes a series of systems containing policies and actions developed and organized in a manner that allow for implementation based upon interrelationships.”  The plan also guides other decisions such as zoning, economic development, transportation investment, and city policies about subjects like sustainability. Based largely on the public’s input as well, Reginelli emphasized the importance of community engagement as the city’s 2030 plan moves forward.

“If you don’t have the community involved, then the plan really doesn’t work out at all,” she said. “This is an ambitious plan that we are very hopeful towards because we are all committed to its success and we’re going to keep at it.”

Another notable topic of discussion was the current state of public safety in the Pine Hills neighborhood. In the last two weeks of August alone, the Albany police department wrote 107 tickets in the Pine Hills neighborhoods for violations such as drinking in public, littering, and having open containers.  Despite this, Pine Hills Neighborhood Association President Todd Hunsinger is hopeful that the current crackdown on partying will help reduce conflicts in the Pine Hills neighborhood.

“The positive I see is that [the partying] is not being tolerated by the police. I think the plus

(Michael Bellizzi)

side is (students) can’t be careless…hopefully this will save some of them from serious trouble.”

Police have started off this year differently by having stricter enforcement in an effort to catch students breaking the law, especially after the St. Patrick’s Day melee in March of this year.

“That day was undoubtedly a black eye for our community,” Hunsinger said, “but all bruises heal.”

Founded in 1900, The Pine Hills Neighborhood Association is currently the largest neighborhood association in the city of Albany. Their next monthly meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 11th. -30-


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