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History Still Stands

February 14, 2013

by Seaneeba Thompson

ALBANY–The Board of Zoning and Appeals Wednesday denied a proposal for a commercial building proposed by Biernacki Property Management at 8 Rapp Road.

Mike Biernacki, bought 8 Rapp Road for $72,000 last year. He tore down the house on that property and wants to build office space there for he and a friend. “We’re just trying to clean up the area” said Biernacki.

8 Rapp Road in Albany/Board of Zoning Appeals

Biernacki requested permission to start his construction, however several members from the Rapp Road community objected to the proposal at the zoning baord meeting. “It will change the face of our community,” said Beverly Bardequez a member of the Rapp Road community. A number of individuals said that a commercial property would change the historic qualities of the neighborhood.

“We were never consulted when I realized something was up there were surveyors walking up and down on my property,” said Bardequez.

During the zoning board meeting the community members went into great detail about the history of Rapp Road. The building that was torn down was used by the women in the community as a space for prayer at night.

Mary Ferguson said her grandmother was one of the first settlers on Rapp Road and also “the first black women bus driver—school bus driver for that area because the school district didn’t provide buses in that area.”

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Site Plan Denied for 8 Rapp Road

Although Biernacki had permission to tear down the old house that once stood at 8 Rapp Road he was denied permission to begin his new construction of his office space, leaving him to have to go back to the drawing board and come up with new ideas that will fit with the community.

“We’re going to get together with Beverly and her group and talk it out and see what we can come up with” said Biernacki. -30-

Rapp Road Board of Zoning Application

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