Have you been keeping up with the ReZone Albany project? If so, then you’ll want to know that Module 3 will soon be released to the public. Module 3, which is on Administration and procedures, will also feature general provisions of the USDO including references to enabling legislation; procedures, review and decision-making bodies, and review criteria for permits and approvals granted by the City; enforcement and penalties should the USDO be violated; and new definitions applicable to the administration of the USDO.
The public is encouraged to come to one of two meetings to make comments or give suggestions on the draft and to make your voice heard. The meetings are:
On Wednesday, April 27th, two St. Rose graduate students will be talking to business owners in Albany about the Emerald Ash Borer problem that is affecting our trees. These students (pictured below) will be in the area from 2-4pm answering any questions that anyone may have regarding the problem and how the city plans to deal with it.
If you see these guys around, feel free to
stop and ask them questions!
Trees are an important part of the city. They add beauty to the streets we live and work on, provide shade, decrease street noise, absorb stormwater and provide so many more benefits. However, due to the Emerald Ash Borer, many of the Ash trees in our neighborhoods are sick and dying. The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive species of beetle from Asia that was accidentally transported to the United States. From there it has spread, infesting ash trees as it goes. Because it is an invasive species, our native ash trees have no natural defense against this threat, making it impossible to fight off.
This is naturally a problem in our community and steps have been taken to address the issue of this invasive species. Unfortunately this means that the trees that have been infested must be taken down to protect the Ash trees that are not already affected. Protecting the healthy ash trees has become top priority.
Trees infested with the Emerald Ash Borer can cause a lot of problems for humans. Brittle branches can cause an increase in storm damage as well as property damage. There can be a decreased property value as well as having to pay the cost of tree removals or pesticides. Removing infested ash trees is the only way to keep our city beautiful and healthy.
How can you help?
Water, protect, and care for trees outside of your businesses
Keep an eye out on your Ash trees and look for signs of an infestation
The top of the tree appears to be dead but the rest of the tree looks healthy
Always buy firewood at or close to where you plan on burning it
Transporting wood can put other trees at risk and help spread the EAB
Notify the Albany Forester or the DEC of any trees that are or may become hazardous to human or property
“Individuals with concerns about the Forestry Division may call the Department of General Services at 434-CITY, Monday through Friday, between 9:00am and 5:00pm” (City of Albany, 2013).
On Saturday May 14th the city of Albany will lead a two day interactive neighborhood summit that will focus on revitalizing the West Hill and West End neighborhoods. The events will consist of a kick off neighborhood wide “Party in the Park” at Swinburne” Park, Friday may 13th at 5:00pm. The events will also include neighborhood tours, community work & visioning sessions and information from educational institutions as well as community service providers. The community is invited to come and view ides for supporting a local business community, making homes affordable and higher quality, growing transportation connections, creating active public spaces, and linking residents with job opportunities and training.
This kick off event promises to be very fun with games, music, and food, but it could be even better with the participation of local businesses. Anyone who would like to set up a promotional booth at NO COST would be asked to bring a table, a chair to sit in, and your promotional information to pass out about your business. Set up begins at around 4 o’clock that afternoon. We hope you’ll think about setting up a table! Restaurants are encouraged to provide menus, coupons, and maybe an invite to stop into your shop that evening for a special after party meal. If you would like more ideas, or want further information, call the CBID office at 518-462-4300.
The University at Albany is undertaking an enormous new project. The school, which is a well known presence in the area, is planning to establish a College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Schuyler building, which was formerly the Albany High School, will house the college plans are made to renovate the building to make space for new classrooms, office and research spaces, as well as a maker space for innovators from the community to gather and create.
The school expects that many prospective students will want to be part of these new science and technology programs. Due to the school’s international reach more minorities and female students will have a chance to be part of STEM fields where they have so far been underrepresented. As well as new and diverse students, new jobs will be created which will bring more people into the city. This will bring more business to our local communities and more opportunities.
This is especially exciting for the Central Avenue community because it comes on the heels of the preparations to build a STEAM Garden, the location of which will be right down the street from the Schuyler building. The STEAM Garden will be located in what was formerly St. Patrick’s School and will be renovated to create spaces to foster the arts, sciences and math.
This project is designed not only to bring entrepreneurs to the city, but to allow them to interact with the city and the people in it. Start up companies will have space to grow and expand their companies. Artists will have space to exhibit their creations. This is a place that will be centered around the community to enable a creative environment where ideas can come to life and prosper.
The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UAlbany paired with the STEAM Garden will allow the city to expand in a way that will bring economic growth to our city and local businesses. UAlbany expects to be able to interact with the community frequently and with the STEAM Garden not far away, the community will be impacted positively every single day. Together they help the community to thrive and create new markets and generate new and innovate collaborations between the school and the community. Perhaps most importantly, the two will lay down a foundation to provide future generations with the tools they need to succeed.
UAlbany has the full support from those of here at Central BID and we cannot wait to be able to work alongside University at Albany students.
St. Patrick’s Day is nearly upon us! For those of you of Irish descendent, you get to celebrate your long heritage. And for those without Irish blood, you can be Irish for the day! The more the merrier, right?
And of course, no one can forget about the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This year’s parade will take place on March 12th and will begin at 2pm. The parade will begin on Central Avenue and Quail St. and march east on Central to Washington Avenue. From there the parade will march down Washington to State Street and from State Street to Lodge St.
Please be aware of road closings and parking restrictions! For more information check here.
Need some part-time help for the summer? Looking for someone to help out during after school hours? Look no further! We have just the applicant's you’re looking for!
Central Avenue BID and SUNY Albany have teamed up to put together a Work Readiness Program for local students. The program will teach students many important skills for success such as how to write a resume and what to wear for a job interview. At the end of the six week program they will be ready to interview for part-time positions.
If you have a position you can offer one of these deserving students please contact Felix Polanco at (518)462-4300 or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to having you on the team!
ReZone Albany is a two year project that is designed to rewritethe Zoning Code Ordinance that is currently outdated. This rewrite will help support the Albany 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is a design for the future of Albany and aims to create a green sustainable city with a prosperous economy, an excellent education model, vibrant city center and so much more. More information about Albany 2030 can be found here.
The ReZone Albany plan will help the city prepare for a bright future. The current zoning ordinance is in conflict with the course of action the city is preparing to make for Albany 2030. The rewrite of the ordinance will allow the city to make these desired plans a reality.
The new zoning ordinance is currently in the works and will, according to ReZone Albany’s website, “refine related codes and ordinances, including design guidelines, stormwater and flood management regulations, sign regulations, and emphasize streamlined permitting for compliant projects”.
Modernizing the ordinance will bring great change to the area by encouraging investment from small business owners, landowners and homeowners, which will create a more attractive economy and become an even better place to live, work, and play. However, ReZone Albany cannot be done without the help of the community. Module 2 is the current step that needs to be looked over and discussed and ReZone Albany is encouraging members of the community to come out and give their opinions, comments and feedback. They will be having two meetings where the public is not only invited, but encouraged to attend.
The first meeting will be held:
Monday February 22nd, 2016
New Scotland Elementary School
369 New Scotland Avenue
The second meeting will be held:
Wednesday February 24th, 2016
Albany Community Development Agency
200 Henry Johnson Boulevard
For more information on the ReZone Albany project you can check out their website at rezonealbany.com. Or check out this flyer from ReZone with all the information you will need to know to attend either of these public meetings. Let your voice be heard.
The Albany Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Coordination (L.E.A.D.) Community Group is looking for a qualified applicant to be their Albany Project Director. "The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program is a community-based police diversion approach to addressing the population involved in the criminal justice system often because of addiction, mental illness and poverty." The LEAD Bureau is looking for someone with excellent leadership and strong communication skills as well at the ability to collaborate and maintain relationships. This is a fulltime position with some flexibility in scheduling hours. More information about this job opportunity can found here!
An internship is often an important part of a student’s education and many colleges require students to have one as part of their degree program. This is an important step for many college seniors, and also an excellent resource for students who have already graduated. Having valuable work experience is an important part of searching for a job and Central BID is glad to be able to give students a chance to make their mark on the world. We have had many interns over the years and we are very happy to introduce our three newest interns that will be with us this Spring.
Emily Kane is a senior at The College of St. Rose studying English literature. She enjoys embroidery, reading, and sharing a cup of tea with friends. Emily is our new marketing intern. With her skills in writing she will contribute to this blog. She is very excited to work on the blog because it will get her out into the community and seeing the wonderful places Central Avenue has to offer. She will also work on our social media sites, such as Twitter, to help spread the word of projects and events happening in the area.
Felix Polanco is a senior at the University at Albany studying Social Welfare. In his free time he enjoys football, deep and meaningful conversations with friends, and is a part of a dance team. Felix is dedicated to helping at risk students in the area improve their chances of getting jobs in the CBIDS partnership program with SUNY Albany. His current project consists of getting a group of students together to help teach them how to write a resume, how to dress for a job interview, and other skills that will enable students to be successful when seeking employment. As part of this program, students will have the opportunity to get a job or internship with a local business. Partnering with Central BID will help Felix achieve his goal in reaching students that may not otherwise get this kind of instruction or opportunity.
Chris Setford is a graduate of the New School Centre for Media and is currently involved in the certificate program. In his spare time he enjoys acting as well as editing video projects for his friends. Chris is helping Central BID on a special project called Art TV. ArtTV is a partnership with CDTA and the CBID. The premise of the project is that specific CDTA Bus stations will have televisions to feature local artists, art programming and calendars which will play on a loop continuously. For this project Chris is editing the footage for the videos and figuring out how to effectively and efficiently run the television.
Our interns are a great part of Central BID and so helpful to us. We look forward to their time here and are excited to work with them. Welcome interns! And welcome to the Central Avenue community!
Chris, Emily, and Felix are so happy to work with us they're taking selfies to document the occasion!