What's Next After Shen "No" Vote?

Voters in the Shen district decisively rejected on Tuesday a plan to sell 34 acres of land near Shatekon Elementary.

By a 2-1 margin, voters said “no” to the school board's $2 million deal with BBL Construction, which would have meant development of a ShopRite on the site.

Opponents of the land sale hope the land will eventually be sold to the town of Clifton Park, and be set aside as parkland or open space.  

"Clifton Park is a community that really cares about its government and school system," said Susan Burton of the group "Friends of Clifton Park Open Space."  "We are really looking forward to re-opening the dialogue with the school board."

The town made a $1 million offer for the land late last year, but the board opted to accept the BBL offer, which was twice as much.  

"It's clear to me that the town board's position was the correct one, and since we were on the right path to begin with, we're ready to go down that same path," said Town Supervisor Phil Barrett.  "But we are in a position where we don't have any decision-making ability on the land."

Barrett says the town will do the best it can to partner with the school board, but did not specifically indicate if the previous $1 million offer was still on the table.

"The voters were very clear that they didn't like what they saw in the existing plan," said Pete Bardunias, the President of the Southern Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, who advocated a vote in favor of the BBL plan.

"It still leaves open the question of where do we go next," Bardunias said, "and the answer would seem to be that there's more work to be done."

Yesterday's vote only negates the sale to BBL. The school board can now sell the land to anyone it chooses, including another commercial developer.

Photo: Getty Images/Randy McCarten

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