Sustainable Saratoga supports development policies that reduce environmental impacts and make our community more livable for everyone.

Our Land Use Committee is committed to promoting sustainable growth. The guiding principles that drive our advocacy are summarized in the document at right. They include:

  1. Protect the Greenbelt, the area surrounding the core of the city that currently retains a rural, low-density character
  2. Guide new development into existing developed areas of the city
  3. Reduce climate impacts of development in the city, and adapt to changing conditions
  4. Support a diverse and resilient local economy
  5. Implement mixed uses where possible in new buildings and within neighborhoods
  6. Promote compact design
  7. Provide ample and diverse housing
  8. Support a viable multi-modal transportation system
  9. Engage the public with transparency and inclusivity

To read the full-length version of our “Smart Land Use” principles, click here.

Recent Advocacy Efforts

Our Land Use Committee has been busy. Sustainable Saratoga continues to keep informed and advocate for our sustainability goals.

City Center Parking Garage Concerns

Sustainable Saratoga continues to follow the evolution of the Flat Rock Parcel, which is in its final design stage. There have been some significant improvements made since the original plan was rejected by the City Council in 2018.  However, the most recent sketches and presentations continue to reveal that the design of the garage still fails to meet the City’s own key urban design standards. Read our letter to the City Council, which describes our concerns.

Statement on Saratoga Lake Stewardship

The Saratoga Lake watershed contains some of the fastest growing areas in Saratoga County, and the increasing development activities within the watershed have raised concerns in the community about sustaining the lake’s resilience and integrity. Sustainable Saratoga believes it is time to renew and invigorate a coordinated approach to reducing threats to water quality within the Saratoga Lake watershed, by supporting the monitoring of lake health, and by taking into account the cumulative impacts of present and future development to the area. Read our full statement here.

Support for an open and transparent government that encourages public participation

Sustainable Saratoga has been consistent proponent of smart land use and an open and transparent government where the citizens are engaged. When the City Council was poised to vote on a resolution that encouraged the City Center to spend $250,000 to develop detailed drawings of a new parking structure on the City-owned High Rock property without having public input on the conceptual plans, we spoke out and asked the City Council to postpone their vote and undertake a more complete planning process that encourages public participation. We think the public should be involved in deciding what to do with the largest undeveloped City-owned property in the downtown area. You can read our statement on this issue and our Letter to the Editor of The Daily Gazette.

Support for Managed Parking

Sustainable Saratoga applauds the City Council’s effort to initiate a managed parking system for downtown Saratoga Springs. A well-integrated parking and transportation system is critical for the long-term sustainability of the downtown area. We sent a letter to the City Council, applauding their efforts to tackle the complicated and controversial parking issues in the City. Click the link to see our Reader’s View piece in the Saratogian.

Bike Lanes on Lake Avenue

Sustainable Saratoga has been a vocal supporter of the implementation of the City’s Complete Streets Policy and has long advocated for initiatives that work towards improving the safety and accessibility of a cleaner, greener transportation system. We penned a joint Readers’ View with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, and we wrote a subsequent letter to City Council, in support of installing bike lanes on Lake Ave. Read on

Charter Review Commission

Sustainable Saratoga has always held the strong belief that our city government should be focused on sustainability issues. We welcome the City’s efforts to update their Charter and recently advocated that the revised City Charter should not only mention sustainability, but also clearly indicate who in City Hall has the responsibility for tackling sustainability issues. Read more here.

Waterworks Plant Pocket Park

We have been promoting the idea of a small passive neighborhood park on the front lawn of the Excelsior Avenue City Waterworks Plant to serve the residents and workers in that rapidly developing area. We sent a letter advocating the establishment of the park to the City Council, and recently had a letter to the editor published in the Saratogian. Read more about our efforts here.

Affordable Housing

We continue to advocate for more affordable housing in Saratoga Springs. Here is an update on the Spa Housing Ordinance that we released in October 2017.