A developer is seeking permission from the Town of Colonie to build a multi-use sports park and domed facility on property adjacent to the Good Shepherd, Memorylawn and Seclusion sections of Memory Gardens Cemetery and Memorial Park. Brian T. Sipperly, L. Sipperly & Associates (Afrim Sports Inc.) wants to build a multi-use sports park at 969 Watervliet Shaker Road. It would include outdoor soccer/multi-use fields, 75-foot field lights, a 3,400 square-foot multi-use building, and an 86,865 square-foot dome. This project would destroy much of Memory Gardens’ pastoral beauty, as well as the solemnity we now enjoy.
Memory Gardens bears no ill will toward sporting facilities or their developers, but the intrusion on our cemetery would be intolerable. Imagine the private moments visiting your loved one -- quiet remembrance, private reflection, and prayer -- shattered by a cheering or booing crowd as well as the blaring public address announcements. Worse, put yourself in the shoes of a family who must bear such impositions while laying a loved one to rest. The traffic from this complex would almost continuously threaten to disrupt funeral processions into and out of Memory Gardens.
Soccer games attract hundreds of visitors. People unable to find a spot would undoubtedly park at Memory Gardens then traverse graves to reach the sports facility. They would also leave behind discarded cigarette butts and other litter.
All visitors to Memory Gardens would be affected, even if their loved ones do not rest in one of the aforementioned gardens. The pastoral beauty of our memorial park would be forever lost by the monstrous domed facility looming overhead. The overwhelming field lighting would invade the privacy of those of us visiting our loved ones just before sundown.