Shouting match takes place during meeting about proposed church expansion

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A late-night meeting took place on Tuesday for community members to bring their concerns to the podium over the expansion of the Northway Church in Clifton Park.

The meeting began at 7 p.m., and before the planning board was able to discuss the status of the church expansion, a shouting match began between angry community members and the planning board chairman.

Everyone was frustrated over the traffic congestion the expansion may bring. Some people left early due to frustration.

The Northway Church wants to relocate and expand by the wooded area on Ushers Road between Pierce Road and Van Patten Drive.

“The reality is that it’s owned by a private individual; not owned by the town of Clifton Park,” Planning Board Chairman Rocco Ferraro said. “It’s owned by a private individual, and he or she has property rights.”

People were eager to take their concerns to the podium, and when they did, almost all of them said they moved to Clifton Park for one main reason: traffic always keeps flowing.

The chairman responded back with a compromise. He said a third party will investigate further into conducting a more in-depth traffic study.

“I spent hours reading 114 pages of social media comments,” alternate member Jeffery Jones said. “We’ve listened here for the last month. Contrary to what you may or may not believe, we actually listen to what everybody has to say.”

There were concerns of the noise the church may bring, the number of events and services that will be held throughout the week, and the loss of trees. A church member attended the meeting to address any questions, but many still felt like they were left in the dark.

Leah-Marie Amorosi is opposed to the church expansion.

“September 7 of this month, they just had an event – not a service, an event – and two days later on their Facebook page they posed and bragged about the fact that there were 1,000 in attendance,” she said.

The meeting ran long into the night with the potential of lasting until midnight with several other items on the agenda.

Whether a vote takes place Tuesday night is undetermined, but people said the controversy has a long way to go.

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