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Posted on June 1, 2015 at 9:26 AM by PattiAnn Schultz
Well, it turned warm last week and it feels great after the long winter we had. The summer time also brings on more construction to our town in the way of road construction, housing construction, commercial construction, and remodeling construction done by a homeowner.
This year Route 404 will be repaved through the Village of Webster to Phillips Road. The seventeen overpasses on Route 104 will begin to get replaced and refurbished which will be a two year project.
Housing construction continues in Webster on a moderate level because there is a need for housing in Webster and for families that want to move to our wonderful community. While some feel that Webster is growing too fast the question begs to be asked, “how would you stop it?” Government cannot tell landowners when they can sell or not sell private property.
Case in point is the construction of senior housing on Hard Road next to Picture Parkway. Some residents are upset that the gentlemen that owned this property for over ten years sold it to a developer.
So let’s take a look at the facts. The gentlemen who owned the property has owned in for at least ten years and had a for sale sign on the property for the past three years. He wanted to end his relationship with the property, which is his right, and put the property on the market for anybody to purchase. He was paying over $24,000 a year in taxes on land that was not developed and it was time for him to move on, get his tax dollars back, and put some money into his retirement account. He found a buyer that could develop the land under current zoning conditions and sold his property for $650,000. The opportunity to purchase this piece of property was there for any Webster resident to purchase and then continue to pay the taxes to save the trees.
Each piece of land in Webster is zoned for something and everything north of Route 104 is zoned for housing in one form or another. This could be single family, senior housing, or town houses. This piece of property fit the criteria for senior housing using townhouses. So the long time land owner, after years of looking for a buyer, finally found one to develop this challenging piece of property and sold his property.
The town cannot stop development just because someone has already moved to Webster and you now do not want any more people to move in – that is just plain ridiculous. Nor can the town give tax breaks to someone to not develop land. Under our current assessment and tax laws that cannot be done any longer. The only way to save some of these properties is for the town to purchase the property which would hike up town taxes (the town does not have $650,000 just laying around for this) or some other resident buys it and pays the taxes on said property for others to look at, hunt on, or trespass on without permission.
Twelve years ago Webster residents voted to spend $5.9 million to buy property as open space. We purchased just over 1,200 acres that will never be developed in Webster. We are still paying off that bond today with current tax dollars.
This is the only way you can guarantee that space will be preserved today. I am all for another bond to preserve open space but I am not sure other Webster residents want their taxes raised for that purpose.
If you have any questions about your town government, please feel free to contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald W. Nesbitt