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Posted on August 22, 2016 at 10:47 AM by PattiAnn Schultz
This acronym is being used quite a bit here in Webster lately. For those that do not know what it means, it stands for Not In My Back Yard. The reason I bring this up at this time is because Webster residents are increasingly becoming upset with development within the town that comes near to their home or business.
One such development that has been in the news lately is the selling of farm land at Salt Road and State Road by Mr. Dean Schreiber. Mr. Schreiber has owned the land for many years and has the legal right to sell the land for farming, but residents are upset that he is even considering doing this. I am not talking about other aspects of the application here; I am talking about the basic rights of a landowner to sell his land for what the land is properly zoned for. The rights to a property come with the ownership of it, not one’s proximity to it.
Another property that soon will be in the news is property on Holt Road that has over 50 acres for sale right now in the $2 million price range. Someone, at sometime in the near future, will be purchasing that property and coming to the town to build senior housing, as that is what the property is zoned for. When that happens, I can guarantee that I am going to hear the outcries of NIMBY because trees may come down, wildlife will move on, traffic will increase, and Webster residents will be upset with government for not doing something to preserve these lands.
Case in point: the property on Hard Road that currently is being built into senior townhouses and senior apartment homes drew many comments as the land owner, who was a taxpayer for 20 on the property, sold his investment property for a profit to a developer. Many residents complained about losing trees, and one resident even told me I took dinner off his table because he could not hunt there anymore, which by the way, this was not his to hunt on. Yet the only one that paid the taxes was the person who legally had the right to sell the land. However, many Webster residents screamed for government intervention to preserve the lands. Government is not always the answer to all of the problems.
This is happening more and more now in Webster as development in town continues and Webster residents scream NIMBY. It was OK when they where building their home, or the their business dreams, but now that someone else wants to enjoy what Webster living is about, and we should not allow it.
Another reason I bring this up right now is that in my 21 years on the Town Board, the expectations of Webster residents on development in the town have hit a feverishly high demand of government that cannot be met. If you truly want to preserve land and stop developments in the Town of Webster, you have two options.
Option 1: have the Webster Town Board pass a bond to purchase all of the vacant lands in town so that all of the current available and developable land can never be further developed. Please note that this is a very real option that will increase town taxes significantly. However, you (the tax payer), will have all the open land.
Option 2: you and your neighbors can purchase any piece of property that you deem to be subject to development. You can form a LLC Corporation amongst your neighbors, buy the land and pay the taxes. This way you will have that space for your use as long as you have your home or business.
Town government is handicapped on doing or stopping development within the town if the land is zoned for development as Holt Road is, Hard Road was, Publisher’s Parkway is, North of the Expressway is, along with other pieces in town.
So before you purchase a piece of property or are going to build in Webster, please stop in to the Building Department or my office for the facts on the surrounding areas that can be built on. Do not take the word of others that tell you, “That piece of land will be forever wild”, without documentation. Get all of the facts before you buy so you do not end up being a NIMBY later.
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 email@example.com
Ronald W. Nesbitt