Ronald W. Nesbitt

Supervisor's Corner

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Aug 28

Open Space and Current Development

Posted on August 28, 2017 at 3:13 PM by PattiAnn Schultz

Always a topic when a developer proposes a new housing development in town is that we do not need more housing and that we should save the land for open space. Well, you just cannot stop housing in Webster as that would be unconstitutional and you would find yourself defending a lawsuit very quickly.

Take for example Webster Golf’s West Golf Course that is presently being considered for development due to the decline in golfers in the past decade. It is presently zoned R-3 for single family homes and surrounding the golf there is already single family homes. It only makes sense to allow similar type homes there instead of a commercial enterprise, right?

Some would say keep it as open space which I also find desirable, but how does the town do that would be the question? The town could purchase the land under a town-wide bond that all residents would pay for over time in their tax bill.  However, to do that each resident’s taxes would increase.

Donation of the land to the town for a tax write off to the owner of the property would be great but not many land owners are doing that when the land in question is part of their retirement (financial) package. There is a tremendous pressure on land owners, not only in Webster but around Monroe County, to sell land because taxes are too high. 

The land owners/ farmers pay 62% in School Taxes, 25% in Monroe County taxes and 13% in Town taxes each and every year; not counting special district charges and fire district expenses. This gets expensive for these folks and they would rather sell the property and move on than pay the taxes. I  think that we can all understand their situation.  

As to Open Space, Webster has a lot of acres along with many acres of Park Land in town and we have done an outstanding job since 1998 in obtaining Open Space, Park Land, and the development of a trail system by the Friends of the Trails after the town acquired these lands for their development.

As of today the Town of Webster has:

  • Town of Webster Open Space Lands = 1,426.06 acres
  • Park Land and Districts = 333.66 acres
  • State Land (at the end of Lake Road) = .44 acres
  • Monroe County Park (Webster Park) = 542.43 acres
  • Planned Development Rights (State and Salt Roads) = 408.90 acres
  • Monroe County (Lands they Own in Town) = 19.03 acres
  • Village (Well Fields) = 49.14 acres

According to The National Recreation Association, they recommend 15-25 acres of parks and open space preserves per 1,000 of population.  The Town of Webster‘s Park and Open Space system currently exceeds that amount and we nearly triple the suggested allocation of adequate access to recreation resources.

While my administration is always on the lookout for more Open Space and Park Land, we exceed the national average at this time.  My Administration is dedicated to promoting and developing Open Space and Park Land in Webster and we will continue to do so in the future.

As always, 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  

Ronald W. Nesbitt