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Posted on October 15, 2018 at 8:55 AM by PattiAnn Schultz
On Thursday, October 18th, is the Public Hearing on the 2019 Webster Town Budget. The meeting will be held in the Town Board Meeting Room located in the Justice Court Building at 7:30 p.m.
If you have questions or concerns about the proposed budget, this would be the time and your opportunity to ask the Town Board. After tonight, the final adoption of the 2019 Webster Town Budget will be held on Thursday, November 1st at 7:30 p.m. in the same location.
Corner of Ridge Road and Hatch Road Development
Lately it seems that regardless of the type of development (a residential subdivision or a commercial development), some residents are not happy with any type of growth in Webster. Whether its location, traffic, trees being removed or environmental issues, they do not want development to take place. This is a “double edged sword” as there are laws in this country that protect the rights as a homeowner with land ownership, and those same laws protect the rights of someone trying to build on land that is zoned appropriately.
In the case of the property at Ridge Road and Hatch Road, this piece of property has been zoned commercial since 1968 when I, and others, took hayrides from the land owner at that time. The current owners, three gentlemen who have owned this property since 2001, understood when they purchased it that it was zoned for commercial development and have paid their town, County, and school taxes accordingly. They also understood it was zoned for a commercial development and took the time and effort to market the property as such for 17 years.
Just like any homeowner on Eastwood Circle, Knobel Drive, or Cedar Rock there was time and effort put in to explore where you wanted to invest your home ownership monies. In your investigation of the area you would have discovered that the corner piece of property is in the commercial corridor of the Webster Comprehensive Plan and subject to a commercial business going onto that site.
Now that the property owners have found a tenant that meets the requirements of the Town of Webster’s Comprehensive Plan, many residents in the area of Hatch Road are against the project. They have raised their voices against town government for not protecting their home ownership rights or doing something to stop the project.
Many have even suggested using the vacant K-Mart building as an alternative site. This is a good suggestion, however the K-Mart building is privately owned and has already been rented (the name of the new tenant has not been announced yet by the developer). Another option that was voiced is the site of the former Rite-Aid, just purchased by Walgreens. They have yet to contact the town over their thoughts on that property which is, once again, privately owned and not up to the town to just place a business there.
The owners of the property at Ridge Road and Hatch Road made an investment back in 2001 on properly zoned commercial land. They are now exercising their rights to sell the land to a commercial business. You and I might not like it, but it is permitted under the law. If the town denied them on the grounds of zoning, the Town of Webster would be sued.
Now if the land was not zoned commercial and it was zoned for residential homes, I guarantee that there would be the same outcry and there would still be the same problems currently talked about. There would still be perceived traffic issues, trees being removed, environmental concerns, and the location on Hatch Road and Ridge Road would still be an issue.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald W. Nesbitt