A Drive-Thru at Frans’s

Fill-up at two nearby gas stations before filling up at the two drive-through restaurants proposed to be built on property that once hosted Frans Wildenhain’s home and studio in Bushnell’s Basin.

The recent (January 15) Perinton Planning Board (PB) meeting heard a presentation by the site’s developer and responses by nearly two-dozen nearby neighbors.

The owner of seven contiguous lots, all of which border New York State Route 96 (Pittsford Victor Road), has proposed construction of at least two restaurants, each with drive-through capability, among other new and updated construction details, to the PB of this small, suburban Rochester location.

Currently on-site is an older, presently unoccupied church, at least two small, older homes, and the largely vacant land that once housed Wildenhain’s residence.

The property’s owner, it is fair to say, has for one reason or another allowed the properties to deteriorate, at least in terms of their appearance. The two houses appear to be uninhabitable and likewise the church currently seems unlikely to safely support human occupation.

The former Wildenhain property, with a street address of 6 Laird Lane, as previously discussed in this Blog, is little more than an overgrown field littered with bramble, weeds and, oddly, a door frame and door (to his house).

As might be expected, nearby property owners voiced objections to various components of the proposed development plan.

Bushnell’s Basin is little more than two traffic lights within a half-mile stretch of Route 96.

But within that space there is little argument that it has already been commercialized. Two gas stations (both with convenience store amenities and one with a car wash), a small-scale strip mall featuring several retail stores, several restaurants (a pizza place, an upscale restaurant in a historic structure, a lunch-style restaurant, a bagel shop with a drive-through) and a (small) number of retail outlets.

In short, Bushnell’s Basin has long ceased to be a bucolic environment supporting a sheep farm. Mrs. Selden, some readers will recall, fashioned her property (later Frans’s) for that agricultural purpose.

At least one Planning Board member voiced the opinion that due to its current commercialization, and the silliness of seeking to revert to the area’s 19th century ambience, denying the present application for development would be futile and not in keeping with the (current) times.

“It is what it is,” he thoughtfully offered.


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