I reported on the proposal to develop property in Bushnell’s Basin, including that once owned by Frans Wildenhain, last week.
Following a presentation by the Project Engineer, the Perinton Planning Board opened the floor to comments from the meeting room’s assembled full house.
There was no shortage of speakers. Uniformly, each found one fault or another – often multiple concerns were identified by the same speaker – with the proposed project.
There was an ecological concern about the project’s encroachment on wetlands that abut the properties. A related subject was the “clear cutting” of old, tall trees on the property and that act as a visual and sound shield for nearby residents. And the project’s effect on indigenous wildlife was noted.
Neighbors objected to the proposed exterior lighting claiming visual pollution and intrusion, along with the proposed height (too short) and medium (too artificial) of fences that would surround the newly developed property.
The further intrusion of commercial operations in a residential area would, some claimed, have a deleterious effect on housing values. Already, a few residents reported, the dilapidated condition of the existing properties owned by the developer has had that effect on property value.
At least two other problems were explained by citizens to the Planning Board.
The proposal for commercial development would bring increased traffic to Bushnell’s Basin thereby increasing the number and frequency of traffic hazards and accidents.
Drive-thru restaurants, one remembers, cater to patrons in motorized vehicles, not the walk-in crowd.
And commercial development would further alter the historic character of the area. True enough. The current state of development is a far cry from the wilderness that once existed; but the speakers noting this objection surely intended to reference a more recent point in time; perhaps when Frans moved in, in the mid-1950s.
Among the comments from the Planning Board members, one stood out as at once perplexing and absurd. A gentleman reminded citizens that had they been so interested in preserving the pristine wilderness, they could have bought the properties now being proposed for development.
To quote Harry Nilsson (“Coconut”): Now let me get this straight.
In order to preserve my own property, I have to buy my neighbor’s property. That’s the neighbor on the right AND on the left? And what about the neighbor behind me?
Following this advice, then my neighbor’s property becomes my property. Which means I’d have to buy still more property from a whole new set of new neighbors.
Sounds like empire building.
Kind of like the proposed development.