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Controversial trail in Canandaigua
Canandaigua, N.Y. - Neighbors who live in a quiet cul-de-sac in Canandaigua returned home to find their tree lined views had been taken out, their properties exposed to a busy and noisy highway.
Just came in with the bulldozers and everything else and just leveled everything, Bob Lucey said as he stood in the backyard of his house on Deerfield Drive.
That was all woods all the way back thereI mean this really gives you an idea of what happened, Lucey said as he stared out at traffic on Routes 5 and 20. I could never see the cars this way like I can nowso were not happy.
Lucey and his wife have lived in that house for more than 40 years, and now they feel like the yard they loved has been taken away and it came as a big shock.
She came over and she criedoh god, she was devastated, said Lucey.
The couple was outside grilling Friday night, still not used to the change of scenery. We sit out there on the patio and all you can hear is this noise and then at night if cars are just zooming up the road with loud mufflers and motorcycles, it just blasts you. Lucey said he and his neighbors are outraged over noise, the lights and the lack of privacy.
The barrier of trees was removed from more than half of the yards in the neighborhood. No one notified residents before construction abruptly started during the first week of June, a new design neighbors had never seen before.
The original plans for the Villa Trail project were put together in 2007part of a deal worked out between the town and the developers of The Villas at Canandaigua.
In order to get the zoning to build the townhomes, Wegman Companies agreed to a list of other amenities, one of those was a trail to connect the development on Chesire Glen Road to West Lake Drive.
Lucey said, In 2007 they told us this is what youre going to have, we all agreed, we signed and then this pops up. The plan was to put in a straight walking and biking path that would be at least 100 feet from residential properties but the new design cut that buffer zone down to 40 feet.
Approved by the Department of Transportation, the state changed the plans to meet the requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Switchbacks were added to decrease the slope of the trail and the path was widened to make it handicap accessible.
Even though the town asked for the trail, the land it sits on is owned by the stateso the local government had no say in the design plans or the final approval process.
Town officials said impact of the new design is significant and dramatic. They know were not happy they came up and looked at it and they agreed something has to be done, Lucey said. Officials do want to help but the deal is already done the trail is supposed to be completed by June 30th.
Still, the town is working with its lawyers looking at options like building berms or planting trees to help restore, at least partially, the privacy and character of the neighborhood.