No new lakefront property for town of Canandaigua

CANANDAIGUA, NY — The second of two town of Canandaigua proposals to buy lakefront property and increase public access to Canandaigua Lake appears to be dead in the water.

The Town Board deadlocked at 2-2 on allowing Town Manager Doug Finch to execute an option agreement to purchase land at 3950 County Road 16. In July, the board voted to table a similar resolution. The board is operating at less than full strength after the passing earlier in the year of Councilman Gary Davis, whose seat was not filled.

Because of the tie vote, the motion fails, Finch said. The option agreement expires Sept. 30.

The parcels in question — which include a small piece of land on the lake — are part of a 70-plus-acre property owned by RSM West Lake Road LLC, which has received approval to build 60-plus homes on the hillside. The developer also already has approval to build up to 15 docks.

“The owner is considering options of what to do with it,” Finch said.

The second of two town of Canandaigua proposals to buy lakefront property to boost public access now appears dead.
The second of two town of Canandaigua proposals to buy lakefront property to boost public access now appears dead.

The option agreement called for two appraisals to be done and with the current real estate market, town officials were hearing numbers between $2 million and upwards of $3 million, Finch said. Two years ago, when the town entered into the option agreement, the price of the property was estimated between $1 million and $1.2 million.

Councilman Terry Fennelly, who along with Councilmember Karen DeMay voted against the agreement, said only roughly 150 feet of the lakefront piece was usable yet helped drive an overall cost that "ballooned."

Fennelly said he understands the desire for access to the lake, but the project as he saw it was not well defined and the uncertain cost did not make economic sense to him.

"I just thought it was too much money for extremely limited use," Fennelly said.


The County Road 16 parcels would include a portion of open-space protection, with a future walking trail and access to the water that would include a floating dock for fishing, picnic area, a quiet place to enjoy the beauty of the water, natural resource protection, and possible non-motorized craft launching such as for a canoe or kayak.

Supervisor Jared Simpson, who along with Councilmember Adeline Rudolph voted for the agreement, said he too was concerned about the price. He also noted that nearby residents also expressed concerns about a possible trail.


But, the state Department of Environmental Conservation was willing to step in and build the fishing dock and kayak launch, which would help to defray costs, Simpson said. Grant money also could have brought the town’s costs down.

Even if the property was purchased solely for protection, Simpson said he could have supported it.

“It’s not a perfect piece of property, but it is something that I felt at the end of the day could have been a benefit for the people of the town,” Simpson said.

Last year, the owner of property at 4351 Tichenor Point canceled a contract with the town after a number of residents objected to the town’s plan to purchase the property for a park and increased public access to Canandaigua Lake.

Now that both plans have fallen through, the only public access to the lake in town comes at the town-owned Onanda Park and the small beach area at West Lake Schoolhouse Park on Butler Road.

Simpson said at this point, no other properties are on the town’s radar and nothing else has been made available or known to the town.

This article originally appeared on MPNnow: No new lakefront property for town of Canandaigua NY