Pittsford officials discuss selling old library and wooded land; residents upset

Updated: 04/23/2014 11:18 PM
Created: 04/23/2014 11:02 PM WHEC.com

The Town of Pittsford held a meeting tonight to discuss plans to sell the Janes Branch Library, and the land behind it, to developers, but this discussion had some residents fired up.

Officials say they would like to sell the property and have five new homes built. They say the new homes would have to match the current persona of the neighborhood, but residents say the woods are the persona. Residents that live near the property say the land is home to a lot of wildlife, and they want it to stay the way it is.

“I played and grew up in those woods. Now the neighborhood children play there,” said one resident.

The Janes Branch Library has been a familiar building in Pittsford and East Rochester for decades, but it has sat vacant since 2005.

Town Supervisor Bill Smith says that the town needs to maximize on the property.

“It is a valuable asset that belongs to the town, and the town no longer has any purpose for it, so I think we have a responsibility to look at what to do with this and maximize its value to the entire town,” said Smith. 

Residents say they have a number of problems with the proposal, including not being notified about it. Officials say they mailed out notices last Thursday, but residents say they never got them.

Most of the locals are okay with officials selling the library, but they don’t want them to sell the woods.

“I think it’s nuts. There are a lot of dogs on the street, and people walk their dogs down the street and in the woods. There are bike trails and walking trails in those woods,” said Penny Horne, a resident.

As the meeting went on, residents made it clear that they didn’t feel the town supervisor was listening.

The supervisor said that they will most likely sell the property even though many residents are strongly opposed to it.

Wednesday’s meeting was just informational, and no final decisions were made. The town board will meet on May 6 to move forward with a plan for the area.

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