By Matthew Reitz
The Town of Granby Planning Board will be determining the fate of a proposed ATV trail on South Granby Road that some residents in that area are opposing.
The proposed ATV trail would be created at 371 South Granby Road; a 43-acre parcel a few hundred feet west of county Route 14.
According to Town Supervisor Ed Williamson, a public hearing was held last week for members of the community with questions or comments regarding the project. Williamson said about 15 people attended the hearing and “there were some skeptics.”
“There are always people that are a little skeptical, but they seemed to answer everyone’s questions,” Williamson said.
A few concerned residents were circulating a flyer encouraging people to attend a planning board work session on Thursday, May 21. The same residents wrote a letter to the planning board urging it to deny a special use permit for the trail. The letter questions the intent of the property owner and suggests that the owner misled neighbors “by telling them they intended to reside” at the location.
Doug MacEwan, a resident of Granby who was unaware of the proposal until he was presented with the flyer, said he was a bit uneasy about the possibility of the trail generating noise and disturbing the community, but noted that noise in a farming community like Granby can be inescapable.
“It’s a rural farming community,” MacEwan said. “We put up with noise and tractors, the animals, the smells — that comes with the territory.”
MacEwan expressed concern about the potential for loud parties at the trail, and he also was uncomfortable with the owners not being a part of the community.
“What was a little troubling is that the owner is not local,” MacEwan said. “It seems a little odd.”
According to Oswego County’s Real Property Database, the owner of the property is Granby Properties LLC. The address listed for Granby Properties is in Baldwinsville; about a 20-minute drive from the Granby site.
Jim Karasek, chairman of the Town of Granby Planning Board, said the property owner was “going through the process of approval” and had “gone above and beyond what is required” during the application process. The application calls for the development of a sand track for personal use, according to Karasek.
“These people (the residents opposing the project) aren’t representing what this man has asked for,” Karasek said in reference to the flyer.
Karasek said he sympathized with people who have legitimate concerns, but added that the planning board has to look at the application and local zoning laws to determine whether or not to approve the project.
“We can only go by what’s on the application and what’s in the zoning book,” Karasek said.
He noted that the application is not for a business, and that Granby is a “rural community” with “no noise, dust, or land use ordinances” to restrict property owners.
“There’s not a lot we can do to stop them,” Karasek said.
Karasek noted that the property owner is willing to make some concessions, and said if the property is misused, the owner would be ticketed for code violations and have to appear in court.
The public hearing regarding the proposed trail was held last week, but the planning board would be listening to residents at its work session on May 21, according to Karasek.
“We will listen. We’ve always heard what people have to say,” Karasek said.
Williamson said it was possible the planning board could make a decision as early as May 21.
By Matthew Reitz