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Clarence Town Board says no to plans for a subdivision on blueberry farm

The Clarence Town Board rejected plans for a nine-unit subdivision on the site of the Clarence U-Pick Blueberry Farm on Shimerville Road.

But board members stressed after the meeting that the decision had nothing to do with the loss of blueberries. The plan does not meet town codes, they said.

The proposal would have landlocked one of two houses on the 36-acre lot if the owner, Damian Baird, removed the blueberry farm and built four homes on the farm lot. Baird spent $2.1 million to buy both the farm at 5685 Shimerville Road and the home immediately to the south.

Engineer Michael Metzger told the board that there has been a lot of attention on the project and the blueberry patch. Neighbors previously told The News that they had grown to love the blueberry farm and didn't want to see it give way to a subdivision.

"Quite frankly my clients would like to operate the blueberry farm, which is quite successful and popular," said Metzger, agreeing that they would agree not to build on the four lots at this time and instead focus on the larger estate-sized lots to the rear and homes on the adjoining lot.

"If it creates great angst, we'd be happy to take this off the plan," said Metzger.

But Supervisor Patrick Casilio said the concept isn't far enough along to move forward, noting there were also problems with the large lots to the rear of the property. He said a new plan would need to be submitted.

"The Town Board is interested in seeing it done right before it goes on to the Planning Board," said Casilio

"You need to come back with something that meets the code ... and then we can entertain it and take another look – or we deny it," Councilman J. Paul Shear said.

The board agreed to table the proposal to allow for another plan to be submitted.

After the meeting, Baird said he had no comment.

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