Lowe’s may think it has the small town of Geneseo, New York, nailed down, but according to the lastest report from the Geneseo Community Alert, the battle is far from over. “Last night,” the Alert says, “in a stunning display of disregard for democratic principles and pubic input, the Geneseo Town Board voted to put the Lowes Project on the fast track. The Town Board refused to allow citizens to express their opinions before the vote and refused to allow the 120 citizens present the opportunity to hear from Lowe’s. Lowe’s had previously accepted an invitation to be present, but was removed from the agenda without explanation. Last night’s actions continue the tradition of secrecy and closed door meetings betwee the developer and Town Board members. The speed at which this project has been pushed by the Town Board is truly frightening. This began with their insistence on passing the Planned Development District (PDD) Law over public objection and in close cooperation with the developer. The refusal to explain why the Town can not wait until the revised comprehensive master plan, and architectural design guidelines, are finished suggests a hidden agenda. Following the rules to be placed on the agenda for a Town Board meeting, the group PDDG sought the opportunity to be placed on the agenda to formally present a petition to the Town Board regarding the vote they were scheduled to take about the Lowe’s project. The petition was signed by well over 450 town and village residents. The petition simply requested that the Town vote NO to deny the current Lowe’s application to be considered as a Planned Development. A no vote would have given the town the ability to finish and adopt the Master Plan, finish and adopt Architectural design guidelines, create and adopt an open/green space policy. Lowe’s would have to re-apply after the key documents were in place.
There is no “hidden agenda” here. Obviously town officials in Geneseo are in a big rush to approve the Lowe’s, and aren’t going to let the citizens they represent get in the way. Such a rush to judgement usually leads, not to a ribbon-cutting, but to the courthouse door. For local contacts in Geneseo, NY, contact [email protected]