Canandaigua residents could gain more access to lakefront


CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WROC) — Residents in Canandaigua could be getting more access to the lakefront in the new year. Town surveys over the years show that while there is a park already by the lake, residents want more options.

On Tuesday, News 8 got a sneak peak at one parcel on Tichenor Point Drive that could potentially have something for everyone.

Worth almost $6,000,000, the private property goes back hundreds of years to where the Seneca Nation once settled. Canandaigua Town Manager Doug Finch sees potential in it — and it’s something that could potentially be opened up for the public.

“Again a survey was done, and again, the need came out that, ‘Hey, the town should gain more access to Canandaigua Lake,'” he said.

Trip Pierson, with Mitchell Pierson Jr Inc., is a realtor for the property. He got a call from Finch this fall asking if he and some other town officials could take a look. From there, an interest ensued.

The land would have an area for swimming, fishing, canoes and kayaks, and even a museum. All the history found in trees and buildings would stay.

“My understanding is if it all comes together what will happen is there will be access for swimming, the water is pretty shallow and then drops off so you have a good mixture for canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, picnics,” Pierson said.

“Very minor modifications,” said Finch.

“The lake is the chosen spot in general,” said Pierson. “But this spot specifically, going back to the Seneca used to come and meet here. That has happened for hundreds of years, and then it eventually John Gorham, the treasurer, basically the righthand man of George Eastman took it over,” he said. “Kids have been down here using this space, for several hundred years.”

Pierson says there’s always potential for a property like this to be developed into lake houses. But the possibility that everyone could soon enjoy the space is exciting too.

“This space means a lot to the family, and so for the town to want to preserve it for perpetuity is something pretty special,” said Pierson.

Finch says with the pandemic, public parks are seeing attendance like never before. So more access to the lake could be just what the town needs right now.

“People want to be outside they were tired of being in their homes,” said Finch.

The next phase will be a town meeting on Jan. 11, where the public can attend and offer any opinions on the project moving forward. “We invite anyone to participate by zoom, we’ll be releasing an agenda Wednesday and all the info will be on our website,” said Finch.

Finch says this project has a relatively small impact on the tax rate in Canandaigua – the town also implemented a tax cap compliant budget for the year 2021.

The other property up for consideration is 3950 County Rd 16.

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