Food fight in Webster coming to a head

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WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A farming company wants to take root in the town of Webster, but neighbors say a greenhouse complex is the last thing they want across from their homes.

The public hearing was moved to Webster Thomas High School to accommodate the expected turnout. The planning board heard from plenty of people who are opposed to the greenhouse complex.

” The developers are trying to exploit what they see as a gray area in the town code,” said a concerned Webster resident. “Building a project on a less expensive parcel and then one that is not appropriate. “

The planning board is considering a proposal from CEA Fresh Farms. The facility would be built on 147 acres located at State and Salt Roads. It would primarily grow lettuce year round.

CEA Fresh Farms’ Kevin Fight says the project could generate 375 jobs over five years and another 400 jobs for the county indirectly.

But critics said the extra jobs aren’t worth it. Among their concerns is the size of the project. They say it’s too big. They’re also worried about noise and light pollution.

“Our units will have complete shade structures to capture light and to minimize any light disturbance,” said Jerry Goldman, CEA Fresh Farms.

CEA Fresh Farms is based out of Atlanta and Ohio. Now it says it’s ready to invest millions in Webster.

The project has an expected price tag of $200 million. If approved workers could be breaking ground by the end of the year.

In 2016 Webster residents were up against a similar fight. A company wanted to build a tomato greenhouse in the exact same spot. Voicing the same complaints the project was moved to the town of Ontario in Wayne County.

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