Cobtree Blog

Arborist and Entrepreneur

It would seem that my son Kenneth has turned into a rather clever little arborist and entrepreneur. First he manages to get on the housing ladder back home in England and now rents the property he purchased to pay his mortgage. Over time the property will increase in value and when he comes to sell it down the road, he should be able to make a nice profit too. Next he has persuaded me to use a piece of land that he owns next to Cobtree to start a small tree nursery project New-Tree-Nursery-on-Armstroand so it was arranged that the first 376 trees were planted today on the western parcel of his property, ironically, up by the Lacey Magruder winery.

Now of course, since the Lacey Magruder winery planted their vineyard on the brow of the hill and between two parcels of land owned by both Jane and Kenneth some two years ago now, we can no longer have the views we used to enjoy looking westward. This however is not a problem for Jane and I as rightly so, Mr. and Mrs. Hundertmark had the absolute right to plant the vineyard under the towns right to farm laws indeed, as Kenneth also has the same rights to plant a tree nursery on his agricultural parcel of land or to farm it as it has been farmed for a millennium. As the saying goes, you cannot have your cake and eat it!

It is a shame of course that as a natural (excuse the pun) consequence of growing a natural living product such is a tree nursery Arborvitae-and-White-Spruce  in time my neighbors may no longer be able to enjoy the stunning views they now enjoy looking down over Seneca Lake. Then again, we also do not have the stunning views we used to enjoy looking westward either and our homes are now overlooked by customers of the winery who sit out on their deck drinking wine which has removed a lot of privacy for our guests too. I guess you can call this profound and poetic justice.

After all, the owners of the Lacey Magruder winery has put Jane and I through hell with what they have directly orchestrated with other neighbors and the other political and powerful people at the town hall that “They Know”. The racist remarks that they made against us personally in a public forum were also very unkind, hurtful and exasperated the situation. He himself wholly carries the responsibility for creating along the way the irrevocable bad neighborly relationship that now exists between us.

I am quite certain however, that Kenneth never even thought of this eventuality as he is not a vindictive person or holds a grudge even if his Mother and Father, living thousands of miles away, are being trashed by their neighbors like Jim Hundertmark has done to us.  It is simply not in his nature to do so. I think (for what it is worth)  that he decided simply that as he has been forced by the town planners to shrink his land holding from 12.4 acres to a mere 3.4 acres to be able to accommodate our own application for major subdivision on Armstrong Road, he feels (and rightly so) that he needs to maximize the best use of the land he has left for the future and has decided that the creation of a tree nursery would be a good use of the land he will have left to farm.

You see, originally it was agreed with the town, way back at the original planning stage of our proposed project in 2003, that all of the properties at Cobtree would be placed on their own 45,000 sq. lots. Now the town has demanded that these lots be expanded to double this requirement that is to say, 90,000 sq. ft. plots and the only way we could gain this much additional land was by asking Kenneth to give up some of the land that we held in trust for him.

Once again, poetic justice to the town who reneged on the original agreement and whom by their very actions and behaviour  gave us no choice and forced us into taking out what has turned out to be a extremely expensive article 78 lawsuit against the town and which has cost us nearly $80,000 in legal and professional fees to fight for our legal rights to be able to subdivide the lands we own here in Geneva.

Now the wheel turns once again and the town will now have this neighbor from hell drumming on their door. However, will they deal with him in the same Atrocious, deplorable, repulsive, harrowing, abhorrent, loathsome way that they (the town) has treated our company as well as Jane and I personally, these past three years of our torturous struggle at their powerful hands. After all, you cannot beat City (or town)Hall can you?

We are just small fish in a big pond. A small business trying to make its way. Trying to survive..trying to be successful and, we are. There are some very jealous people around who loath the very idea that outsiders (in fact foreigners) can come into a community and make a successful business let alone, God forbid, they make a profit as well!

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