Surrounded by Asphalt

When Denisa and I bought our house (9 years ago now!), one of the things we loved about it was how much of it was surrounded with open fields and forests. We had a neighbor on one side about 50 yards away, and then a dairy farm across the street, and that was it. A while ago the plot in front of our house was sold, and a house was built there. We weren’t too jazzed about it, but it was 50 yards away or so , so it wasn’t a huge deal. We planted some trees, and that was that.

Until now.

The farmers who own the land surround our house on all sides are selling it to a company that’s going to build an Alzheimer Care Facility with 36 beds. The facility itself is going to be back behind our house, with a fairly dense copse of trees between us and it. Not ideal by any stretch, but we have few windows that point that direction, and there are all those mature trees between us, so that’s something. Directly behind us is going to be a driveway for the facility, although again there are some trees between us and it. We’re talking 20 yards or so from our house to that driveway. And then in front of our house (as close as 15 feet from our property in places, though thankfully more like 20 yards from the house) is going to be a second driveway for delivery trucks and employees at the facility. It’s going to have lights on 24/7, and it will wrap around to join the other driveway behind our house.

What this boils down to is that our entire property is essentially being surrounded by asphalt on all sides. Also, lights. I’ve been assured that the lights will hardly be noticeable.

I am more than a little skeptical.

The trouble is, there’s not much we can do. The land is already zoned for commercial/residential use. It doesn’t seem like they’re breaking any codes by doing what they’re doing. And yay for bringing in an important facility to help people in the area who definitely need it. But we’re still more than a little bummed that it’s coming at the expense of those beautiful open fields we’d loved at first.

We’re going to request that they plant some trees along those driveways to shield us somewhat from the cars and lights, but I have no idea what that will end up looking like. I’m trying to look for the good side to things, and that boils down to two things:

  • We own 1.5 acres of land, so we have a built in buffer zone on all sides. We’re at least guaranteed to keep that.
  • Once this facility is built, I don’t think they’ll be able to build anything else anywhere around us. This is it. It’s like ripping the bandaid off all at once. And I’ve seen pictures of other facilities the company has built, and they’re tasteful and well maintained. It’s not a going to be a trailer park, but still . . .

Worst case scenario, we sell our house and go buy one somewhere with those open fields and forests again. But I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.

Stay tuned . . .

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