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What’s the Webster Sandbar Park Project?

Everything you need to know

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Webster, NY - Over the years―whether you are actively or passively staying up-to-date on all Webster town government matters―you have likely heard talk about the Sandbar Park Project. You may have also attended one of the recent open houses the Town of Webster has held to provide more detailed information about the project.


But there is a lot of information about the project floating across social media, the town website, and other miscellaneous channels.


So Webster Online has taken information from official Sandbar Park Project documents and online channels and condensed it into one comprehensive article for your convenience.


In this blog post, you will find the following information:


***Please Note: Webster Online does not promote nor demote any information, recommendation, or other element of the proposed Sandbar Park Project. Webster Online is not an affiliate of the Town of Webster.***


Sandbar Park History


In the mid-1990s, a proposal to purchase land along the sandbar and develop it into a park―complete with boat launch―was brought before the Town of Webster. However, residents deemed the proposal to be too high-intensity use. Additionally, the town was unable to obtain state grants to cover the cost of such a project.


“The Sandbar Resort,” a development proposal by owner Mr. Gollel, was presented to the Town of Webster in 2002. Proposed features included a hotel, restaurant, and docks. On December 19, 2002, the town explored purchasing the lands and preserving it as a park. A public hearing regarding the proposed purchase was held.


On January 16, 2003, the Town of Webster approved a bond resolution for $1,000,000 to purchase two parcels―one consisting of 1.77 acres and the other 2.16 acres―on each side of Lake Road. Existing parkland funds would pay for the purchase.


A town-wide referendum was held and approved by voters on March 25, 2003 to purchase Mr. Gollel’s parcels and convert them to park land.


Fast-forward to 2015, the Town of Webster received $118,000 in New York State funding for design improvements to Sandbar Park.


In 2017 and 2019, flood events impacted Sandbar Park at elevation levels of 248.95 feet and 249.09 feet respectively.


In October 2019, the Town of Webster received NYS grant funds through REDI (Resiliency & Economic Development Initiative) to address the flooding issues along Lake Road and the Sandbar Park area.


Projects identified by the town in partnership with Monroe County, the DEC, and the Army Corps.:

  • Protecting the wastewater pump stations for the Town of Webster and Monroe County

  • Raising Lake Road to protect the roadway access for residents and businesses

  • Installing flood walls and raising parklands approximately 4 feet to prevent future flood damage


Fast Sandbar Park Facts

  • Sandbar Park has over 2,500 feet of Lake Ontario frontage and over 2,100 feet of Irondequoit Bay frontage.

  • The Park offers access to both Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario.

  • The Park encompasses a waterfront picnic space, wetlands, and a large wooded area with black locust grove.


REDI Grants


According to presentation materials for the Sandbar Park Project, REDI grants “are given to provide resiliency to rising water elevations and to improve infrastructure so that it is more resilient to flooding and other natural disasters.”


The Town of Webster received three separate awards. The town is currently in the design phase of the project and plans to go to bid in November 2021, with projections to start construction in April 2022.


Agencies involved include the Town of Webster, Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA), Monroe County, NYS Department of State (NYSDOS), NYS Office of General Services (NYS OGS), Army Corps, NYS Parks, and State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).


A portion of grant monies will go towards the following improvements to Lake Road in the Sandbar Park area:

  • Realignment of Lake Road to increase parkland along Irondequoit Bay

  • Raising Lake Road a minimum of 2.5 feet above 2017 and 2019 record water levels

  • A parkland alienation to swap parkland from the north side to the south side of Lake Road (Although there is a net increase in parkland, a lateral act of congress is still required)


Enhancements to Lake Road will include:

  • Curbing to control parking

  • Sidewalk/bike paths

  • Benches

  • Street trees

  • Lighting

  • Green infrastructure practices to treat stormwater

  • Designated parallel parking areas

  • Parkland/open space


Monies will also be dedicated to the construction of a new flood wall to protect Sandbar Park from rising water levels. The existing deteriorated, non-ADA dock will be replaced with a new ADA public dock.


The Town of Webster says the flood wall will also provide the following:

  • Improved accessibility to water and lawn areas

  • Green infrastructure practices to treat stormwater


Building Options #1 & #2


So what does this all mean for the Bayside Pub building?


According to project presentation documents, the existing building would be demolished as part of the REDI Sandbar Park improvement projects and raising of Lake Road. Otherwise, according to the documents, the facility “would be sitting in a ‘bathtub’ or buried under up to four feet of earth.”


Early on in project conceptualization, there was the idea of creating a dual-function facility with a restaurant on the first floor and a community space on the second floor. However, this idea was deemed problematic due to predicted limited parking capacity during the “peak” season. With that in mind, the Town of Webster decided to plan for a single-story building.


The proposed building (to replace the one that would be demolished) would occupy approximately 2,400 square feet―about the same area of both the existing Bayside Pub and storage buildings. The Bayside Pub currently occupies 1,600 square feet; the hope is that the DEC will allow for the existing barn area (800 square feet) to increase the new building footprint.


As the project plans currently stand, dedicated parking spots would still be limited; while there will be parking area improvements, there will not be an increase in parking. (There are 43 spots in the south side parking area.)


According to project design plans for the proposed building on the 2,400 square-foot area, there are two options on the table:



Option #1: Private Business Restaurant


The following are the town’s bullet points of what Option #1 would entail (verbatim):

  • Would require an RFP process. Businesses required to submit a plan for usage of the building per NYS Law.

  • Specific user requirements would need to be established for selection criteria.

  • Building will be a shell with no finishing features. Responsibility goes to business submitting a proposal to complete the build-out.

  • Monthly costs/”licensing agreement” with the town need to be determined. Maximum life of 10 years and/or per NYS Law.

  • Current cost estimate for the shell structure only is approximately $670,000 to $750,000.


Option #2: Municipal Lodge


The following are the town’s bullet points of what Option #2 would entail (verbatim):

  • Town would rent to residents for parties, family gatherings, special events.

  • Revenue income for town similar to other Town lodges (Arboretum’s Curry Building, Liberty Lodge).

  • Building will be finished completely. Interior features would likely be less costly than a private business (no commercial kitchen, fewer amenities).

  • Public use and access to all Webster residents.

  • Can be used for year-round events at the park.

  • Current cost estimate for both the building shell and amenities is approximately $1.1 to $1.4 million.


To weigh the pros and cons of each option, the current Sandbar Park Advisory Committee may create a subcommittee with that focus.


Sandbar Project Construction Phases


Phase I:

  • Lake Road realignment and floodwall - Anticipated construction schedule: 2022-23

  • Sandbar Park improvements (core park) - Anticipated construction schedule: 2022-23

  • Bayfront building - Anticipated construction schedule: 2022-23


Phase II:

  • Sandbar Park improvements (east end environmental education area and fishing overlook and platform) - Anticipated construction schedule: TBD/2024


Phase III:

  • Sandbar Park improvements (west end access and trail) - Anticipated construction schedule: TBD/2025


Estimated Sandbar Project Costs


The following information/images were taken from Sandbar Park presentation documents shared at recent open houses.


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Sandbar FAQs


The following images were taken from the Sandbar Park Project Facebook page.


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For further convenience, CLICK HERE to view the full presentation document from the Webster Sandbar Park open house events.



***Please Note: Webster Online does not promote nor demote any information, recommendation, or other element of the proposed Sandbar Park Project. Webster Online is not an affiliate of the Town of Webster.***

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