Town Proposing a Fire Station Adjoining my property!
Hi there everyone--i'm not sure if this was the correct forum to post in, but it's the closest I could find to appropriate. Two years ago we bought our first house next door to a no longer used fire station. It was the original station for the town, just big enough to hold one small truck and no living quarters, the exterior of the building has been unchanged since 1952. In 2005, the town completed a very large station just a few miles away and the one next to our house was/is now only used to store an ambulance. This Saturday the fire chief came by and informed us that the fire department wants to HUGELY expand the station by our house; no only make it active again, but triple the size of it, including sleeping quarters for 6 firefighters, a community meeting room and a police annex (!!!). We are freaking out. Other details:
1. the land the old station is on is zoned residental, not commercial or public or whatever.
2. The old fire station sits literally 11 inches in from our property line; very much in violation of current residential zoning laws (obviously grandfathered in). Because it's so close to our property, i would image they would need full access to our yard in order to do any work on the building.
3. because of the zoning laws, the chief said they need our permission to move forward
If this happens, it's going to totally destroy our property value and we'll never be able to sell the house. Nevermind the fact that it would be awful to have that much heavy construction right next door for god knows how long, plus to added noise (hello, sirens?!?) and traffic associated with a bigger, active station.
We're trying to get a real estate lawyer lined up this week....we would like to either stop the project altogether or have the town buy our house so we can move. We are most afraid they will simply take part of our land under eminent domain, and we will be screwed. Does anyone have any advice (other than, we should never have bought this house? Trust me, we've already been over that). Has anyone gone through something like this before and know what our options are? This is not how we expected our first homeownership experience to be!