BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — What do you do when you find out your driveway is actually a street and a developer is planning to open it up to traffic? That is the nightmare an Amherst family is suddenly facing.
Madeeha Almashhadany and her family had no idea their driveway or what they thought was their driveway was going to be a big problem. It comes off of Wehrle Drive, connects to their garage, and ends in the backyard. They even pay a contractor to plow the snow.
“Our snowplowing contractor had reached out to us and asked us if somebody else was doing it, and we said not that we were aware. Then my husband informed me that the town had come and plowed the driveway that day,” said Amherst Property Owner Madeeha Almashhadany.
That is when the Almashhahadys learned the driveway is not on their property, it’s not even a driveway – it is the south end of a street that town officials say only exists on paper. Known as South Linden Street, it extends from the end of the pavement, across the backyard and through a wooded area, ending at McIntire Road to the north.
A developer is planning six house lots in the woods, and South Linden Street would provide access to the homes.
“It looks like a driveway to me, too — a rather wide driveway, but that is what it looks like,” Councilwoman Jacqualine Berger said.
Amherst Town Councilmember Jackie Berger was curious about this street few townspeople know about. Berger learned the town is selling the paper street and she is looking into the access to the family’s garage.
“I get that the family that has been living here has been using it as a driveway and parking their cars here. Honestly, I don’t see any problem with them continuing to do that,” added Berger.
Without access to the old street, the Almashhadany’s could be forced to park on busy Wehrle Drive.
“I don’t think we would want to do that because there is tons of traffic around 5:30 – 6:00 right on Wehrle, so it is not a safe spot to park at all,” Madeeha said.
As long as Amherst owns South Linden Street, the Almashhadany’s can park along there.
Right now attorneys are working on a plan that would not cause them hardship when the street is sold. Wehrle Drive in front of their house is a no parking zone.