Please help us oppose a proposed house that will intrude on Washington Grove

I received the following information which I felt our membership would like to have an opportunity to comment on. This request for a zoning change could be devastating to the birds and our birding fun in Washington Grove at Cobb’s Hill Park.  Comments can be received by Jill Symonds, City of Rochester City Planner until August 14.  Refer to File Number V-018-17-18.  There will be a City Zoning Board Meeting August 17th, 2017 but she would like our comments earlier.

Thanks for taking time to read and to comment to the City,
Amy Kahn, RBA President

I want to alert you to a proposed new build on the border of Washington Grove in Cobbs Hill that will have a devastating impact to all who currently enjoy the grove.  Bird habitats and wildlife will be disrupted. It would be very close to the southern trail therefore impacting the serenity of park users and create an awkward situation of walking very close to the residence when utilizing that trail.

A couple, have acquired two small lots adjacent to Washington Grove within Highland Heights on which they wish to build a house. The lots (0.15 ac combined) are too small for and were never intended for the large (1743 sq ft) ranch-style house they have designed for themselves. They consequently want to build it within five feet of Washington Grove (and run electricity on poles to it through the Grove). (The minimum required zoning setback is ten feet, average setback is 20 ft.)

The dwelling will consume virtually the entire lot. The current proposal is asking for a variance that would only be 5 feet from the grove.

The city Zoning Code 120-11 (R-1 Low Density Residential District) states:

(c) Rear yard.
[1] Minimum rear yard setback, principal use or structure: 20 feet or the average rear yard setback on the block on which the property is located, but in no case less than 10 feet.

Several trees will need to be cut down on the property. Washington Grove trees may suffer damage. A utility pole will need to be erected in the Grove.

I urge you and anyone you know that may be opposed to this alteration of the Washington Grove border to write a letter of opposition and reference File Number V-018-17-18 by August 14th for this project to:

Jill Symonds
If you have any questions, please feel free to call Jill at 585-428-7364.

14 and 2.5 Highland Heights and Washington Grove, Cobb’s Hill Park