Update on Washington Grove zoning variance threat

A decision was made by the City of Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals on September 20th. Unfortunately, the Board voted 4 to 1, with one abstention, to allow the variance in favor of the Gabel proposal. The park’s welfare, the concerns that were raised in so much detail on August 17th and the many letters against were, in essence, dismissed as unimportant. The concern of birders about trees, and the proximity of the house to the trail (back of the house (5 feet from property line with park) was dealt with by saying the owners can plant a row of Arborvitae and the owners have the right to cut down any and all trees on their property.  The concern about the drainage—the park as many other problems, the park should be able to absorb this amount of water. The utilities question was never brought up.   The neighbors concern about views—too bad, views are not protected.  It may be too late to change their mind but it isn’t too late to voice your concern especially if you live in the city and use the park.  If and when construction starts witnesses may be needed to ensure the contractors don’t damage park property and trees during construction.  I personally cannot conceive how they will construct a house with five feet to maneuver, five feet isn’t really enough room to plant Arborvitae.

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