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No decision on Pittsford housing plan

By: Mike Murphy//April 23, 2013

No decision on Pittsford housing plan

By: Mike Murphy//April 23, 2013//

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A decision on a controversial housing plan proposed for a Pittsford neighborhood rich in history appears a ways off.

But some Pittsford town staff and representatives from the developer of a proposed subdivision will meet in an attempt to iron out details of the plan and give a sense of the direction the plan is headed.

Neighbors are upset over the conceptual plan for 20 new homes, two of which would be built on Mitchell Road. The rest of the homes, described as traditional, New England-style homes, would be constructed in a cul-de-sac off Route 31.

Members of the Planning Board have visited the site, and they are struggling with issues that have been brought forth, said board Chairman Jeffrey House. Some of the questions center on grading and “technical” issues, but others on density, House said at a board meeting April 22, prompting the need for a meeting with the developer.

Ed Kay, who lives at 55 Mitchell Road, is seeking to develop 18 acres of his property. Pittsford-based Homes by Ryan is the builder.

William N. LaForte, a representative for the developer, said the meeting with staff is necessary for guidance on density and to get a sense of the appropriateness of the proposed lots.

Neighbors, who also spoke out at the board meeting April 22, remain concerned over several issues, including traffic.

The area is zoned Residential Neighborhood District, a designation created to preserve the context of single-family home neighborhoods.

The zoning poses several questions for what is “kind of an eclectic neighborhood,” said Peggy Caraberis, who is chair of the Historic Pittsford group.

The organization calls this neighborhood historically and architecturally significant and “unique and irreplaceable” and is concerned about the proposed development.

The Mitchell Road neighborhood is characterized by landmark homes and landscaped properties. A portion of the 18-acre property in question is used for farming. Other neighbors say they enjoy the wildlife and wooded setting.

Drivers travel over a one-lane bridge over the Erie Canal and hikers use the canal path and Mohawk Trail.

“What is a neighborhood and how do we figure out what a neighborhood is?” Caraberis asked. “It’s not a typical subdivision neighborhood.”

Several larger homes on Mitchell Road would have the new homes in their backyards, as would homes in the Glen Cannon neighborhood to the west.

“I think this is a very poor thing,” said Marie Wells, of Mitchell Road.

Preservation of this neighborhood requires scrutiny on the part of the board, Caraberis said.

“If we don’t do this right, we’ll harm these historic properties,” Caraberis said.

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