Recently I organized an informal meeting with neighbors about a potential development in SW Rochester. This was not a required meeting, but rather an opportunity for neighbors to see the concept and offer suggestions.
I was disappointed to read a note (that was distributed, but not sent to me) by one of those neighbors, Dan Johnson. I am sharing the note because it contains false information. Many times neighborhoods don’t get to see concepts ahead of the time because developers fear people that act like Mr. Johnson. Here is the note.
Wanted to let you know, right on the heels of the controversial Orchard Hills project, developers are moving forward with the Fox Hill Villas, the neighbors are concerned about the project and will be submitting a petition against the proposed zoning change in June. Adding more traffic to an already unmanageable situation put many pedestrians and small children playing in the park at risk. Also, there is many wildlife living in the trees. owls, eagles and hawks, blue birds, and many other migratory birds and land animals. Their homes will be destroyed. The neighbors are not against urban sprawl, however they do not believe that the proper animal, traffic and drainage studies given the elevations have been thoroughly conducted. There are drainage projects down stream which have been delayed for many years, which will be directly affected by this building project. Planning and zoning will be sending out the zoning cards just in time for the May 30th meeting. Attached, is a letter which was sent out from the builders and Michael Wojcik is very much in favor of the project and is working very close with the developers John Klopp and Mark Hanson, Fox Hill LLC to help them. Wojcik has already secured a land swap with Parks and Rec and they are moving very fast leaving the residents in dust!!!!. Thank you, YoungeParkNeighbors and Friends.
Here are some issues:
- I have not heard from any neighbors on a petition, Mr. Johnson would be the first. I hope they will contact me or the developer if they have concerns. I would rather talk to someone than have them sending notes like this behind my back.
- Orchard Hills Villas were not controversial. It passed planning and the city council unanimously, sales have been brisk, only a few neighbors objected, units are now more popular and valuable than surrounding properties.
- Mr. Johnson asks about studies without ever having talked to anyone about what has and has not been done.
- He states that I am very much in favor of the project. Because I am likely to be in a quasi-judicial capacity I can take no stance on the project. My role was to bring it to neighbors, gather input, suggest ideas, etc. I have not and will not take a position until a public hearing at the city council chambers has taken place. This is an irresponsible and inaccurate statement by Mr. Johnson.
- Mr. Johnson suggests that I secured a land swap with the park. I did no such thing, that process doesn’t even come to the city council and I was not involved in the decision. Again this is a irresponsible and inaccurate statement by Mr. Johnson.
- Mr. Johnson suggests we are moving “very fast and leaving the neighbors in the dust.” He says this for a project that was just submitted. He also fails to realize that he was given access to an informal meeting before the public would normally have a chance. Mr. Johnson is complaining that a process that has not officially started is moving too fast. Stew on that…