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General Information About 75 Monroe

What is proposed: A developer has submitted plans for a new apartment complex along the Erie Canal on the western edge of Pittsford Village at the former Monoco Oil site.  The proposed development will consist of a 125-seat restaurant and seven apartment buildings with 167 apartments on the 7.4-acre property.  Plans also include a walking path and docks along the Canal’s western edge.  Monthly rents for the apartments are expected to be between $1,000 and $3,000.  Approximately 25% will be 1-bedroom; 50% 2-bedroom, and 25% 3-bedroom.  The targeted demographic for these apartments include young singles, retirees, and empty nesters.  This development will have a single entrance/exit that connects directly to Monroe Ave. between the Canal Bridge and the railroad crossing at the western edge of Pittsford Village.
The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The permitted hours of operation will have it open from 7am until midnight Monday - Thursday, 7am - 2am on Friday and Saturday, and 8am - 10pm on Sunday.  Indoor and outdoor music will be permitted until 10pm every night.  Pricing and type of food is not known at this time and will be determined by the property owner.

The scale is not compatible with structures in the village: ·      The proposal includes six apartment buildings that are primarily 4-story and 3-story that will stretch over a quarter mile along the Erie Canal.  These residential buildings are much larger than the Village’s commercial buildings.  Buildings will be up to approximately 225ft long and 52ft high (to the eves) and will sit on a raised berm.  Village code mandates any new property to be compatible with the scale of the Village [1]. According to the code “the architectural design, streetscape, building orientation, and landscape of new development within the district shall be compatible with the Village's historic features, materials, scale, and traditional neighborhood character.”[2]  Mayor Corby stated the following: “Of the Village’s 800 buildings, only church steeples, a few silos, two schools, and six commercial buildings are taller than two stories.”[3]
Size: The developer claims their proposal of 167 apartments and a 125-seat restaurant is their only financially viable option; this is a self-imposed hardship.
Taxes: Town, Village, and School tax rates are expected to be unchanged. Increases in the cost of services for school, fire, ambulance, law enforcement will be offset by additional tax revenue from the development [4].
Traffic: This development will intensify an already congested area of the Town and Village.  A 2007 traffic study found this development will increase the number of cars traveling east on Monroe Ave. over the Canal Bridge at evening rush hour by about 7%[5].  This is in addition to new traffic from recent construction in the Town of Pittsford including Trader Joes, and the new call center at 3750 Monroe Ave. that is just across the Erie Canal Bridge.  The proposed development will increase the Village population by about 20%; this new population will be concentrated at a single small location rather than being dispersed across the Village.  When a road is at capacity, even relatively modest increases in traffic can cause significant problems.  A 2010 Traffic study looked at future traffic projections and found intersections on Monroe Ave. will be “overcapacity” with 15-60 minutes delays expected at key intersections[6].  Congestion will not only harm residents, it may hurt businesses in the Village.  Employees do not want to fight traffic to get to work, and customers will seek less congested shopping areas.  This congestion will lead drivers to seek alternate routes through Village streets, possibly creating unsafe conditions.
Safety: The 2007 traffic study stated that cars traveling on the Canal Bridge over 40mph will not have sufficient sight distance to stop for vehicles exiting the site[7].  The same study found it would be difficult for vehicles to leave 75 Monroe Ave at evening rush hour due to traffic; this problem will also apply to nearby homes and businesses.
Character of the Village: The new development will be the primary sightline when entering Pittsford Village from the west.  Only preliminary sketches of the development have been submitted; no one knows what it will eventually look like.  The Village Trustees were asked to vote on a “concept” rather than a detailed finalized plan.  The Village Architectural Preservation and Review Board [APRB] found the size and massing of the “conceptual” development to be incompatible with Village character[8].
Public Services:   Public services may or may not be affected by this development.  The increase in taxpayers is expected to cover the cost of additional public services.  The Village Planning and Zoning Board report found no concerns about public services.  See their report for details[9].
Noise: Many residents are concerned about noise from the outdoor music and live bands allowed at the restaurant.  Sound travels well across the Erie Canal into the Long Meadow neighborhood. 
Light: Residents that live near the Canal are concerned about light pollution.  Lighting was addressed by the R5 zoning to minimize light pollution as much as possible.  There are strict requirements for the type of lights permitted. 

  1. R-5 Residential District Zoning §210-19.2.B.3.c.2. 
  2. R-5 Residential District Zoning §210-19.1.E. 
  3. Special Use Permit Resulution No 19 of 2012 pg 4.
  4. Village of Pittsford Planning Board report “Pittsford Village Code §210-19.2.B.(3)(b) RECOMMENDATIONS”, I. Cost of Community Services, March 26, 2012.
  5. Figure 2 and Figure 5 of “Traffic Feasibility for the Pittsford Canal Project”  by SRF Associates, August 20, 2007.
  6. Page 2 of “Monroe Avenue Corridor Study” by SRF Associates, April 2010.
  7. Table 3 of “Traffic Feasibility for the Pittsford Canal Project”  by SRF Associates, August 20, 2007.
  8. Village of Pittsford Architectural and Preservation Review Board Minutes, January 4, 2012.  Also §210-61.B
  9. Village of Pittsford Planning Board report “Pittsford Village Code §210-19.2.B.(3)(b) RECOMMENDATIONS”,  March 26, 2012.

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