In 2019, my parents purchased a townhome on Viola Heights Drive NE that shares a perimeter with a commercial lot on 26th Street NE. They loved the quiet neighborhood and backyard with unobstructed views and believed that this would be the perfect place to live out their retirements. As the former mayor of the city in which they previously resided, my father was diligent about gathering information prior to their purchase. He learned that the property on 26th Street NE was zoned for a one-story commercial building; they purchased their home comfortable in that knowledge. On March 10, the Planning and Zoning Committee approved a change that will now allow for the building of a three-story, 66-unit apartment complex in their backyard.
Sadly, my father died on Feb. 11. My family had been consoled knowing that my mom has a comfortable, quiet home in which to live; we are now shocked and saddened, knowing that a large complex could be built behind her home. Increased traffic, noise, congestion and obstruction of views will completely alter the living situation for my mother and her neighbors. Residents of this neighborhood purchased their townhomes for the quiet location, with the knowledge that the adjacent property was zoned for construction of a single-story building. I am asking that the Rochester City Council honor these homeowners' wishes by denying the construction of this apartment complex. Approving the building of this complex will demonstrate a lack of integrity by the City of Rochester.
Erin Martin, Rochester