Monday, December 15, 2014

Pittsford group files lawsuit over Westport Crossing

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 4:16 PM

A controversial project in the Village of Pittsford is the subject of yet another lawsuit, bringing the total to five.

Last month, the village Planning and Zoning Board approved the site plan for Westport Crossing, Mark IV Enterprise's proposed 167-unit apartment complex off of Monroe Avenue along the Erie Canal. On Friday, the Friends of Pittsford Village citizens group filed a lawsuit asking a judge to overturn that approval.

The group says that the board's approval violated the process laid out in village and state laws. But its argument is multi-tiered and draws on the project's history, starting with a November 2012 decision by the village Board of Trustees to grant Mark IV zoning permits for the project.

The special permits included a regulating plan, which specified the number, location, and maximum allowable height of the buildings. But the project's critics say that the developer turned around and submitted a site plan to the Planning and Zoning Board that reduces the number of buildings, expands the size of individual buildings, and is generally out of character with the village. In short, they argued that the developer submitted a project to the Planning and Zoning Board that greatly differed from what the trustees had approved.

The Planning and Zoning Board approved the site plan shortly after a judge ordered the board to wrap up its review. The order was part of a decision in a previous lawsuit filed by the developer; the judge ruled in Mark IV's favor. (To be clear, the judge didn't order the board to approve the site plan, just to make a decision.)

Last week, the village Architectural Preservation and Review Board rejected the developer's designs for Westport Crossing's buildings. The vote was split 3 to 2, and the majority felt that the buildings aren't in keeping with the village's character, being too tall, wide, and solid.

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