The George Eastman House has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent construction of an apartment complex on University Avenue in the East Avenue Preservation District. The paperwork was filed Monday in state Supreme Court.
The Eastman House is asking the court to reverse or nullify decisions made by City of Rochester boards that allowed the project to proceed, and to permanently halt the project.
Eastman House Director Bruce Barnes said in a December 6 letter to Eastman House members that the 99-unit apartment complex proposed by Morgan Management would cause irreversible damage to the national landmark. The complex would be 20 feet from the Eastman House's property line.
"Despite our determined efforts, city agencies have allowed the project to proceed without regard to our landmark, our neighborhood, or the East Avenue Preservation District," Barnes said.
The city's Preservation Board is scheduled to vote on the project's final required approval on Wednesday night, but the Eastman House has asked the court to keep the city from taking any further action on the project.
Barnes and the Eastman House have opposed the project from the outset, saying that the building would harm the view from the Eastman House property, and that the complex is not permitted under the planned development district which was created in 2011.
The lawsuit names Robert Morgan of Morgan Management, the City of Rochester's director of planning and zoning, the city's Planning Commission and Preservation Board, as well as the Monroe Voiture No. 111 Memorial Home, which owns the University Avenue property.
Supporters of the Morgan proposal say that the developer has done everything asked of it to mitigate concerns; the design has gone through several revisions. They also say that the project will be good for University Avenue, and that the upscale apartments will attract young people and empty-nesters.
The Eastman House's petition to the court is embedded below, while all of the its initial filings are available here.