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Pittsford’s Westport review budges a bit 

Westport Crossing has been an exercise in conflict.

Mark IV’s proposed Erie Canal-side apartment complex in the Village of Pittsford has drawn criticism from some village residents and elected officials because they believe the proposed buildings would be too big and wouldn’t match Pittsford’s character. And after receiving approvals from the village Board of Trustees and planning board, it became the center point in a tangle of lawsuits.

click to enlarge Mark IV cleaned up 75 Monroe Avenue, the former Monaco Oil site, to build an apartment complex. But the site has sat idle while approval processes and lawsuits play out. - PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • Mark IV cleaned up 75 Monroe Avenue, the former Monaco Oil site, to build an apartment complex. But the site has sat idle while approval processes and lawsuits play out.
The project has been under village review since 2009, and it has all the approvals it needs except the Pittsford Architectural Preservation and Review Board’s sign-off. But after months of inertia, the APRB review recently inched forward at the direction of State Supreme Court Justice John Ark, who’s handling all the lawsuits.

The APRB is tasked with making sure new buildings and changes to existing ones match the village’s historic character. Ark worked with board members and Mark IV to address some of the village’s persisting concerns about building size, Don Riley, Mark IV’s vice president of development, said earlier this week. The company tamped down the size of the buildings, he said.

The APRB has now asked the village planning board to evaluate whether the project’s designs are consistent with the village’s waterfront development plan.

“It's time for them to – pardon the expression – fish or cut bait,” said Riley.

Mayor Bob Corby, who’s objected to the proposed size of the buildings, says the modified designs are “a little better” than the last version the developer submitted to the APRB, which deviated from what the village board approved in 2012. Corby voted against that approval.

The mayor still has concerns about the scale of the buildings, and if the past is any indication, those reservations may be a sign that the war over Westport Crossing isn’t over.

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