Neighbors continue to say no to zoning changes at Highland Hospital


    (WHAM photo)

    Rochester, N.Y. - Rochester City Council has tabled a vote on what future development could look like at Highland Hospital.

    The work is far from the building stage. First the property needs to be rezoned. That is what has been a constant concern for people who live nearby.

    “A new zoning plan is going to be setting the course for the hospital for decades to come,” said Kerry Regan, who can see the hospital from his home.

    The building renovations hospital leaders are hoping to propose would add four floors atop the current three on the hospital’s south side. This would allow more space for patients, and make patients’ rooms private.

    But the change in zoning would pave the way for the hospital to be tiered and to go as high at 11 stories in the center of the building.

    “I think we want to be somewhat assured that this is not going to spiral out of control in the next few years by giving too much latitude,” said Marie Via, who lives nearby.

    Neighbor Alex Zazubec fears his home could be damaged again by violent shaking from construction at the hospital.

    “We had eight of our rooms, ceilings with cracks, and the garage foundation dropped,” said Zazubec, who added the hospital did pay for the repairs. “I think it's important the entire neighborhood is aware when the hospital is doing this kind of work; every home may be subject to this earthquake-kind of experience.”

    Maureen Malone, Director of Public Relations at Highland Hospital, sent 13WHAM a statement ahead of Thursday night’s hearing:

    Our hospital has proudly served the greater Rochester community as part of the Highland Park neighborhood for more than a century. The Highland team is mindful of the potential impact facility changes can have on our neighbors, and our rezoning application is the result of many years of dialog with multiple neighborhood groups. We have worked hard to accommodate their concerns while making the improvements required of a modern health care facility. We're hopeful that city council will agree so that we can move forward with our improvement plans, which will allow Highland to better serve our neighborhood and the community as a whole.

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