Nursing Home Plan Withdrawn by Developer

The Rochester Planning Commission meeting was last evening and I had been busy fielding phone calls a good part of the day.  It was also my birthday – no, I’m not telling which one it was.

I was delighted when I realized that the Oakland Press’ Editorial came very close to endorsing my neighborhood’s position on the ill conceived, 10 pounds of flour in a 5 pound sack, proposal to build a nursing home next to the Waltonwood Assisted Living facility on North Main. 

The Oakland Press Editors suggested to City officials that, “The developer of the nursing home should be gently persuaded to find another location for his project and make this a win-win situation for the city.”

The developer, with a significant push from the Congregational Church, withdrew the project in front of a packed house.  The church wanted to sell all of the property that they owned on the east side of Pine Street (a lot with a home and an undeveloped parcel) but the developer wanted only the vacant lot and the rear of the property with the house for their parking lot so the negotiations were not successful.

When you think about it, the church would have been placing their house in the same untenable position that the homes on Glendale would have faced had the deal gone through –with back yards abutting a 24/7 parking lot.  You can’t convince me that wouldn’t negatively affect the value of all of those homes.

Jon Kingsepp, Planning Commission chair, called off the Public Hearing to rezoning the North Lane parcels and I’ll have to admit, I was disappointed since I’d gathered so much good material to present.  Oh well, it will keep for another day.

This is not a victory for anyone.  There was no clapping, no hoots and cheers and everyone quietly left once they were assured they’d be notified if further activity occurred. 

The Greek Revival Home is still there and many would like to see it saved and at least the next potential purchaser should come in with eyes wide open and know that the north end of Rochester is alive and well and expects the City’s Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance standards to be respected by their Mayor and City officials.  They are reasonable people but will not succumb to a really bad plan without a fight.  I also suspect that the Rochester-Avon Historical Society will continue in its quest to save what they believe to be an historic landmark.

Let’s all try to work together next time.

Sue Ann Douglas

Oakland County Commissioner