WXXI AM News

Neighbors concerned with plans to expand Highland Hospital

Mar 14, 2019

Credit Highland Park Neighborhood Association

Residents who live near Highland Hospital are worried about how possible expansions to the campus might affect surrounding neighborhoods.

Roxanne Townsend is the chair of the Highland Park Neighborhood Association and has lived in the area for a little over six years now. She said the issue isn’t with the idea of expanding; the neighborhood wants to see the hospital grow.

They just aren’t happy with the idea of the proposed height of the buildings, anywhere from five to seven stories.

"That’s just so overwhelming to the neighborhood that consists of really well-kept, beautiful, historic homes," Townsend said.

She said something closer to three stories would fit in more with the area.

"You know we're the caretakers of the neighborhood.” Townsend said. “There needs to be a compromise in the way that these buildings actually get built out."

Maureen Malone is the Director of Public Relations for Highland, and says the hospital is looking to add four floors on top of a recent addition, to convert the hospital to nearly all private rooms.

She says the updates are part of the update involves updating the zoning designation of the hospital, and that they’ve worked for years to get input from neighbors.

"We're mindful of the impact our facility changes can have on our neighbors. And that we've been, this rezoning application is the result of many years of dialogue with multiple neighborhood groups and that we’ve worked hard to accommodate their concerns." 

Credit URMC

She says that anywhere they’ve diverted from a residents suggestion in their plan, it’s only because it wasn’t feasible

"So for instance, our neighbors suggested we build our new patient tower in the center of our campus. But that approach required us moving and renovating other crucial patient units."

According to City Councilman Mike Patterson, the Council is tabling the issue for now.

"For the neighbors to fully and clearly express their opinion and be heard,” Patterson said. “And also so that we can just see if we can reach some matter of resolution around the issue."

Anyone with concerns can attend a public hearing on the issue this evening at 5pm, Rochester City Hall, 30 Church Street.