Henrietta law in question defines a "family"
Posted at: 06/27/2012 10:34 PM
| Updated at: 06/27/2012 11:26 PM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
Martha Windrem is talking about the owner of 22 properties in her Henrietta neighborhood.
Properties rented out to RIT students. Windrem says the drinking, speeding, loud noise and partying is constant.
“One man’s profit should not be valued above the lives of our community’s children.”
Paula Silverstrone agrees. She says loves her home and so do many of her neighbors -- but that's not what they think about.
She also says, “Most of us will be standing in the street talking about the latest issues and keep talking about whether we would move and it's a shame because this is what would force us out it would break our hearts.
The town addressed the complaints last year by changing the law -- making it illegal for more than four unrelated people to live in a dwelling.
The landlord, Mark Spaan was cited for breaking that law. Wednesday night, his attorney asked the zoning board of appeals to rescind it saying the law is discriminatory to students.
“If you pass a zoning law that says you have to be related to live any residential district in the town, you're basically saying to 6,000 people you can't live in this town where you go to school.”
Tina Podrasky is a fifth year engineering student. She agrees.
“If you do pass this law that no ore than three unrelated people can live in a house and something changes and we can afford to put three people in a house -- are you then going to do two until we can't afford to live there at all -- what is your overall goal -- to get us out, right?”
The town attorney says the zoning board does not have authority to determine the validity of the law but residents are counting on the board to uphold it.
Carol Malach, of Henrietta, says, “If the zoning board of appeals grants Mr. Spaans appeal it will not only be a slap in the face of neighbors who work so hard, and the taxpayers in the Chesapeake neighborhood. It will also send a message to residents across the Henrietta community they can do little to protect the integrity of their neighborhoods.”