Recently, we have seen a spate of improvements at Cobb’s Hill. A Youth Challenge Course was installed, a Dog Park built and the basketball courts redone and renamed.
Now — based on a recent city council vote — there will most likely be another improvement that I hope is an improvement: the renovation,. modernization and expansion of Cobbs Hill Village.
I am ambivalent about the project. From a strictly personal perspective, I would consider living in a modernized village. As seen in the COBBS HILL SERIES (BELOW), I ceaselessly use the park and living in the Village would well compliment my lifestyle. In the summertime, I umpire on the softball fields next to the Village. What a quick commute to work!
My other ambivalence stems from whether or not the project will improve affordable housing in Rochester or ultimately shrink the stock.
As described in the CITY article by Mary Anna Towler and Jeremy Moule, in the short term low income tenants will have improved housing. But, as the current tenants pass on, affordable housing at the complex may be squeezed out by market rate apartments. Time will tell.
On one point, I am pretty certain. The expanded facility will detract from the ambience of the park. The proposed complex is not unattractive but will dominate that section of the park and bring more traffic. The expansion will cut back on the amount of wooded and grassy space.
Recently, I spoke with a man who plays basketball almost everyday next to the Village. When I explained the changes, he was opposed. He pointed how unobtrusively the Village blends in with its environment. He likened it to Letchworth Park where there might be a few buildings here or there, but do not detract from the experience.
I also worry about the tree lined trail behind the Village. The trail runs from the tennis courts, along the slope of the hill, and then to a path that ultimately ends at the entrance to Washington Grove.
The trail is serene, tranquil and bucolic. The Village below barely registers to walkers or bikers.
I hope the trail remains serene, tranquil and bucolic as the Village beneath it expands.
COBB’S HILL SERIES