So I’ve been wanting to do a post for a while about how our design changed from our initial zoning and preservation hearings to the ones taking place this year, but I just haven’t had a chance. Well that all changes here! There were three ‘substantial’ changes to the plans from the initial go around to now. They were, in no particular order: the siting of the carriage house, the roof lines of the entire project, and the front porch.

garage comparison

In the initial plans, we placed the carriage house 5 ft from the rear of the property line (fire codes, if you are interested) and had the third parking space between the house and the carriage house. In the revised plans, we’ve moved the carriage house off the property line by 9 feet, and put the parking space behind the garage. This makes the ‘lost space’ behind the carriage house much more useful while giving us additional green space between the two buildings.

Roof Lines and Front Porch
side by side rendering

There were a trio changes to the roof lines. The angles of all of the roofs were normalized. Then the roof line was brought down slightly on the main house to better meet the windows on the second floor. Finally, the triangular window was better framed and carried over to the carriage house as a unifying design cue. We believe these changes add good visual continuity to the house and more than make up for the slight loss in usable attic space.

We’ve been spooling through front porch designs since the very beginning, but we think the one we’ve settled on here does a better job of mirroring the columned front porches in the neighborhood while still maintaining the modern interpretation we’ve pursued for the house.

Just a reminder that we are on the agenda for 3/2/16 at the Preservation Board, and I should have updates soon after.


We did it! Thank you to the architects for your hard work, to the City of Rochester for having such a functional process, and to everyone else for your support. Next up: Preservation.


So we’ve now had our first ZBA and Preservation hearings. They went well.

I want to thank everyone from the community who came out for and against the project. It’s good to be involved no matter your position. I also want to thank the board members in attendance at each meeting for their hard work. We’ve received a variety of feedback regarding potential changes to the house, and we’ll be spending the next weeks and months modifying our design.

I have a few other posts that will bubble up in the interim. Even so, I can’t wait to share updated designs as soon as I have them. Hang tight.

ZBA Pt. 1

We had the hearing Thursday morning. We did not get a yes, but we also did not get a no. The logistics of only have 4 of 7 board members created a challenge. We will be implementing a few light redesigns, as well as meeting with preservation and pursuing their approval. We expect to be back before the ZBA in April or May. I’d like to thank all of the concerned neighbors who care enough about Corn Hill to have come out.


Luca with Signs

EDIT: We are 8th on the zoning agenda, which means we go on at 11:30 AM on 10/22. Would love to see you there.

This is it folks! We’re doing this. The agenda(s) aren’t yet posted on the city website, but we’ll be spending the evening of Thursday, October 22nd with the Zoning Board of Appeals and Wednesday, November 4th with the Preservation Board. Anyone reading this is cordially invited to join, whether you support our project or not (not that I have to invite you – it’s public, but I’d love to see a good turn out for what I selfishly/biased-ly consider a really special project in the city). As the week goes on, I’ll post about the variances we’re requesting as well as some images of the house and the final floor plans for the house portion, which I’ve not posted previously.

Also, big thanks for Luca (in the photo), who helped to get the signs up for the forthcoming hearings. Great work team!


Did you know Rochester has a minimum lot size of 5,000 square feet? That means you can’t newly subdivide a property smaller than that without a variance. You also can’t build anything except for a single family home on an already existing property of that size, no matter the zoning, without a variance (you’ll probably also take up more than a third of the lot with your house and need a variance for that too). Just in case anyone is ever curious what you’re up against when trying to build something new in town vs. an easily thrown together subdivision in Rush (sorry Rush!), give the city’s zoning code a whirl here. Call us crazy, but we still think it’s worth it.