NBN6 Meeting Notes October 7, 2019

NBN6 Meeting

October 07, 2019 (A week early due to the Columbus Day Holiday)

Olmsted Lodge, 171 Reservoir AVE, Rochester NY

Refreshments: Rev. Judy Hay


Introductions: Lisa Reagan

Note: The next NBN6 meeting will be on Monday, November 4, 2019 due to the Veterans’ Day Holiday.


I           Crime Prevention Reports – Community Affairs Officer

  1. Genesee Section – No major crimes.
  2. Larcenies – Packages taken by doors, Track on-line purchases. Keep cars locked. Nine golf carts stolen in three days from Genesee Valley park. Police recovered all of them at various locations around the city.
  3. Injured Police Officer – Neighbors asked about the officer severely injured responding to a domestic abuse call. The officer is a 23 year veteran, serving in the same area. Currently, two officers can respond to an incident but come from different directions in patrol cars. In this case, the officer tried to coax the suspect out from under a bed. The suspect then attacked the officer with a knife. The office called for help and good Samaritan helpers entered the room to help break up the attack. Other officers then arrived and subdued the suspect using stun-guns. The officer is in a hospital and the suspect has been arrested, as noted by news reports after the meeting.
  4. Call 911 for any immediate problems or suspicious activity. Police can make use of all reports of suspected criminal activity to help find suspects.
  5. Neighbors offered comments concerning packages taken from steps. Lockers are available at the 7-11 Store on South Clinton Avenue at Elmwood Avenue to receive packages. The store sends you an e-mail code and holds packages for three days for pickup. Delta Sonic on East Main Street and Michaels in Pittsford Plaza have similar arrangements for package delivery.
  6. A neighbor thanked officers for checking on her house by driving by it when she was away.


II  Changes to Entertainment Licensing and Zoning Code Definitions – Zina Lagonegro

  1. The Police Department and Zoning officials are concerned due to the several devastating nightclub disasters that have happened around the country. They want to be sure the proper rule and regulations are in place to prevent such incidents in the city.
  2. The definitions for entertainment of Chapter 29, Amusement, used by the Police Licensing Unit and those in Chapter 120, The Zoning Code do not agree. The definitions are too broad, giving the appearance of a process that is not fair for all. The proposed change will add new definitions for Entertainment to clarify the laws.
  3. Entertainment (Background) Pre-recorded music played as a matter of routine and completely secondary to the principal use of a nonresidential establishment, which is not audible beyond the property line of the establishment premises between the hours of 10:00 PM and 8:00 AM, and not audible at a distance of 50 feet beyond such property line between the hours of 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM.
  4. Entertainment (Limited) Any live or recorded entertainment/music, other than background music, that is completely secondary to the principal use and where there is no dedicated stage or dance area that will be provided, nor will any permanent or temporary change to the approved floor plan be made to accommodate the use. For purposes of this section, “approved floor plan” is defined as the floor plan, seating plan, or other drawings in information that served as the basis for the establishment’s most recent building permit and maximum occupancy determinations issued pursuant to Chapter 39 Building Code of the Municipal Code.
  5. Entertainment (Public) Any theatrical or musical performance, concert, athletic contest or game, exhibition, or show, including a disk jockey or a dedicated dance floor, which is offered, operated, presented or exhibited to the public. This definition does not include municipal or school auditoriums, athletic fields, playgrounds, or public parks, limited entertainment/music, or background entertainment.
  6. Concerns – Talk to your neighborhood service center. If a location is not keeping to the required hours, call police. Music should remain inside an enclosed building.
  7. Zina provided a handout explaining the proposed change in detail.


III        Genesee River Alliance – Helen Dumas

  1. The Genesee Land Trust hired Helen in July of 2019.
  2. Genesee River Alliance meets once a month. It builds partnerships with ROC the River, formerly River Romance, has a newsletter and Twitter account. The goal is to keep the community involved, organize events to enjoy the river. Helen meets with service centers, the Commissioner of Parks, and Youth Services. The Alliance worked with RIT students on a cleanup project.
  3. A neighbor was pleased with a recent walk along the river arranged by Helen Dumas. Helen worked with Rochester Gas & Electric so people had access at the river level downtown. Four or five RG&E people shepherded the group of over 40 people.


IV             Terrance Building Security Issues Report – James H. Demps, III

  1. Abandoned multistory building on Elmwood Avenue, across from the Azalea Neighborhood.
  2. After the recent fire, with people on top of the building needing rescue assistance by the Fire Department, neighbors are concerned. Units from both the City and Brighton responded to the fire call. Police also responded to help control the situation.
  3. James spoke with Ralph DiTucci, the building’s owner. Security people are monitoring the building. First floor entrances to the building were reinforced with sheets of corrugated steel and stronger padlocks.
  4. Broken windows on 2nd and 3rd floors possibly due to rocks thrown. There also is graffiti on the building in various places.
  5. Call Mr. DiTucci, 911 or the Southwest Neighborhood Service Center, 585-428-7630 to report concerns.
  6. Neighbors were concerned that people were spotted again at the top of the building but not recently.


V  Neighborhood Service Centers – Nancy Johns-Price and James H. Demps, III

  1. The city is concerned about the many smoking goods establishments appearing in neighborhoods that are not required to have any licensing other than paying sales tax. The city wants to be able to swiftly contact the owner and/or operator of these business to deal with neighborhood concerns. An example of this type of business is The Little Apothecary on South Avenue near Highland Avenue.
  2. The city is proposing changes to the Business Permit Categories to include tobacco products as defined below.

Smoking Goods Establishment: A premises where tobacco products, hookah products, vaping products, or related accessories are sold for on or off-premises use. Such products include but are not limited to cigarettes, cigars, herbal cigarettes, snuff, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, dissolvable tobacco, bidis, gutka, shisha, roll-your-own/loose tobacco, e-cigarettes, vaping devices, electronic nicotine delivery systems, hookahs and related products, rolling papers, cartridges for electronic cigarette and vapor devices regardless of nicotine or tobacco content, and any other smoked or smokeless tobacco or nicotine-containing product. This definition does not include smoking cessation medication expressly approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in smoking cessation programs.

  1. The Neighborhood Service Centers created a survey sheet to gather neighbors input on the proposed changes. They also scheduled six community meetings to discuss them. They will report to City Council in November 2019.


VI        Southwest Quarterly – Rose O’Keefe

Nancy Daley is retiring and new people have stepped in to help. There are high standards for the publication. Advertising is important as 10,000 copies cost $8,000.00. Hart’s Grocery used to distribute 5,000 copies but has now gone out of business. They  now pay for distribution, racks at Wegmans. The publication comes out on a quarterly basis, with a Holiday Issue. It helps sales at stores in the area.


VII                  Neighborhood Events

  • Swillburg – German House, November 7, 2019
  • The November NBN6 meeting is on the 4th, one week earlier due to the Veterans’ Day Holiday

Respectfully Submitted,

Sandy Brewer

Bill Brewer



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Meeting Notes September 9, 2019

NBN6 Meeting Minutes

Monday, September 9, 2019

Olmsted Lodge – 171 Reservoir Avenue

Leader: Rev. Judy Hay

Notes: Lisa Reagan with help from Sandra Brewer

Refreshment purchased by Kathy Gallagher with funds provided by the Community Foundation

  1. Introductions
  2. Crime Prevention Reports
    1. Goodman Section
      1. There was a home invasion August 28 on Nicholson Street that revealed marijuana and guns upon investigation, resulting in arrest of the victims.
      2. Garage burglary on Aug 23 with open garage door.
  • Shoplifting on South Clinton.
  1. Wallet stolen from a gym bag at the Rec Center.
  2. Package stolen on Highland Ave.
  1. Central Section
    1. 3 burglaries in unoccupied homes.
    2. 500 South – base guitar stolen from vehicle
  • 701 South – Laundromat machine coins stolen
  1. 728 South – 10 pm, bowl with cash and flooring stolen w/ unlocked side window
  2. 750 South – tip jar money stolen
  3. 8 Stebens – bikes stolen
  • 375 Averill – wallet stolen from bar
  1. Genesee Section
    1. Mr. Shoes, tip jar money stolen
    2. Green Knolls – wallet and purse taken from car
  • Menlo Park – bike stolen from street sign post
  1. 1700 Mt. Hope – plants stolen
  • Erie Harbor Phase II Advisory Committee Meeting – Lisa Reagan 
    1. Genesee Gateway Park/Erie Harbor planning Advisory Committee met
      1. repair of East side River Trail that had been expected this year will be delayed until after building the skatepark.
    2. There will be a public meeting scheduled for sometime in October



  1. Councilmembers LaSay Harris and Elaine Spaull discussed 2034 comprehensive plan

Councilmember Harris

If you have comments or feel you have not been heard, reach out to her,    she will be sure it is brought up.  They have neighborhood input, but some neighborhoods don’t have the capacity to comment in the same manner.  The City    needs to help build out neighborhoods. Please comment on zoning, the City wants to hear.

On zoning issues, zoning changes need to be made before a project is                                             proposed.

Concerned about protecting the affordable housing the City has.

She wants to hear from neighborhoods about how they want to protect                                          neighborhoods and allow development.

Councilmember Spaull

At 1:30 today there was an announcement of changes made reflecting questions raised.  Many did not have an opportunity to attend.  Some things were clarified.

In the case of City-owned properties, she wants those decisions to be made                                  with consideration for other projects happening.  She also believe the zoning                                  decision should be made generally – not based on a certain property or linked to                     bigger projects.

Zoning opens the door for changes.  This Plan is enormously ambitious.  It is a massive strategic blueprint, and residents will be living with it long after those who have drafted it have retired and will not be there to implement it.

She is very happy that Arts have been included in capitol improvements                                        for the first time – going from $0 to $150 K.

The Plan is trying to get the City ready in certain ways.  The SW and SE     have grown and the NW and NE have grown in geography and shrunk in population, creating some odd representation trades.  There will be new zoning and new types of PDDs.  Depending on the neighborhood, some have more zoning issues than others and what is a good balance.  Clifford Avenue wants          more industrial growth in the area. Shifts in demographics will force changes and create new designs, new zoning.

Revisions will be presented with the packet.  We’ll need clarification                                               about what that means.

Q: What does it mean that there have been revisions, can they change again?

Q: What is the time table for decisions?

A: That is concerning.  There is a time table for each level of government, have you had enough time to weigh in?

Q: Trying to understand it.

Q: City Newspaper includes an article regarding a loophole in parking regulations, what can you tell us about the effects?

A: Neither Member had seen it yet, but will look it up.

Q: Can you make the 2034 Plan more available?

A: Are there comments you have not been able to make?

C: I have spent hours and have only reviewed about a fifth of the Plan.  A copy in 6 libraries makes it very difficult to review. Can you put one in each library and allow us to take it out?

A: We’ll look into that.

Councilwoman Spaull – There are innovations in this Plan, like the parts that allow tiny houses.  This could be very useful for homelessness issues and people living at the Peace Encampment, who are living in tents.  Right now there is a wind tunnel that causes the tents to come down.  We’re trying to provide home access to all.

Q: Why all the rush – this is a gigantic plan with a short time to absorb it?  We like it to slow down.  There is a concern with lack of control of R-1.

A: This Plan is too important for people to not have time to review.  The new draft has to be released and then the comment period needs to be reopened.

C: I am concerned about the up zoning of single-family homes to multiples and the parking changes that will cause neighborhood cars on the streets.

A: Councilmember Spaull – I think the City added bike lanes and assumed it would trigger more bikes, etc. but there is a lag in transition and not everyone will or can bike or walk.

C: How does this Plan address the balloon of seniors needing housing and entertainment license changes?  We didn’t have understanding, and so could not comment intelligently.

A: We don’t know how that will impact it. Nancy will get information.

Nancy John Price – entertainment enforcement was always done by the RPD, through the Chief of Police.  This change is to try to get rid of a conflicting way of getting a permit- applying for a special permit.

Q: How will the neighbors control this and have an impact?

Q: Will there be public input in that area?

Q: Will those with permits be grandfathered?

A: There will always be opportunity for public input.

Q: The South Wedge was concerned that the places where neighbors were listed partners were very limited.  We identified many areas where neighbors should be included as strategic partners in the Action Plan process, such as Placemaking.  Of 57 strategies, neighborhoods were listed in only 2 places.  We and all neighborhoods want to be involved in implementation of the Plan that is passed.

A: Nancy – neighborhoods should comment that they want to be included.

C: Concern that a license for an existing building converted for another use will allow a different use as a right.  A tax exempt property use is not the same as a for-profit use. In our neighborhoods we have churched next to homes.  Zoning has not allowed drinking uses, alcohol sales, etc.

A: Council memeber Harris: make comments about that and e-mail her at lashay. harris@cityofrochester.gov.

  1. Neighborhood Service Center Reports
    1. Nancy Johns Price
      1. If you find illegal signs in the right of way, let her know. And let her know if it is too high to reach. And for graffiti, the City can remove on the first floor of a business or property.
    2. Community Sharing
      1. Judy Hay – Ralph DiTucci provided a response regarding efforts to exclude trespassers from the Terrance Building.  It has been shared on the NBN6 list.

C: There have been people on the roof in the past two weeks.

  1. b
    1. October and November meetings will be a week earlier, October 7 and November 4, because of the Columbus Day and Veterans Day closure of the County Parks Office
    2. NBN6 needs another volunteer to take notes.


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