March 9, 2015 Meeting Notes
1) RPD Crime Report – Brian Bannerman
Year to date, crime in every category (except for rape) is down substantially from last year. The only exception is rape, which is because last year’s crime rate in that category was zero.
Significant incidents in previous month:
-Vehicle pursuit down Westfall/South Ave; some arrests made but not of the main suspect
-Attempted robbery at Papa Johns on Mount Hope Ave.; suspect was arrested
-Serious domestic incident at a residence on Mount Hope Ave.
Brian Bannerman is being transferred to the training academy as a full time instructor and will no longer be at the SE NSC; Michelle Velez (when she returns from medical leave) will continue as the Crime Prevention Officer for our area.
2) Fire Department – South Avenue station crew
Biggest concern is frozen hydrants; if you see one that needs to be shoveled out, please call 311 or the fire department directly to report it and we’ll try to get it cleared out.
Vehicle congestion is also a concern, getting down streets and firefighter safety.
Any issues, feel free to email Lieutenant Bagley at email@example.com.
3) Highland Hospital – Mike Zanghi & Barb Ficarra
Certificate of Need process to the Dept. of Health has been submitted; reviewers will look at architecture, financials, etc., and hopefully provide site approval to move forward by mid-May; estimated construction start is June/July.
A site plan approval was submitted to the City. They approved the variance with two stipulations. The first stipulation that more parking spaces be created to absorb the 55 spaces lost in the South lot. Restriping the South Ave parking garage will accommodate those space plus 24 additional spaces. The second stipulation that the State not require an egress for fire trucks onto Mt. Vernon. Both the local fire company and the state agree there is enough space for a fire truck to turn around, thus alleviating the need for a driveway onto Mt. Vernon, which is a benefit to both the hospital and the neighborhood.
A Planned Development Zoning plan is being developed to update Highland zoning and Master Facility Plan that defines the entire Highland campus over the long-term (e.g. maximum height, property edges). The Hospital will be engaging a consultant and developing the plan over the next 6 months, engaging the neighborhood through the Steering Committee, and it will then go to the Planning Commission and City Council for approval in the fall.
Something that will tie in to the overall PD process is planning through the Landscaping Committee (a sub-committee of the neighborhood Steering Committee); Highland heard concern from neighbors and will work to improve visual appearance, create noise buffers, integrate Highland better into the neighborhood, link the hospital to nearby Highland Park and the history of the neighborhood. One short-term effort has been the planting of Honey Locust trees, lilac bushes and other garden plants along Rockingham Street.
When the project moves into the construction phase, the construction project manager, Kevin Hoffman of LaBella Associates, will be responsible for minimizing stakeholder impact including safety, noise, traffic, dust, vibrations, equipment exhaust, parking and conduct of workers. They will work hard to resolve any neighborhood concerns.
Q: Are there any elements that may be sticking points with the Dept. of Health?
A: The number of patient beds and the associated patient technology are definitely areas they’ll look at but since we’re not adding beds, we don’t think that will be an issue.
Q: Were on-street parking issues addressed in the City site plan approval?
A: The 24 parking spaces being added should take some pressure off the on-street parking.
C: The trees that used to exist along South Avenue were reminiscent of an extension of the Park, so perhaps you can bring some of those tree varieties back.
C: The snow mound on the corner of South & Rockingham needs to be considered in choosing what will be planted there so it isn’t destroyed during the winter.
Q: Is there an option for hospital staff to park at UR and take a shuttle over?
A: Yes and we also have carpooling and other incentives to encourage employees not to drive to work; Barb will forward Mike Thompson a list of the parking options that are offered to employees.
Q: On an average day, how many people would be on site working?
A: Approximately 50 workers at a peak time.
C: You will need to be aware of the School #12 renovation and construction happening across the street.
C: One concern in the past has been the arrival of workers; you might say 7am, but the workers show up at start creating noise at 6:15am.
A: The issue will be addressed if it arises again during this project.
Highland will provide this presentation electronically, which includes the “Point of Contact” for neighbor concerns.
4) Psych Center Update – Allen Richards (NYS Representative Harry Bronson’s Office)
14 months ago, an announcement was made that there would be some changes to the Rochester Psychiatric Center (RPC). The proposal at that time was for the facility to convert to strictly forensic beds (from a mix of civil and forensic beds). It sparked a community discussion of the community need for both civil and forensic beds. A Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP) has been formed that is meeting regularly with the Executive Director to continue discussing these issues.
There is ongoing litigation regarding overarching policies that are still being weighed and reviewed, so we don’t know the impact of the ultimate result of that on the RPC and the permanent make-up of civil vs. forensic beds.
Q: Are these short-term beds?
A: The forensic beds can be quite long-term, but there is a maximum stay.
Feel free to contact Allen Richards at 244-5255 with any questions or concerns.
5) NSC Report – Nancy Johns-Price
Nancy will send information out about S. Clinton Ave. reconstruction since the Project Manager couldn’t be here tonight.
Update on RPD/NSC re-organization:
Nancy can confirm that the map that was published showing the new boundaries of the NSCs, was incorrect. All of Mount Hope Ave. is going to the Southwest NSC. The decision is final and the City is in the implementation stage. Kate Washington is serving as Interim Commissioner of but has no background on the RPD re-organization plan, so she will probably not be helpful in responding to an appeal on this issue.
A new map will be coming out as soon as everything is finalized. The NSC re-org will go into effect at the same time as the RPD re-org on March 30.
Q: We’ve heard unprecedented, major frustrations from residents about snow removal issues this winter; cars being sideswiped, school buses unable to pass, residents being blocked in; can we sit down and discuss the issues and proactive measures so we can have a better year next year?
A: Yes, that’s been suggested and we do need to do that after the end of this season. In general, you should instruct people to log their complaints on the City’s website so that it’s recorded in writing, and the City has a policy about required response.
Q: Would the City consider a mobile app that would allow residents to report snow related problems?
A: That has been suggested but has not gotten traction inside City Hall.
Q: Who do people call about rat problems?
A: If its interior, the City handles it and they can call Nancy; if it’s exterior, the County handles it and they can call 753-5864.
6) Community Sharing
Follow up from discussion of WedgePoint project at the last meeting – they will extend the road median; the project will break ground in May.
Highland Market construction site continues to be in apparent violation (e.g. fire hydrant obstruction). Perhaps Peter Siegrist could be asked back to report again on the City’s oversight of the project.
The Lake and Waterfront Redevelopment Plan draft document is now available on the website at www.cityofrochester.gov/lwrp. Paul Minor will update us in the near furure.