NBN6 Jan 11 2016 Meeting Notes

NBN6 Meeting Notes

January 11, 2016


Facilitator: Reverend Judy Lee Hay

Refreshments: Sue O’Neil / NeighborGood Grant

Notetaker: Mary Staropoli




  1.  Introductions


  1.  Report from Rochester Police Department Sections


Genesee Section:

-1 burglary

-Some car thefts but no particular patterns

-Quiet month for us relatively speaking


Goodman Section:

-3 assaults

-4 burglaries – Meigs, Cayuga, Wall, Mulberry

-21 larcenies, most from motor vehicles; a prime suspect in many of these car breakins was apprehended with assistance of a bait car


Q: Was there any pattern to the burglaries (i.e. times of day)?

A:  Details of the burglaries: Mulberry St was unlocked garage; Wall St was unlocked garage (arrest made); Cayuga St was basement breakin (arrest made); Meigs St. was unlocked side window; Mt. Vernon was forced entry into garage


Central Section:

-6 car larcenies

-1 stolen vehicle on Gregory St.

-Assault/cutting on South Ave high rise, involving a drug sale and two known parties

-Noticeable pattern of more forced entries into cars (i.e. breaking window); do not leave valuables of any kind in plain view

-Do NOT leave a spare/valet key in your car (we’ve seen many instances lately)


  1. Neighborhood Service Center Update


Southwest NSC office (David Hawkes):


Trying to get community volunteers together to partner with the City to work on community projects. If you have ideas for what you’d like to see, please contact me to talk about how we can make it happen.


The City is working on a RocSpot initiative – professional services agreement with a solar energy company founded by RIT grad; grants will be available to help residents “go solar”; RocSpot will be invited here to speak some time in the future to share the opportunities.


Q: We’re looking to continue addressing speeding and traffic calming issues on Mount Hope; is that something we can work with the SW NSC office on?

A: Yes, and we have a speed trailer that’s available for use in that effort


Southeast NSC office (Kelvin Knight):


Following up on a RPD mapping question from a previous meeting; brought lists for neighborhood leaders to take with them to assist in identifying which NSC/RPD office services for each street in all of Sector 6.


Questions? Contact Kelvin with followup questions at knightk@cityofrochester.gov.


  1. 1176 Mt. Hope, “The Lofts at Gold Street” (Peter Siegrist, City of Rochester)


Proposal for two new buildings to replace two existing buildings on Mt. Hope (currently Empire Comics) and on Gold St. (currently a 2 family house)


Plan is for 40 units of housing, 16 4-bdrm and 24 2-bdrm units. There will be parking behind the building using a portion of the Distillery’s parking lot.


Internal review is underway, will probably be submitted to Planning Commission in March.


There’s a public meeting on Jan 18, 6:30 @ St. Ann’s Church (1600 Mount Hope Ave) where you can hear directly from the developers about their plans.


Q: Is the home on Gold St. residentially zoned?

A: I don’t believe so, I believe it’s commercially zone, but I can confirm (later confirmed by City GIS Map that it is zoned as C-1)


Q: How many variances will be required?

A: There’s no height or set-back limits, but there may be an issue with the amount of parking currently planned


Q: Compared to current height, what will be the height of the new buildings?

A: The current buildings are 2 stories and the new buildings would be 4 and 5 stories high


Q: Will Distillery parking that will be displaced be offloaded elsewhere in the neighborhood?

A: That part of Distillery’s parking lot was never permitted and we don’t believe it was heavily utilized



Q: All public comments are supposed to be received by January 22; can that be extended? (I asked the question and was told “no” by a City staffer)

A: Yes, I can commit to that; given the holidays, we can extend it by at least a couple weeks; I would like to get as much input as possible from the community


Q: Where can people submit comments?

A: They can submit by email to me at peter.siegrist@cityofrochester.gov


Q: Given that this is a private dormitory, it seems “under-parked”; will the City view this as the dormitory that it’s intended to be?

A: We look at this as a private market rate apartment


Q: One of the developers’ floor plan shows a “grocery” on part of the first floor but another shows something else; what’s their plan for that?

A: This will be zoned a mixed-use development, so they have to include a public use; there is 6,000 sq feet of commercial space on the first floor and there will be parking requirements for that type of use


Q: What traffic study information about Mt. Hope Ave is being considered? Has there been any capacity study? How will the City assess the traffic impact?

A: It’s a concern of mine too, so let’s get together to discuss


C: The rendering doesn’t seem to reflect the actual size of the building (i.e. new building height of 5 stories relative to the two story homes adjacent to it)


Q: Mt. Hope & Elmwood is the busiest intersection in the County; can the City request a traffic study based on that fact?

A: I think that’s a very good point/idea


Q: Will they be marketing this as student housing?

A: We’ll be treating it as a market rate apartment building for the purposes of establishing needed parking; there’s no guarantee of attracting students

C: But if you have 4 rooms/students, you’re likely to have 4 cars whereas you’d likely have only 2 cars for a typical household


C: We have a real problem with single family homes in the neighborhood being converted to student housing; it is causing major issue with parking on the street and other quality of life issues (e.g. trash, noise, properties not being cared for)

A: Those are very important concerns; please record your comments and send to me in writing


C: We’re all very concerned about scale and congestion; the height and size of this development in an area already overrun with student housing causes serious concern


Q: Will the fact that it sits in a historic district across from Mt. Hope Cemetery be reviewed?

A: That aspect will be reviewed by the Environmental Commission on Jan 21 (5:30pm at City Hall, Room 223B), and that’s a public meeting

Q: How will the City keep up with noise ordinance violations with an added new development when it doesn’t seem they can keep up or respond adequately now?

A: We can and will make every effort to enforce noise ordinances


C: Changing dynamic of the neighborhood due to increase in rental properties is a real concern


All are encouraged to submit your comments to Peter Siegrist (peter.siegrist@cityofrochester.gov) and attend the public meeting on January 18. The developers will also be coming to the next NBN Sector 6 meeting on Feb 8 which will be a second opportunity for input.


Q: Can the public comment period be extended until after that Feb 8 meeting?

A: Yes, we can do that.


  1.  Terrance Building (1209 Elmwood Ave) – Art Ientilucci and Ralph DiTucci


Two public meetings at Brickstone have already been held. We have yet to submit our planning documents, so we’re happy to have all the feedback and input from the community early on. We received great comments at public meetings and have already made some adjustments.


First step is to clear the site and demolish the building, which is currently an eyesore.


The plan is to develop a 28 acre site that bisects Rochester and Brighton. Plan is for 400 apt units (in two 5-12 story buildings), hotel and two commercial buildings on the City side (17 acres), and for 22 townhomes, 80 apt units, and another commercial building on the Brighton side (11 acres).


All the units will be market rate rental (no owner occupied). The largest apartment building will have a swimming pool and community building.


Rooftop terraces are planned for all the major buildings. The tallest building will be about half the height of the existing Terrance Tower.


We will need to apply for change in zoning in Rochester to accommodate what we’re proposing to do. The site will also need to undergo an environmental study and remediation work (there is known asbestos contamination).

We’ve owned the property for 5.5 years and are excited to re-develop it. We’re looking to create a community, pedestrian access, connections to trails. We intend for commercial buildings to house retail and office tenants that will service the neighborhood.


A traffic study and parking analysis is underway. Planning documents will be submitted to the City in the next several weeks. The goal is to begin abatement and demolition in 2016, and to continue with utilities and grading, and begin construction.



Q: Will there be a traffic light introduced there? I predict a “nightmare” and for that traffic to be shifted to Azalea St.

A: Each intersection is being studied by the professionals conducting the traffic study, so we assume their forecasts will be accurate and the plans will be made accordingly.

C: At the last community meeting, Azalea neighbors present were not keen on moving the traffic light from Azalea to Goodman


Q: How tall are the buildings on Elmwood?

A: Those buildings would be 2-3 stories


Q: Will you be doing onsite storage and storm water management? Don’t believe the current system can handle all this added capacity.

A: The utility and site grading process is underway by professional engineers, and we believe we will satisfy all the requirements for the sewage system and they will point out any projected problems

C: We’ve had cellar flooding in the area in the past; I sure hope they have good plans for this


Q: What’s the timeline on the public comment period? Will there be public meetings?

A: There will be public hearings with Planning Commission and City Council, and probably additional public meetings; we’re still very early in the process


Q: What do you know about market demand for this many units?

A: We commissioned a comprehensive market study, which took into account City Gate and CollegeTown; it showed 635+ unit demand in this area; we are designing the apartments to appeal to a very broad income and demographic base of tenants; there will be a variety of unit prices available


Q: Will any units be low income? You’re financing this all yourself?

A: No and yes.


  1.  Community Sharing


SWPC welcomes all community members to attend an “Wedge Me In” open house an Friday, Jan 22, 6:30-9:30 at 224 Mt. Hope Ave., and to consider applying for open Board positions and otherwise getting involved in SWPC’s efforts.


Church of Latter Day Saints has 2-10 volunteers to do community service projects; contact Kelvin Knight (knightk@cityofrochester.gov) for more information.



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