NBN6 Feb 8 2016 Meeting Notes

NBN6 Meeting Notes

February 8, 2016

Facilitator : Sue O’Neil

Refreshments:  Lisa Reagan (NeighborGood Grant)

______________________

Discussion notes are “coded” in the following way:

Q = Question

A = Answer

C = Comment

______________________

 

  1.  Introductions

 

  1.  Crime reports from Rochester Police Department 

Goodman Section:

-No violent crime in the area

-3 burglaries – Meigs, Rockingham, S. Goodman

-6 larcenies (including 4 motor vehicle breakins)

-1 motor vehicle theft, which was recovered

Genesee Section:

-No violent crime in the area

-1 burglary on Henrietta Rd.

-Two thefts

 

 

Central Section:

-1 stolen vehicle from Sanford St.

-8 car larcenies; 6 occurred in one night on Mt. Hope Ave. near Erie Harbour

-1 burglary that may have been related to a domestic dispute

 

Q: Have RPD officers received active shooter program training?

A: Yes, we’ve received training and have we’ve changed our tactics (e.g. focus on getting the bad guys as opposed to stopping to help anyone, getting into the building as soon as possible rather than waiting for more backup)

Q: Why would it take so long for someone to respond to a totaled car in the intersection at South Ave?

A: Not sure why, but you’re welcome to call 9-1-1 back again and can ask to speak to a supervisor if you’re not satisfied with service

 

  1. Neighborhood Service Center reports

Review of RPD section borders on map projected on the screen; the maps on the City website are not yet updated to reflect the correct boundaries but will be soon

April 30 is Clean Sweep; contact Kelvin Knight (knightk@cityofrochester.gov) with your community projects; always remember we can do “mini-clean sweeps” anytime throughout the year

Southwest NSC is looking for people to participate in a traffic study on Mt. Hope Ave from Cook St. to Sanford St. and the Ford/Mt. Hope intersection; contact John McMahon at john.mcmahon@cityofrochester.gov or 428-7630 if interested

 

  1. Center for Public Safety Initiatives, Criminal Justice Dept, RIT  (Mary Beth Spinelli)

Looking to recruit groups to participate in focus group discussions that will collect community views on criminal justice issues, specifically views on policing and the local justice system.

We can do this for business or community groups (e.g. PACTAC) of 4-12 people. We’re happy to come to wherever you are. Will follow up on the session with a written report, which will be passed on to the Chief of Police, District Attorney and other public officials.

This is part of a grant funded effort to reduce gun violence by asking the community how they think the RPD and our justice system is working for them

If you have ideas for individuals/groups to participate, please contact Mary Beth Spinelli at mbsgcj@rit.edu or 475-4834.

Nancy Johns-Price:  We can provide meeting space at the Southeast NSC office

 

  1.  The Lofts at Gold Street  Project (Duncan Frame and Ken Burnham)

-“A Mixed Use Student Suite Residence” with 3,000 of first floor commercial space

-Looking to join an existing commercial strip

-Student housing makes sense at this location; they can help keep local businesses and local economies thriving, support the CollegeTown restaurants and shops.

-Don’t expect a heavy impact on traffic with this development; students use different modes of transportation to get to campus especially given the shortage of parking at UR

-Believe we have appropriate amount of parking based on comparable data of other student housing facilities; will have assigned parking spots and will hopefully have additional on-street parking spaces added in front of the building

-We believe residential use will have much less impact on traffic and quality of life than many other alternative uses (e.g. night clubs, restaurants)

-We hope this will bring more energy to the area and boost the local economy

CJS Architects presented the design/concept:

-House at 10 Gold Street would be demolished

-Commercial building on corner of Langslow would be demolished

-Development would include two new 4 & 5 story buildings

-3,000 square foot of retail space with storefront on Mt. Hope Ave.; remainder of 1st floor would be used for resident space/amenities

-40 units total made up of 4 bedroom units (1800 sf) & 2 bedroom units (900 sf)

-Exterior will probably involve brick and glass

-Parking will be behind the building

C: We already have lots of students in the neighborhood in multifamily homes that have been broken up; adding another 100+ students will not help; we think it will encourage other developers to add more student housing in our neighborhood; we don’t believe there is enough parking planned for this development; the height of the building is too high and not fitting with the scale of the neighborhood; this will hasten the deterioration of our neighborhood; students have parties, they make noise, they’re transient, they’re careless and messy; the concentration of students in one area is a problem.

A: Planning for 24/7 security and parents will be required to sign a code of conduct; students and permanent residents can co-exist very well and attract (not deter) more permanent residents

C: We don’t want to be Park Avenue; we have a different quality of life here; I left Park Avenue because of issues related to students; this location is across from one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the country; we love the visual landscape, the peacefulness, the parks; this doesn’t blend in with our residential neighborhood; it  looks like the public safety building; what’s the vision or attempt to fit into the landscape?

A: With this design, we’re looking to make a positive statement relative to the street; street view that’s something other than a parking lot; makes sense to have more density on a main thoroughfare like Mt. Hope Ave.; healthy neighborhoods have some density

C: There’s no promotion by the City for owner occupied dwellings anymore and we’re seeing a tremendous push toward rental property; we don’t need any more retail; we already have a traffic issues and we’re already overrun with students; and we’ll be further overrun with rental units with the development on Elmwood Ave (Note: reference is to the Morgan Development proposal for Terrance tower/building that was the old “psych center”)

A: That Elmwood property is going to be a sea of parking and not walkable enough to amenities so it will cause more vehicle traffic, as opposed to our project which is within a quarter mile of CollegeTown and we believe will encourage walking

C: We already have enough traffic and congestion on Mt. Hope Ave; I don’t think students will feel safe walking so they will drive; your 48 spots will not be enough and they will park on our residential streets

A: The closer students live to the UR, the fewer cars you’ll have in this area

C: The density of students is a real problem; I also have lived in Park Ave and know the issues brought by high volume of students; this is a fancy dormitory and a building that is not re-usable for any other purpose; this belongs on the campus where it can be monitored by the university administration and security

Q: Any way there can be hedgerows or some other type of screening to improve the view and have a barrier between the building and residential homes?

A: Yes, the parking lot will be screened in some way

Q: What parking is planned to support the retail space?

A: There will be parking allocated to the retail that will follow City regulations for required parking for a retail development (number of spots required per 1,000 square feet)

Colleen McCarthy of UR offered her contact information (colleen_mccarthy@urmc.rochester.edu) for residents with concerns about UR students living in the neighborhood; the UR has a Department of Student Housing that can assist residents problem solve issues with off campus students.

All are encouraged to submit your comments in writing to Peter Siegrist at peter.siegrist@cityofrochester.gov by the deadline for public comment  this Friday, February 12.

 

  1. Mt. Hope Ave Traffic Study (Lisa Reagan)

Petition was signed by neighbors with 150 signatures urging the City to address the traffic issues of volume, speed, lack of police enforcement, etc on Mt. Hope Ave.

Neighborhood representatives met with the City on Jan 15 to receive preliminary study findings and recommendations. The City reported that they did not find an increase in volume, speed and congestion, which conflicts with what neighbors have experienced and been reporting.

Waiting for a letter of response from the Mayor and will schedule a public meeting to review the final results of the study when it becomes available, so keep an eye out for that.

Q:  Are they collecting new information or just finding existing sources of data?

A: I believe some part is existing information from the State and not sure exactly what data might be newly collected by the City

Additional answer by Michael Orman: It’s not clear and when we asked for the complete set of data sources, we were told to submit a FOIL request for that information

 

  1.  Community Sharing

SWPC announcements:

-If you need assistance with home repair, grants are available, so please get in touch with us (go to www.swpc.org)

-We are still looking for committee members and neighbors to get involved!

-The City Love benefit event will be on Friday, April 1st at German House; more info at www.roccitylove.com

Highland Branch library announcements:

-Thurs morning story times if you have or know anyone with young children

-Next book group meeting on Feb 27th

-There will be an “App-y hour on Feb 26th if you’re interested in learning more about mobile apps that are out there

-More info on the Highland Branch webpage found at www3.libraryweb.org

 

 

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