NBN6 Sept 12 2016 Meeting Notes

 

NBN6 Meeting Notes

September 12, 2016

Facilitator:  Lisa Reagan

Refreshments:  NeighborGood Grant / Mary Staropoli

______________________

SPECIAL NOTICE:

The October NBN6 Meeting will be on Monday, October 24

(a deviation from our usual 2nd Mondays schedule)

______________________

Discussion notes are “coded” in the following way:

Q = Question

A = Answer

C = Comment

  1. Introductions

 

  1.  Crime report from Rochester Police Department 

GENESEE SECTION – Officer Tony McMullan

  • Positive trends, all crime down in last 2 weeks from same period last year
  • Robberies are an exception – increase from 4 to 6; bank robberies on Mt. Hope represent 3 of those 6; we have a lead on a prime suspect
  • Green Knolls is a frequent location for crime in this area
  • How is signal-activated crosswalk on Mt. Hope Ave going?
    • “I feel like it’s a death trap; cars do not slow down or stop”
    • “Seems like it may take time for people to catch on”
    • “I’ve found cars do eventually stop, though not right away”
    • Mike Orman: Monroe County is looking for input on how things are going with this light, so send me your comments/feedback at ormanmf@yahoo.com and I can pass them on

Q: If someone goes through your unlocked car, should that be reported and should you call 311 or 911?

A: Yes you should report it; call 911 if it’s in progress or just occurred and the suspect may still be in the area; if you find it in the morning, call 311

CENTRAL SECTION – Lt. Rob Wilson:

  • 1 menacing incident in 400 block of South Ave. in the morning
  • 8 car robberies; 5 were break-ins
  • 9 total larcenies; 6 arrests made, which is unusual

GOODMAN SECTION – Officer Michelle Velez:

  • 2 robberies, 1 aggravated assault
  • 27 larcenies, including 5 car larcenies
  • Alice’s Market robbery involving a store employee; arrests were made
  • Assault on Pearl St. a domestic incident
  • Woodlawn St. street robbery; no arrests made

 

  1. RPD Body Cameras – Lt. Rob Wilson
  • RPD is rolling out the body worn cameras in the Northeast first; next will be Central section, then Goodman, Lake & Genesee
  • There is a full presentation about the program that’s about an hour and will be offered in each section as the program is getting ready to be rolled out in that section

Contact the Chief’s Office at 428-7033 with questions. There is also a webpage on the cityofrochester.gov website for the Body Camera program.

 

  1. Mt. Hope Ave. Development – Mike Orman

There’s been an ongoing effort to address the Gold St. development across from Mt. Hope Ave – a 5 story project which would essentially be student housing, which we see as inappropriate for the area. The City Planning Commission rejected the parking lot portion of the developer’s application so the proposal is not going forward for now, but the developers are challenging the rejection in state court, so it could come back around.

We believe it’s a broader issue of protecting residential areas from large scale development. A group of us are organizing to appeal to the zoning board to limit the height of development in C-1 zoning areas across the city to no more than 3 stories. We believe this would be consistent with and protect our residential areas.

A petition has been signed by 250 people, and many organizations have been involved, including Upper Mt Hope Neighborhood Association, Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery, SEAC, and NBN6, have been involved in the effort. Would be great if NBN6 could come out with a formal statement of support.

Adam McFadden has pledged to support the effort and legislation has been drafted to submit to Planning Commission. It would then have to go to City Council. Not sure what the timeline will be, but we’re hoping possibly in November it would go to Council.

Further comments/information from others:

  • Clinton Ave. south of the Cinema Theatre is another example of C-1 (from the Cinema up toward City line).
  • It’s a fairly new zoning category and areas that were residential were re-zoned as C-1, but its meant to be “small scale” commercial, not large developments.
  • There are plans to engage the other C-1 zone areas across the city to gauge support and hopefully join the effort.

Lisa Reagan asked to get a sense of the support in this room so the NBN6 Leadership Team might write a formal letter of support. Show of hands for who supports: most hands in the room raised. Show of hands for who objects:  no hands raised.

The committee will be meeting tomorrow (9/13) at 5:30 at Mt. Hope gatehouse for anyone interested in getting involved. Email Mike Orman at ormanmf@yahoo.com with any questions or comments.

 

  1. Highland Hospital Update – Judy Lee Hay

Since 2014, a neighborhood Steering Committee has been engaging with Highland Hospital as it plans for the future of its campus facilities. Here are a few updates from the Committee.

Modernization Project:

Construction is nearly complete on 2-story addition on the south end of Bellevue which added new operating rooms, storage space, observation unit, and single patient rooms. There will be an Open House on October 26, 4:30-6pm and all are welcome.

Zoning Project:

Highland is in the process of developing a “Planned Development District” that will guide plans for the Highland campus within the current footprint. The Hospital can’t develop any further without a new PDD. A firm has been hired to conduct the PDD, and the Steering Committee has been participating in the process. The group has been looking at things like setback, height of buildings, etc.

Ultimately, the Steering Committee and Hospital administration were unable to come to acceptance or agreement of the major pieces, like building height. The Hospital made a case that they can only afford to build on the 5-7 stories on the southeast corner of the property. The Steering Committee polled the community and fed the input to the Hospital, which was very unsupportive of this plan. The Hospital is currently considering how they will proceed (i.e. with the plan knowing it does not have neighborhood support).

Parking Lot at Rochester Childfirst Network:

The RCN Board has decided not to pursue an arrangement with Highland Hospital to use some of its land for parking. RCN intends to use that land as additional play space, so proposed arrangement is not going forward.

 

  1. Colgate Divinity Sale & Update – Tom McDade-Clay

President McMickle sends his regards and would have liked to be here, but is out of town. He and I are both happy to return when we have more information.

We have engaged with a buyer who intends to purchase our campus and we’re in the final stages of the purchase sale. We hope to make a formal public announcement soon, but until then, we are limited in what we can share.

We’ve built a 2-year window to remain on the campus while we look for a new location for the school. Our reasons for moving on has to do with dynamic changes in theological education. It’s not just low enrollment, it’s a changing industry and the needs of our students no longer requires a large physical campus. We estimate our students use 5% or less of our campus. We’re looking to direct all our resources to our educational mission rather than maintenance of a sprawling, under-utilized campus.

Q: Will your tenants stay?

A: As far as the American Cancer Society (Hope Lodge) is concerned, we have structured the deal to protect their lease and also give them the option to purchase. The rest of the tenants, including the Veterans Outreach Center, will be at the discretion of the new owner.

Q: Is it a historically designated property?

A: No.

Q: What zoning restrictions are there and would they be passed on to the new owner?

A: Not sure. I can look into that and get back to you.

Q: How long will you be in the process of finding a new location?

A: We are already in the process of engaging our constituency and want to leave plenty of time for that, which is why we’ve given ourselves a 2 year window, and I think we’ll need all of that time.

Q: Will the main buildings remain standing? I had heard that Colgate chose not to pursue historic designation to protect them and that concerns me.

A: I can’t answer that outright, but what I can tell you is that it’s clear the interest of the buyer is in the existing buildings. The historic designation has never been pursued and that was intentional on the part of the Trustees, over concern that it would limit the school’s future plans and the school has always wanted to stay in control of its own destiny.

Q: Can you make the continuance of the magical bell ringing part of the purchase agreement?

A: What I can say is that I anticipate that parts of our public engagement may continue with this current buyer

C: There is an existing PDD for Colgate now, so whether it would be maintained as part of the purchase agreement is of great interest to us.

C: According to the City’s historian office, the community would have an opportunity to give input into any changes to a PDD for the Colgate campus.

 

  1. 399 Gregory Street Update – Mary Staropoli

About 3-4 years ago, there was robust community discussion about the future of the parcel of land owned by the City at 399 Gregory St.. The City put out an RFP and developers responded with proposals for multi-use/housing projects. The City halted the process when there were objections to lack of community input and concern about the impact of a development on already congested parking in the South Wedge.

The City stopped and conducted a parking study that showed a parking shortage on Friday and Saturday nights only. They shared the results of the study at a community meeting at the German House. But the City apparently decided to shelve any plans for the parcel and years went by with no word.

We have confirmed from reliable sources that the City is now planning a direct sale to John Trickey, who owns the adjacent parcel at 10 Cayuga St. and the Wilder building, and intends to make it a parking lot “with park like features.” Apparently, Mr. Trickey gathered signatures from some neighbors and businesses, and SWPC was supportive of this plan.

According to the real estate office, the sale will likely be on the City Council agenda in October, so that would be the last chance for anyone to express any objection or voice any further community input.

Nancy J-P added:

Remember this was a brownfield cleanup, and the former Administration did not initially want a parking lot and was supportive of mixed use or housing. The new Administration obviously feels differently and has heard the voices of neighborhood calling loudly for more parking.

Carlene Woodward added:

The residents in the immediate area are very negatively affected by parking and are absolutely thrilled that it will be a nicely maintained parking lot. John Trickey couldn’t do anything with the parcel he has owned because it wasn’t contiguous to make it suitable for a parking lot for his building. This will allow him to design something that uses all that space together.

Q: The cohousing group was still considering this parcel for their development – do they know it’s being sold?

A: Not sure, but you may want to let them know

 

  1. City Comprehensive Plan Update – Mary Staropoli

The City is updating the existing Comprehensive Plan adopted back in 1999. “Rochester 4.0” will cover a 10 year time frame, and establishes a “vision for the future” and is used by the City as the basis for decisions about land use, development proposals, investment and resource allocation.

Bergmann Associates and Highland Planning have been hired to work over a two year period to assist with various components of the plan update, including facilitation of community input/engagement into the process.

Three committees have been formed:

  • Mayor’s Advisory Council made up of institutional, civic and neighborhood leaders, which will help guide the overall process; Judy Lee Hay is participating on that committee
  • Technical Advisory Committee comprised of City staff
  • A Planning Area Committee for each of the 5 sections made up of neighborhood residents, business owners and other stakeholders; Mary Staropoli is serving on the Southeast PAC, along with Helen Hogan and Theo Finn, also of the Highland Park neighborhood
    • The group has met twice and will meet several more times before the end of the year
    • The task is to review data trends, conduct a SWOT analysis of the area, develop conceptual future land use recommendations, and recommend implementation strategies
    • This input will be compiled into a “Planning Area Report” for the Southeast, which City staff will use as the basis for producing an updated Comprehensive Plan document

There will also be several public meetings held throughout the process to give the general public a chance to participate and give input. Mary will make sure those opportunities are shared through the NBN6 email newsletter.

Important to note that these 5 sections are organized according to the new geography the City adopted last year for RPD and NSC service provision, so the Southeast area now includes a whole section of Marketview Heights, Beechwood & Emma and North Winton neighborhoods that had all been previously been considered Northeast, and it does NOT include the South Wedge or Upper Mount Hope areas that are now considered Center City and Southwest respectively.

So unfortunately, Sector 6 has been split into 3 different sections and our input will be fragmented.

They have offered a “Meeting in a Box” concept that community groups can use to facilitate input, and we’re proposing that we spend some time, perhaps as an extension of the October NBN6 meeting, to use the toolkit provided to facilitate a discussion about what we’d like our city, and our sector in particular, to look like over the next 10 years.

 

  1. Community Sharing

Time ran out for community sharing. The following are items submitted following the meeting:

  • Abundance Coop project finally received approval from the City to move forward with their move to South Ave., but experienced a long delay leading up to that; they’d still like to open by the end of 2016 but according to Jim Deluca, it’s hard to say at this point if that will be possible. Info about their store plans on their website at abundance.coop.
  • The Frederick Douglass Community Library has a variety of programs in September for Children, Teens and Adults. Visit libraryweb.org for a full listing.
  • The next Highland Park South Master Plan meeting is scheduled for Oct. 20 at 6:00pm at Olmsted Lodge.
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