April 10 2017 Meeting Notes

NBN6 Meeting Notes
April 10, 2017

Facilitator:  Lisa Reagan
Refreshments:  NeighborGood Grant / Stacey Bershod, HPNA

Discussion notes are “coded” in the following way:
Q = Question
A = Answer
C = Comment

1. Introductions

2.  Crime Reports from Rochester Police Dept. Crime Prevention Officers

GENESEE SECTION (UR, Upper Mt. Hope, Lilac/Azalea neighborhoods) – Officer Dickerson

Robbery – 1388 Mt Hope – employee forgot to lock door.
Domestic Stabbing – Green Knolls Drive.
Commercial Robbery – At Yotality, at 1380 Mt Hope. Suspect came in back door, asked for cash, fled in car, took $353.
Three thefts from motor vehicles – at Cemetery, Cypress St., UR Parking Lot.

Capt. McMullen: Regarding the murder of the liquor store owner, Char. At the last meeting, the question was raised about how many parolees, such as the perpetrator of this murder, live in our neighborhood? The Chief has set up a task force to gather and share information.

Q. About the place the parolee was living…
A. It’s an arm of the Psychiatric Center. We wanted to know if the residents are getting mental health services. The task force will look into this.

Q. In sex offender registry, this area is quite hot. Is it the same for parolees?
A. There is no public registry for parolees. There are considerations of privacy when someone has paid their debt.

Q. When will the task force meeting take place?
A. I will make sure it happens as soon as possible.

Q. On occasion, when shopping there, Char asked me to remain in store with her, when she wasn’t comfortable with a customer who was there. Do they allow the people in Psych Center housing to drink?
A. Good point. We need to find out more, such as conditions of parole, and what restrictions they have. Char did install a video system that allowed us to identify the suspect.

GOODMAN SECTION  (Highland Park, Swillburg neighborhoods)

Lt. Schuyler: We have been interviewing candidates to replace Officer Michelle Velez.  Tonight I’d like to introduce you to Officer Sam Dayton who came most highly recommended.

Officer Dayton:  I have 20 years experience working with the Rochester Police Dept.  Most recently I taught new officers at the Academy. Before the Academy, I worked on the West Side.

Lt. Alberti:  I have worked with Officer Dayton; he is an awesome person and officer. I will do the crime report tonight for the last 30 days.

Homicide – none
Rape – none
Robbery – 2, both on S. Clinton Ave. One was at the Valero Gas Station at 931 S. Clinton: two people were arrested. The other was at Metro PCS, at 970 S Clinton, an arrest was made. Jason Taylor, 33 yrs old. He was involved with other robberies.  We sent out a bulletin about these.
Burglary – 2, one at 1100 block of S. Clinton, on Apr 5. Damage to the apt door, possessions rummaged through. The other in the 50th block of Main St, unlocked door. A TV was taken.
Car larcenies: 3, in unlocked vehicles on Benton St., Oakland St., and Manor Parkway.
No vehicles stolen
Arsons – none


9 crimes this month:
5 vehicle larcenies – things stolen from cars.
Rape by forcible compulsion, by an acquaintance.  On the 100 block of Gregory St. April 23.
A few minor larcenies from houses

Introduction of Officer Erics who works South Ave. two days a week.

Q. Are horse-mounted patrols regularly scheduled in our neighborhood?
A. The tactical unit runs them. There’s no regular schedule, they go where they are needed. They try to put them in high visibility places.

3. South East Neighborhood Service Center, Nancy Johns Price

This Saturday, Coffee with the Mayor at Equal Grounds, 9 am.

Clean Sweep is coming up. Call 311 to volunteer – ask to work in the South East.
We will meet at Friendship Field starting at 8 am. If you are looking to volunteer, call our office to find out what projects are happening in this area.

We have two new brochures about the Neighborhood Service Center (NSC) for the Good Neighbor program – you can call us and get copies of the brochure. Nancy will bring more brochures next time!

Q. What’s the timetable and status on the City Plan?

  • This month, we have the 4th mtg of the SEPAC for the South East. When that’s done, I bring it back to the Mayor’s advisory committee. Then I will get a time line on that.

Q.  So we are not too late, working on updating our previous plan?
A. I will make sure that someone on the committee knows you are working on an update.

Q.  (Question regarding the budget and the 4.0 Plan.)
A. Rochester 4.0 is a long range planning process, not affected by the budget.

Q. If the city destroys your boulevard by repaving, will they pay to fix it?
A. Has this already happened? (No.) Call me if it happens, and I’ll fight for it.

4. Lilac Festival update – Larry Staub

The Lilac Festival  will take place May 12-21st.

• Art in the Park will return for the opening and closing weekends, May 13-14 and 20-21, on Reservoir Ave.
• Garden Battles is returning – local media teams (such as Channel 13, Channel 8, and more) get a 10×10 square to make a garden, on Sat 13th in main festival area.
Event Tent will return to site of former Cooperative Extension, and host events such as:
Thurs-Fri May 18-19, wine, cider, and spirits tastings
Beer Tasting – Sat May 20.
Race will on closing day, May 21st. It will include a 10k, 5k, and the Dunkin Donuts Donut Dash. This starts at starting line, run to pansy bed, eat 12 donut holes, and run back.
No Dog Policy will apply for the 5th year, and applies inside the fence.
• We have ideas for enhanced security this year. Announcement next week.
• May 12, Opening Day – there will be another world record event. Will be announced next week.

Q. Will flyers will be distributed again to neighbors, with info on dates, events, parking and trash problems? Not everyone has email.
A. That will be done again.

The County subsequently announced in its opening press conference that they will be implementing a new security policy at this year’s Festival that required anyone 16 years old or younger to be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or responsible adult 21 years or older . Read more in this WXXI news article.

5. Fire Department (South Ave) – Captain Dave Compton

Capt. Compton and three other firemen were present to meet us and hear updates about the Lilac Festival.

6. Terrence Project, Elmwood Ave – Ralph DiTucci, ARN Group LLC

• We are here to update you on this project

• On March 16 we submitted applications for re-zoning to the City of Rochester and Town of Brighton.

The property is 18 acres in City of Rochester, and 10 acres in Brighton. The zoning differs in the two: in Rochester, it’s a PD, and in Brighton it’s zoned. It will be changing to PDD (Planned Development District) in Rochester, and to a residential, high density, for Brighton.

NOTE: the overhead projector was not working, so there were no slides with maps or drawings. As a result, the following was an oral description of the entire plan:

• Will have 2 small commercial buildings in the NE corner of property, 2 stories high, for neighborhood-oriented commercial, or offices.

• There will be a hotel along Elmwood Avenue, with 110 guest rooms (may be less).

• The rest of the city portion, in about same location as present tower, will replaced with a 6-12 story apartment building. This will contain 320 apartments, with parking underneath, and a courtyard with a swimming pool. It will also have a pedestrian bridge to a 2-story community building with another swimming pool.

• There will be a 5 story apartment building with 1 level of parking below it. Both buildings will share surface parking.

• Maintenance Building

• On the Brighton part of the site: Along Elmwood Ave, there will be a roadway connecting to St. Johns Brickstone.

• On the east side of property line, there will be 11 single story buildings, each with 2 units and two–car garages, similar to the units at St. John’s.

• There will be a 4 story building containing 80 moderately priced units, with surface parking.

• The development will be located next to wetlands. We will have a conservation easement. Our goal is to have a walking trail connecting to other nearby trails.

• Timeline for the approval process  – through Sept 2017, or as late as Dec 2017 or Jan 2018. April 13th – Brighton Planning Board.

• Our website has all applications, drawings, and details presented to the City and Brighton:
www.recplanroom.com  Click on public jobs, then on 1201 Elmwood Ave (the address of the development.

Q. Earlier in this meeting we discussed safety issues in the neighborhood, and parolees living in the psychiatric hospital. Can you get further information for us?
A. We will do our best to get updates from Rochester Psychiatric Center. I hope we will involve them in future neighborhood meetings too.

Q. I have heard Morgan Management associated with many different projects. If this gets approved, is the whole project guaranteed to go ahead?
A.  Morgan Management is not just local. We are throughout the Northeast, as far as Texas and California. The project will be built in phases and financed incrementally. Lenders won’t talk with us until it is approved by zoning.

Q. Can you comment on the resistance to the light at Goodman?
A. The existing traffic light is on Elmwood Ave. at Azalea Rd. The issue has been whether one should be at Goodman and Elmwood. We’ve been told there will not traffic lights at both intersections. City Traffic says there isn’t a warrant for a traffic light at either one, justified by certain traffic quantity. So they decided the one at Elmwood and Azalea will remain.

Q. How can you build so many apartments and still not have a traffic light at the entrance? There is already so much traffic, it’s hard to turn there. Was this based on current or projected traffic patterns?
A. The decision was based on projected traffic.

Q. What is the total number of units you propose to build? And what size apartments?
A. 420 residential units in the City, and 102 in Town of Brighton. There will be a variety: studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 2 bedroom with den, and very few 3 bedroom units.

Q. You mentioned you might have access to Science Parkway as an exit/entrance. Without access through Science Parkway, I don’t see how you have adequate access for construction vehicles.
A. The construction process will span 5 years. We won’t build during the winters. So all the construction won’t happen at once.

I forgot to mention, when we were here in Jan 2016, we hadn’t established a connection with Science Parkway, a city road. Our road will be private. So we will have access to Science Parkway for emergency vehicles. We don’t yet have cross access easements.

Q. Will it be the Highland Fire Dept. that is responsible for the new development?
A. Fire chief: Developers must follow NY State Code allowing access.
A. DiTucci: Our site engineers used as criteria the largest fire vehicle that would serve this site, and we have designed access to accommodate it.

Q. How many fire trucks will you have at the local fire station?
A. Fire Chief: One. But will it be enough, with this many more units in the neighborhood.
Q. Can you have more fire trucks?
A. Requests from citizens can help that happen.

C. I’m pleased that our State Legislator is present here. We have requested a path from Elmwood to Highland. Your plan to have walking paths, may give us what we wanted.  Your plan is excellent for enhancing access to nature.

We will announce public meetings via post and email.
Facilitator: Please make sure the NBN6 email (nbn6leadershipteam@gmail.com) is included in this.

6. South West Neighborhood Service Center, John McMahon (Mt Hope Ave)

• There will be a Public Forum next Monday (April 17), 6-8 pm City Hall Atrium, seeking public input for the 2017-18 budget.

• Leadership Planning Institute, is an exciting pilot program, involving ten established community leaders, and ten 11th grade students. The goal is to discuss what problems residents see in neighborhood. If successful, we hope to have Leadership Planning Institutes in other parts of the city.

7. NBN6 Input into City’s Comprehensive Plan Update (Roc 4.0)

Continuation of the discussion and input at the last meeting to prepare our input into the City’s Comprehensive Plan Update.

You can find NBN6’s 2009 planning document on the Southeast Neighborhood Service Center web page: http://www.cityofrochester.gov/sensc/. Under “Rochester 4.0 SE”, click on “Sector 6 Final Plan”

Please comment on what is relevant, not relevant, what needs changing. Any responses after the meeting by email are welcomed. We will discuss this again at next month’s meeting.

Under “Major Foci for Sector Six”:

Public Safety:  “Goal #1: Increase and maintain communication and positive interaction between neighbors and public safety organizations.”

Since the police areas were redrawn in 2016, the Sector 6 neighborhoods are policed by three different police sections: Genesee, Downtown and Goodman sections. In order to fulfill Goal #1, NBN6 invites representatives from the three different police sections to report to us monthly.

C. The liquor store murder involved both Goodman Section and Genessee Section, and there was some lack of communication. The murder took place in the Goodman Section, and the accused was housed in the Genesee Section. This is a good illustration of the problems we face with the police reorganization.

Q. Are we served by two Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs)?
A. We are served by 3 sections and 2 NSCs. Downtown section doesn’t have its own NSC. They are serviced by the Southwest NSC.

C. Being divided into different city sections also impacts our input to the City Plan. We are writing this as Sector 6, but will have to submit it under 3 different sections.

Economic Development:  “Increase and maintain commercial activity that also meets the needs of the neighborhood within each of Sector Six’s vibrant urban centers.”

C. As I bike down South Ave, I think we need more residential development. We don’t have enough people to support all the businesses. Of our 3 major commercial avenues, Clinton Ave is our least developed. Our vacant storefronts tend to get filled with tattoo parlors and stylists. We should encourage these storefronts to be converted to residences.

C. Businesses like Swillburger are very popular – there’s a big market for that business.

Q. There are commercial vacancies in College Town. Are all the residential units in College Town occupied?
A. Yes.

Q. Local small businesses have not been clearing the sidewalks when there is heavy snow, which impedes access. Large shopping centers and malls are well cleared, easier to get to. I think the small store owners are taking us for granted. We are asked to support them, but I don’t think they are repaying us.  If there were three whole blocks of cleared sidewalks, I would be spending a lot of time there.

A. This year, there was a problem with the South Ave businesses. The business associations have to ask the merchants to do a better job. It’s important to have consequences from the City for lack of compliance.

Facilitator: If people have suggestions on how to convert the goals into strategies, please send them to the NBN6 website.

C. It’d be nice if there were a youth program to help with the sidewalk problem. Can you please take note of this idea?

Facilitator: Any feedback or comments you have will be welcome. We will continue with this process.

8. Community Sharing

• HPNA: Meeting tomorrow night (Tues April 11) with Developers at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, at 6 – 730, at CRDS.

• The issue right now with Highland Hospital is employees smoking outside. They have been asked not to smoke in other locations, so they have relocated to Rockingham St., which is where a lot of children walk to school.

• In a future meeting with Highland Hospital, would you please tell them there’s a big mud slick on Mt. Vernon, left over from plowing. (Discussion of size of sidewalk plows used here…)
There’s a remedy for the soil being plowed up, putting cobblestones on either side of sidewalk.

• Highland Hospital invites neighbors who have any concerns to call and ask to speak to Security or their Public Relations people. Soon there will be an active website with news and updates for the neighborhood.


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