June 12 2017 Meeting Notes

NBN6 Meeting Notes
June 12, 2017


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

1. Introductions

2. Crime Prevention Reports

Genesee Section (Upper Mt. Hope, Lilac/Azalea)

Significant panhandling problem on Mt. Hope, concerns expressed by business owners and residents. Chief has authorized us to spend some staff time focusing on this issue. We will begin with 10 details of 2 officers during midday for the next 3 weeks. Will also work with PACTAC and provide them with an accompanying officer. Focus is on identifying panhandlers to “debrief” them and gather information.

Q:  There’s been a question of where the panhandlers are originating from (assumption that they are coming from certain organizations in the area). Can you capture that info?
A:  Field Information Form (FIF) will be completed for each interaction and will capture some of that info (e.g. circumstances, residence). There are some restrictions related to confidentiality/HIPPA that will not allow us to require that people identify a certain program they are in unless they offer it voluntarily. There’s a lot of complexity in these situations. We are able to make mental hygiene arrests under certain circumstances.

Goodman Section (Highland Park, Swillburg)

Major incidents and trends over last 30 days:

  • Seeing a lot of garage & shed burglaries, especially around Mt. Vernon & Rockingham; antidotes are better locking systems and motion lights
  • Street robbery on Mt. Vernon (100 block) at gunpoint at 3:24am; arrest made in the case
  • Lot of incidents of street robberies when people walking home from bars in early morning hours
  • Not getting as many reports of package thefts so people might be finding ways to protect themselves
  • Still a lot of car larcenies with people leaving items inside their vehicles in plain view, we can’t say it enough – lock your car and leave no valuables in it!
  • Soliciting feedback from the Lilac Festival. Any issues that we can improve on?
    • Barriers on Highland Ave. were placed in a way that was very difficult for residents who had to get out of their vehicles to move them each time; this was the first time they’d been set up that way
    • Traffic backups on Clinton, Mt. Hope & South Ave. were particularly bad this year; however the traffic was being directed caused a lot of congestion

Q: I witnessed an assault on 216 Linden St. several weeks ago; called 911 and seemed to take a long time for police response (half hour at least); wondering what the result was; no one has followed up with me to get a report
A: That was domestic incident involving a bat and kitchen knife; a warrant is out for the individual’s arrest

Q:  There was an incident on Linden & Meigs (corner of our neighborhood playground park) where a truck plowed into a stop sign and ended up on a resident lawn where kids often are wait for the school bus (thankfully they were inside the house on this morning); it has cause a huge outpouring of concern by residents expressed on social media about cars speeding through that intersection and the neighborhood in general; supposedly no ticket was issued to the driver – can you verify that fact?
A:  We can look into it and report back to you (Mike Thompson)

  • Mike was asked to report back at the next NBN6 meeting
  • Nancy Johns-Price noted that City Transportation Specialist Eric Frisch is also aware of the incident and looking at traffic calming measures in the are

Central Downtown (South Wedge)

Major incidents and trends over last 30 days:

  • Incident involving 5 suspects in a late night street robbery on Averill St.; all suspects were arrested, the result of excellent street work by several officers
  • Crime is about the same rate this year as last year at this time
  • Seeing a lot of car larcenies in the area involving unlocked vehicles – again, lock up!

3. Neighborhood Service Center Reports – Nancy Johns-Price (SE) & John McMahon (SW)

Keep Rochester Beautiful is a national program coming to Rochester (we have become an affiliate). It comes with a lot of resources & training for beautification project, litter prevention and waste reduction. There will be a public meeting on Tues June 13, 6-8pm at the Rochester Water Works (10 Felix St.).

There’s been a restructuring in Neighborhood & Business Development, and a separate Planning division has been created with a new Director of Planning, Dorraine Kirkmire. This will slow down the Comprehensive Plan Update while that new leadership takes hold of the process.

4. School Choice Presentation – Liz Hallmark, Board Member, Rochester City School District

  • Liz was elected to the RCSD school board in fall 2016
  • Neighborhood schools seemed to be a priority of lots of voters she spoke to during her campaign
  • She began a taskforce of 20-25 people that gave input into a process to examine the effectiveness of RCSD’s Managed Choice Program which dictates school placement in the District
  • The taskforce came up with a set of recommendations and submitted them to the Superintendent in December 2016
  • The Superintendent is currently considering them and incorporating her own knowledge and vision, conferring internally and bringing some experts in to study the options
  • Meanwhile, Liz has been traveling around to different city neighborhoods to continue collecting input and letting people know about the effort

Click here to view the powerpoint presentation Liz presented on Managed Choice Program and a return to neighborhood schools.

Q: What about the schools that will be under construction? How does that factor in?
A:  Yes, good point, we need to incorporate the District’s Facilities Modernization Program into the planning for any policy change implementation

C: Would like to see SOTA remain competitive and audition based
A: Yes, SOTA would be one of the unique “citywide” options that would be preserved as separate from the placement in neighborhood schools

Q: How much can you really save on transportation?
A: We do believe there will be transportation savings and the idea is that those freed up resources should be directed to classroom

Q: How would you increase the relationships with neighborhood organizations if families still have a choice of 3 different schools?
A: One solution is to have Board members assigned to certain parts of the city (rather than a random selection of schools) so they could help coordinate and facilitate partnerships

Q: Did the Managed Choice Program have a positive effect on de-segregation of the schools?
A: That was the original intent, but the actual result really ended up being that middle class families (of all races) with more resources tended to just leave or choose private school options, so the demographic in the whole District changed to be a higher concentration of low-income students living in poverty

Q: I think more appropriate start times is where we should look for transportation savings, which is a hardship and a turn off for a lot of families
A: I’ve come to understand that we have an issue with bus driver shortage, so that is one reason for the differing start times (not just transportation costs)

Q: Are we providing equal special needs services around the city in order to implement this if there are larger concentrations of kids with special needs in certain schools?
A: We’re not doing a good job of special education anywhere in the district and that whole system needs an overhaul

Comments and input on the presentation can be sent directly to Liz at Elizabeth.hallmark@rcsdk12.org

5. Curbside Markets – Mitch Gruber, Chief Program Officer, Foodlink

Curbside Markets is a farmer’s market on wheels that we take all over the city to get fresh food to low income areas of the city where there are not enough sources of fresh fruits & vegetables and where we need to have an impact on community health.

The southeast is where we have the fewest number of stops, but we are at Rochester Childfirst Network, Southview Towers & Pinnacle Place.

If you have sites that you think would be good for a Curbside market, let us know. Help us spread the word. We also have volunteer opportunities to work on the truck, which is a great rewarding experience.

Q: Would you go to a place like the South Wedge Farmer’s Market?
A: We would not because we don’t want to compete directly with the farmers. We go where there isn’t fresh food already being offered.

Q: Would you consider the Wedgepoint development that just opened up?
A: Yes, that would be a great place for us to try and we have a good relationship with Pathstone already.

Visit the Curbside Market webpage for a schedule and more information.

6. Final Roc 4.0 (Comprehensive Plan Update) Discussion    

Draft NBN Sector 6 plan reviewed (see below).

Input/feedback:

  • Didn’t hear mention of historic preservation of our historical assets (Colgate, Calvary St. Andrews)

NBN6 leadership team will be requesting a meeting with City NBD staff and leadership to present this plan to them. Nancy can help facilitate setting up this meeting.

7. Community Sharing

  • Karges Place development plan is now in Zoning process
  • Planning Commission hearing occurred on Calvary St. Andrews, and it has been given a historic designation for exterior and sanctuary & chapel on the interior of the building.
  • There may be a public input opportunity on the Terrance building project at the July 10 Planning Commission meeting. Nancy will keep us apprised of when that is scheduled. Keep an eye out for it in NBN6 e-news.
  • Events coming up at Douglass (Highland) branch library (registration required):
    • Mon June 19, 5:30 at Douglass branch gardening workshop on weeds
    • Sat June 24, 10:30 painting class
  • There was a recent meeting with Highland Hospital focused on employee smoking on Rockingham St., which is out of control; trying to work at the State level to change the law so Highland can accommodate a smoking area on the property.

_________________

History Neighbors Building Neighborhoods: Sector Six

In 2009, the Neighbors Building Neighbors planning process, a collaboration between the City of Rochester, the NBN Sector Groups, citizens and many community partners resulted in an update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan. NBN6 is comprised of the six neighborhoods; South Wedge, Upper Mt. Hope, Swillburg, Highland Park, Lilac and Azalea, that work in partnership on issues that affect our South East Area. The Vision and Major goals are presented for your review, update and changes.

SECTOR SIX VISION

Sector Six is rooted in the same rich soil where the Ellwanger and Barry nurseries flourished. Steeped in Rochester tradition, our southeast community is conscious of its past and confident of its future. 

  • In partnership with the City we are a unified whole for the purpose of planning, safety, police communication, housing, land use and economic development.
  • We envision a welcoming community where diversity is counted an asset, and where neighbors care for each other.                                                                
  • Engaged in the work of building community, we know the importance of, conserving our tree lined streets and unique housing stock, ensuring the effectiveness and safety of our transportation system and encouraging local businesses. 
  • We cherish and protect our historic parks, river, cemetery, and canal. We strive to echo that garden environment in our neighborhoods. And we also strive to create neighborhoods that are as safe as they are beautiful. 
  • Healthy neighborhoods need healthy families, and we work to nurture our children, support our seniors, and provide assistance to all our residents in need. 

MAJOR FOCI FOR SECTOR SIX

PUBLIC SAFETY
Goal #1: Increase and maintain communication and positive interaction between neighbors and public safety organizations, about safety and safety-related issues.

  • Public Safety personnel at Sector 6 meetings, Community participation at Police Academy and PACTAC; PCIC meetings

LAND USE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Goal #2: Increase and maintain Commercial Activity that also meets the needs of the neighborhood within each of Sector Six’s vibrant urban centers.

  • We do not limit our approach to City government.  We work to identify our own neighborhoods and our vision to elected, appointed and employed representatives of governments.  We support our constituent neighborhoods in their self-representation to these governments.
  • Work with business associations to determine activity level, Commercial vacancies,
    and number of new businesses. Encourage businesses to be proactive in providing district appeal and street/sidewalk maintenance and appearance. Businesses should meet the needs of the neighborhood to encourage urban villages.

HOUSING

Goal #3:  Improve the appearance and value of properties within Sector Six neighborhoods by encouraging all residents and property owners to be good neighbors who care for their properties and are respectful of their communities. 

  • Sector 6 partners with Neighborhood Service Centers, the City, property owners and tenants to ensure housing in Sector 6 is safe, affordable, and well maintained.

Goal #4: Development and Land Use: Increased ability of Sector Six residents and stakeholders to be pro-active in the planning process around community land-use issues 

  • Insure that those most impacted (either specific area and/or population) are first and lead contacts to institutions, governments and media. Continue formal community notification of all proposals and solicitation of responses to all major developments: including programming, service populations.
  • Inventory development sites.

Goal # 5. To ensure neighborhoods maintains their family character and socio-economic diversity in the face of gentrification and increased student housing.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZING


Goal #6: Expand opportunities for participation and coordination between community organizations.

  • Increase participation and number of block clubs and neighborhood associations, as well as attendance at NBN meetings. Regardless of their attendance at gatherings and meetings, inform residents in a timely manner of current issues, projects and changes through print and social media.
  • Stability is improved by preserving the core of the neighborhoods- owner occupied residential neighborhoods.  This needs to be improved in the face of increased short-term undergrad student rentals.

YOUTH, EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY CENTERS

Goal #7: Provide positive and plentiful opportunities for youth involvement with residents, libraries, businesses and community agencies in Sector Six.

  • Recreation Centers’ programming, Community Event Planners and Libraries can be provided with community input on increasing appeal to youth and other populations through attendance at NBN6 meetings.

GREEN INITIATIVES

Goal #8: Increase Green initiatives in sector 6 

  • Educate community members about appropriate recycling and green opportunities
  • Promote and Implement actual green projects by developers
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