Oct 16 2017 Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes
October 16, 2017

 


Facilitator:  Lisa Reagan

Thanks to David Halter for providing refreshments for this meeting. If you or your neighborhood group is willing to provide refreshments for future meetings, please contact monica@mmdevelopmentadvisors.com. Thanks!

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

1. Introductions

2. Crime Prevention Reports

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

  • 3 arsons in the area, 2 vacant buildings and a car fire
  • 2 business burglaries including Tim Horton’s
  • No residential burglaries
  • Some car larcenies with valuables inside

C: Concern to the neighbors that there are regular fires in the Terrence building and the security of the building with homeless people squatting on the property. What can be done about it?
A: RPD can’t control the security of that building, you have to approach the private property owners about it. Sounds like they should board it up more securely.

Fire Dept gave the same answer. Suggested that neighbors be in touch with the Southwest NSC office to help get in touch with the property owner to address the building’s security (given contact info for SW NSC Administrator).

Central Section (South Wedge):

  • Street robbery at gunpoint on Gregory St. at 3am
  • Purse stolen in broad daylight from resident’s kitchen on Linden St.; suspect fled and got away

Goodman Section (Highland Park, Swillburg, Lilac/Azalea):

  • 3 males robbed a woman in the 7-11 parking lot on S. Clinton
  • 3 burglaries – 1 residential, 2 businesses
  • 5 car larcenies – all cars were unlocked and a few had their keys in it

Please folks, be smart. Lock your car up and keep it free of valuables, or at least out of plain view.

Q: Concerned about the incident resulting in shots being fired by a State trooper in a residential area. Was it really necessary to put lives at risk? How can we prevent that kind of reckless policing in our residential neighborhoods?
A: State police work under a completely separate procedures and guidelines. My only comment is that it happened very quickly and those split second decisions are based on the judgment of that officer. I encourage you to reach out to the State police with your concern; we cannot comment on their actions.

3. Proposal to re-zone properties on Mt. Hope Ave. from R1 to C1 and build ancillary parking lot for Distillery and Pellegrino’s

Proposal is going before the Planning Commission tonight to re-zone the parcel on May St. from R1 (residential) to C1 (commercial).

Concern that there are no height restrictions in a C-1 zone, and we’ve had several recent projects in the area attempting to build over-sized development that’s out of character with the residential neighborhood (e.g. Gold St. development). Afraid this developer could have similar plans.

We found out in the last few days this item is on the agenda at tonight’s planning commission meeting. Neighbors weren’t given advance notice even though the City has a policy to encourage the developer to reach out to the neighborhood. That wasn’t done here and that’s concerning. We asked the planning commission to delay the ruling so we can have the developer (Peter Psyllos) come present his plans to this group and give the neighborhood a chance to weigh in.

There was not any indication the planning commission will accommodate this request and the proposal will likely go forward on the agenda tonight. Anyone who wants to leave and attend that to make comments, please do. It is at 6:30 and this project is the 5th item on the agenda.

C: There is a full site plan under review that includes tearing down the florist building.

4. Mt. Hope Ave. Road Closing – Jim McIntosh (City Engineer), Rick McCarthy (Road Supervisor, Regional Transit Service) & Jason Cronin (Project Manager, RGE)

Jim McIntosh gave background to the situation:

RGE is putting in a new line, a once in a hundred year event so it can begin distribution of power via a neighborhood power station.

We ran into some unexpected safety concerns and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t safe for the traffic to continue to go over the road during construction and we would have to close Mt. Hope Avenue all together.

There was a traffic analysis done and a plan for traffic detour, which was approved. It was expected to be a 6 week construction period and looked like the traffic plan would work alright.

We did not take into account enough the 4 bus stops that would be inoperable. Also did not anticipate the dynamic between the cars and the buses. Finally, the project was unexpectedly extended by several weeks. We acknowledge all this combined has resulted in a difficult traffic problem for the area.

Q: Why are the speed bumps on Averill & Hickory only at one end from Mt. Hope to Ashland? The rest of the road down to South Ave being free of speed bumps allows people to fly down the street, and they do.
A: RGE rep – our hope was to get people to avoid that street altogether, make it inconvenient for them. We can adjust them to be more evenly distributed.

C: There’s a very unsafe, crazy situation with the buses on Averill Ave. The accordian buses cannot get down these narrow streets and are doing serious damage when they try to get around cars and make tight turns. Why can’t you just use smaller buses for these temporary routes?
Q: These are 3 of our busiest lines going south that have been interrupted and smaller vehicles will not accommodate the ridership. As it is, the delays for riders has been 25-30 minutes. We’ve been struggling with what the right answer is and have been trying many different strategies to improve the situation.

Q: There don’t seem to be any signs directing people to alternate bus stops
A: RTS rep – information about the bus detours is on the Where’s My Bus app and on our website.

Q: How long is it going to be before the work is finished?
A: RGE rep – we will have the road opened up by the end of October with some construction continuing, it will be temporarily paved before the snow, and permanently paved in the spring.

Q: Why don’t you just direct passengers to the bus stops on South Ave.?
A: RTS rep – that’s an accessibility issue that would be too much of a hardship for some of our riders, and we would have 20 more buses traveling on South Ave. which would also present an issue.

Q: The roads are a mess from the wear and tear that’s going on; there’s damage to curbs, sidewalks, roads, lampposts, etc. These residential streets and not made for this kind of weight and traffic. Who’s going to clean it up and fix all the damage when this is all over?
A: City Engineer – the City will assess the damage when the project is completed. We will compare the state of the streets before and after the project, assess the damage, and put some resources there if we need to. People can report damage to Jim McIntosh (see contact info below).

C: We need some more signage for people that are going down dead end and one way streets like Ashland.

C: Large trucks are driving down streets they are not allowed to be on.
R: RGE rep – we can put more enforcement on that to make sure at least our own trucks aren’t doing that.

C: Erie Harbor parking lot is being used as a pass through with cars pealing in and out of there; Conifer should be notified so they can do something to prevent it.

Q: Why wasn’t the neighborhood notified of this? You only put door hangers on residents within 300 feet when everyone in the area would be affected? The notice was less than a week before construction began. Why didn’t you give more notice? When did you let the NSC office know so they could get the word out? Did you let SWPC know?
A: RGE rep – it was all within the week before as we were dealing with unexpected, last minute planning changes. We acknowledge that we didn’t give enough notice.

Q: Do we have your commitment that you will give us better communication in the future?
A: RGE rep – yes, we will try to do better next time.

C: SWPC had no notice to get the word out to residents, or to plan for our own programs; this interruption put a nail in the coffin of the South Wedge Farmer’s Market.

Q: What can be done about the serious safety concerns at the intersection of Gregory & South? It is extremely dangerous right now for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles alike.
A: City Engineer – I will reach out to RPD about the possibility of some traffic control there.

C: You call 311 and they tell you to call RGE, you call RGE and they tell you to call the City or RGRTA; you need to let 311 staff know how to respond.

During the remainder of the project, you can direct your concerns and reports of hazards to any one or all of these individuals, who committed to respond to concerns:

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

The City School District is doing a Comprehensive Plan and holding community sessions as an opportunity for input on the future of our schools. We encourage you to attend one of the Southwest/Southeast sessions:

  • Oct 19, 6-8pm, Phyllis Wheatley Library, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way
  • Oct 25, 6-8pm, Ryan R-Center, 530 Webster Ave.
  • Oct 26, 6-8pm, Douglass R-Center, 999 South Ave.

6. Community Sharing

Visit Frederick Douglass Library webpage for all the programs and events happening this month.

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