March 12 2018 Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes
March 12, 2018

Facilitator:  Lisa Reagan

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, South Wedge):

  • A representative from UR Public Safety will be coming to the April meeting to talk about the expansion of their jurisdictional boundaries (mentioned at a previous meeting)
  • Mt. Hope Ave. speed still being closely monitored and an extra patrol is being stationed there

Crime in the area over the last 30 days:

  • Domestic call on Green Knolls Dr. that ended relatively peacefully
  • Stolen vehicle on Elmwood at new Dollar General

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

Crime in the area over the last 30 days:

  • Rape involving an acquaintance
  • Aggravated assault in Manor Parkway
  • Theft involving vacant property on Benton
  • 6 larcenies, including one car larceny

I’m sure you’re all aware of the search for a missing 14 year old boy, Trevyon Rowe, which ended tragically. Investigation is still ongoing so we cannot yet comment. We’re very proud of the citizens of this neighborhood. Over 2,000 people came out to help with the search. There will be a vigil tonight @ 7pm at the Blue Cross Arena for the community to come together in support of the family.

Central Section (South Wedge):

There was no reportable crime in the area in the categories we normally report on, but a few other incidents of note in last 30 days:

  • Criminal mischief (graffiti) on 300 block of Averill
  • Arrest for criminal possession on 200 block of Linden, was reported by an observant neighbor who saw suspicious car idling in the street

Q: Very concerned about safety of the area around the North end of South Ave. and Mt. Hope Ave., especially in the evening hours. There’s been a change in tone recently with individuals wandering around, yelling and carrying broken bottles, it’s very intimidating, and I no longer feel safe walking there even accompanied by my male partner. Can we get some extra patrols there?
A: I understand. We will take a closer look and try to step up our patrols. There are only 3 residents left in the homeless encampment; two of them we have housing for and will be moving on within a few weeks, and the last resident we hope will be moving on soon after.

3. Mayor’s Executive Staff Assistant for the Southeast – Andreas Rau

I’m from the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services which is an office that is here to serve you. I plan to come here every few months to hear and see what’s happening in this neighborhood/area and to bring information to you. When you call, I will make my best effort to get you to the right person. I’m the gopher and the go-between for citizens who need issues resolved. It can be anything from missed trash pick-up to a barking dog late at night.

You can contact me at Andreas Rau, Executive Staff Assistant, Northwest & Southeast Neighborhood Liaison, 428-6745,

Q: When I called about the sidewalk plows digging up people’s yards, I was told that every property owner needs to call for themselves.
A: Send the list to me and I’ll get it to DES and help trouble shoot that. Make sure you run it by your neighbors first because you’d be surprised, some will complain if you fix it for them, they might prefer to do it themselves.

3. Neighborhood Service Center Reports

Southeast NSC Reports:

  • Nominate someone in your neighborhood that’s making a difference for NeighborWorks’ Celebrate Neighbors event that will take place in June. More information here.
  • The Celebrate City Living Expo will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28th in the newly renovated Sibley Building, 260 East Main Street. Admission to the event is free. More information at
  • Clean Sweep is coming up on Saturday, May 5th. There’s a limit of 25 projects for the Southeast, so first come first serve for neighborhood projects. Remember, you can do mini clean sweeps anytime throughout the year with a week’s notice. Contact Nancy at

Q: What about projects that involve mulch?
A: You better get your project in sooner rather than later.

Written update from the Southwest NSC office:
We have been busy planning spring clean ups, business corridor walks and building relationships with our neighbors and businesses. We have also been working with Inspection and Compliance to deal with properties such as the old CVS location at 797 Elmwood, 130 Raleigh Street, 16 Boothe Street and 1201 Elmwood. Issues include trash and debris, third floor occupancy, enlarged driveways, parking problems, etc. As always, feel free to call 428-7630 with any concerns: John H. McMahon, Assistant to SW NSC Administrator, 428-7659,

5. C-1 Zoning/Height Restrictions – Zina Lagonegro

The Gold Street development project on Mt. Hope Ave. (Gold St.), which sits in a C-1 zone, is 5 stories in height. There is currently no height restriction that would prevent a building of this height in a C-1 zone next to single family neighborhoods, Preservation Districts, scenic vistas or Histiric Designation Properties such as Mt. Hope Cemetery.

The outcry from the neighborhood about the inappropriate scale of this project prompted us to look at ways we might impose a height restriction into the city zoning code for C-1 and R-3 districts citywide. We drafted the regulation and Councilmember McFadden is introducing it to City Council. Click here to view the legislation.

This restriction would require any development greater than 3 stories in height where this overlay district is imposed to apply for a zoning variance and therefore go through a public hearing process. We’re looking to apply this overlay district right away to that C-1 commercial corridor on Mt. Hope Ave.

A public information meeting in front of the Planning Commission is coming up on May 9 to discuss the legislation. More details will be included in the NBN6 e-news.

This new legislation will NOT apply to the Gold St. project. Once a project is submitted, legislation affecting the outcome cannot be introduced.

Gold St. Project Update:
At Zoning Board public hearing last month, the request that dealt with rear set back was approved, and the request for additional parking was a tie vote and therefore not granted. They still have one more chance to submit an amended application on the parking issue or resubmit for another vote, but they have not done that.

Q: How can interested neighborhoods request an overlay district for a commercial strip in their area?
A: Interested neighborhoods can approach zoning department about getting such an overlay district in their own area and we will look at whether it’s an appropriate location.

Q: There are often no specific real commercial uses planned for these projects, would it not be appropriate to require that the use for the commercial aspect be stated, since it is supposed to be a use that supports the adjoining residential area, and then the parking, etc. must be evaluated based on that specific proposed use?
A: Mixed use is a very broad parameter that is very permissible, so unless it’s specifically restricted in the code, we can’t control exactly how the property is used.

Q: What’s the process for a neighbor to appeal an administrative decision?
A: There’s a 60 day window to fill out an application with the zoning office and we’ll process it for the next hearing cycle.

5. Presentation & training on new map tools & databases on website – Gary Kirkmire

Review of three major new map tools & databases available to residents and the City staff:

1) Projects and Plans:
Maps, information and planning documents of development projects, street projects, and environmental sustainability projects.

2) Land Use Boards and Commissions:
Map and information on active cases under review by the City Planning Commission, Preservation Board & Zoning Board of Appeals.

3) Building Blocks:
Data on the Building Blocks interface includes:   Vacancy, Business Permits, Open Code Enforcement Cases, Crime Data, Water Bills, Real Estate Sales, Monroe County Foreclosure Starts (Lis Pendens), Owner Vs Renter, Use Codes, Building Size, Assessed Values, City Owned, Year Built, Lot Size, Nuisance Points, and Census data.

6. Business Association of the South Wedge (BASWA) Update – Rose O’Keefe

Flowers and plants will be provided for South Ave. again. Seeking “Flower Basket Sponsors” for $40 each.

The spring issue of South Wedge Quarterly is underway and launching the first week of April.

BASWA is sponsoring SunCommon’s EarthFest on April 28, and the Sassy in the South Wedge along with the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley (Out Alliance).

We have have commissioned Bero Architects to help us upgrade the Clock Tower at Gregory and South. The project is expected to take 2-3 yrs to complete.

BASWA is considering the possibility of going forward with a proposal for a city wide ban on single-use plastic bags and/or plastic straws.

Sadly, there are 5 vacancies along the west side of South Avenue that we are hoping will eventually fill. We understand that there were 50+ inquiries into the former Mise en Place space, with not one willing to pay the asking rent, which is very high.

Q: Can you make sure to not hang the beautiful flowers in front of the 3 Ton Weight Limit signs on Linden Street, so the weight limit can be enforced?
A: Yes, she’ll bring that request back to BASWA.

7. Community Sharing

The spring book sale is coming up, including a fill a grocery bag for a $1.00 deal. Visit Frederick Douglass Library webpage for details about this program and all the programs and events happening this month at our neighborhood library.

A Firehouse Open House is planned for Saturday, May 12 from 10-2pm at the South Ave. Firehouse.

Save the date:  On Wed May 2 from 6-8pm at Calvary St. Andrews there will be a Wedding Fair for wedding vendors and prospective brides.

SWPC’s City Love fundraiser is coming up on Sat April 20 from 6:30-9pm at the German House. Event info at

South Wedge Farmer’s Market kickoff will be on Thursday, June 7th. The construction on Mt. Hope is over and we will re-build. Stay tuned to

There will be a Comprehensive Plan (Rochester 2034) community input session for the NBN6 neighborhoods on April 4, 5:30-7pm at School #12 Recreation Center at 999 South Ave. There’s a NextDoor event where people are asked to RSVP or reply by email to Monica McCullough at


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