Petitioning City Council Dana K. Miller and 30 others

Help Susan B. Anthony save Westminster Presbyterian Church


UPDATE: The owner of the property is again trying to have the building demolished.  He claims that he will place a discount grocery store in its place (rather than a Dollar General which was his original plan).  No grocery chain has stated an interest in the property and intially when the owner went before the city board he claimed that the Dollar General constituted a grocery store.  Clearly his motives of destroying a neighborhood while lining his pockets has not changed.

I spent my life fighting for equality so that your lives would be better. I believe in you and your right to participate in our democracy and create a more perfect union. I am here to tell you that this right to determine your own future is slowly being taken away from you.

My neighborhood, the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, is slowly being destroyed by those who care little for freedom or our collective history. What will happen if our history is destroyed? What will be left to remind the people of our struggles and ideals.

There is a developer who over the decades has destroyed the buildings that make up my neighborhood and now he has set his sights on 660 West Main Street. It is the address of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Built in 1859 (during my lifetime) the church was a bustling chapel that helped German immigrants make Rochester home. With the help of the church the German community grew and thrived. Together they built Bausch and Lomb, the Genesee Brewing Company, the plant nurseries that dotted our growing city and much much more. They're even responsible for our nickname -- the flower city. It was so great to see these men and women embrace the opportunity that America represents.

The residents of the community want to preserve the building and use it as an arts and cultural center -- celebrating Rochester's rich history and culture. The developer wants to demolish the building and build a Dollar General.

Yes, a Dollar General.

And if you don't act the City of Rochester will let it happen. Sign this petition and let everyone you know that you stand with me, Susan B. Anthony. By signing this petition you're letting everyone know that your voice matters and we as a community should have the right to determine what gets built in our community and what part of our history gets destroyed.

Don't let this piece of Rochester get destroyed. It's our history. It's your history. Sign this petition and help stop the demolition.

"Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry!"
--Me

Letter to
City Council Dana K. Miller
Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association Dawn Noto
Landmark Society Caitlin Meives
and 28 others
Rochester Subway Mike Governale
City of Rochester Preservation Board Peter Siegrist
Deputy Mayor Leonard Redon
Neighborhood and Business Development R. Carlos Carballada
Senior Staff Assistant Office of the Mayor Alinda Drury
Commissioner Environmental Services Paul Holahan
Assistant to the Mayor Darryl Porter
Dollar General msimpson@dollargeneral.com
Dollar General cpachtin@dollargeneral.com
City of Rochester City Council
City of Rochester Zoning Tim Raymond
City Council Matt Haag
City Council Adam McFadden
City Council Elaine M. Spaull
City Council Lovely A. Warren
Maye Development Marvin Maye
Rose Maye
Toni Felton
Robert Lovett
Tracey Jones
Donald Hardaway Jr
City Council Carolee A. Conklin
City Council Loretta C. Scott
City Council Carla M. Palumbo
City Newspaper Chris Fien
Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services Luis Burgos
Director Communications Gary Walker
Democrat and Chronicle Stuart Low (Democrat and Chronicle)
I just signed the following petition addressed to: The City of Rochester. I oppose the demolition of Westminster Presbyterian Church and/or the building of a Dollar General in its place for the following reasons:
1. Dollar Stores, including Dollar Generals, have been shown to increase neighborhood crime and to be magnets for criminal activity. The developer, who owns many buildings in the area has shown to be a poor steward of his property, fails to maintain his property and does nothing about the crime, prostitution and drug dealing that occurs on his property.
2. The Westminster Presbyterian Church is a small community church suitable for small congregations and could be developed into a community arts center. It is too small a space to place a box store like a Dollar General. The building of the store will disrupt the community and the residential area in which this church resides. The proposed building exceeds code requirements by over 6,000 square feet. This is unacceptable to me and the community at large. The distance for parking from the street should be 10 feet, but the current site plan is less than 10 feet. This makes parking more of an eyesore and does not create or maintain a welcoming atmosphere for the community. There is a huge level of development in the area to make this neighborhood a pedestrian friendly community with a small town feel. Medium box stores with large parking lots and no green space create a negative effect on the community and visitors to the area.
3. There is no front entrance to the proposed commercial space, no lighting or catch basins on site plan to address health, safety and aesthetic concerns. Fronting of the building on W. Main conflicts with Comprehensive Design Guidelines, disrupts the streetscape and takes away its essential character. There is also no green space to offset the massive building and parking lot. Rear curb cut to New York St. will create safety issues on a quiet residential street. These flaws in the design proposal demonstrate how little thought was placed into the development of the design plan and how little the community was taken into account.
4. Chain stores like Dollar Generals will disrupt neighborhood businesses and the community efforts to revitalize the area. There are already several dollar stores in the immediate area. Another dollar store will not help this community grow and prosper.
5. The development company and its owner owe almost $40,000 in back taxes and should not be allowed any consideration to demolish or build any property without first satisfying their debt to the community.
6. 660 West Main St. is a community building of historical importance and is one of the oldest buildings in the City of Rochester. We need to celebrate and preserve our past and if we are to demolish a building it needs to be for the right reasons. Building a Dollar General is not one of those reasons.

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Help Susan B. Anthony save her neighborhood from demolition

I spent my life fighting for equality so that your lives would be better. I believe in you and your right to participate in our democracy and create a more perfect union. I am here to tell you that this right to determine your own future is slowly being taken away from you.

My neighborhood, the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, is slowly being destroyed by those who care little for freedom or our collective history. What will happen if our history is destroyed? What will be left to remind the people of our struggles and ideals.

There is a developer who over the decades has destroyed the buildings that make up my neighborhood and now he has set his sights on 660 West Main Street. It is the address of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Built in 1859 (during my lifetime) the church was a bustling chapel that helped German immigrants make Rochester home. With the help of the church the German community grew and thrived. Together they built Bausch and Lomb, the Genesee Brewing Company, the plant nurseries that dotted our growing city and much much more. They're even responsible for our nickname -- the flower city. It was so great to see these men and women embrace the opportunity that America represents.

The residents of the community want to preserve the building and use it as an arts and cultural center -- celebrating Rochester's rich history and culture. The developer wants to demolish the building and build a Dollar General.

Yes, a Dollar General.

And if you don't act the City of Rochester will let it happen. Sign this petition and let everyone you know that you stand with me, Susan B. Anthony. By signing this petition you're letting everyone know that your voice matters and we as a community should have the right to detemine what gets built in our community and what part of our history gets destroyed.

Don't let this piece of Rochester get destroyed. It's our history. It's your history. Sign this petition and help stop the demolition.

"Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry!"
--Me
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Sincerely,