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Posts Tagged ‘urban design’...

Double Jeopardy for Historic Rochester Church

Monday, July 14th, 2014

The Zoning Board will decide AGAIN whether or not to allow the former Westminster Presbyterian Church at 660 West Main Street to be demolished. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
“Double Jeopardy” wasn’t invented by Alex Trebek. It’s actually a procedural defense in our system of justice that forbids a defendant from being tried more than once for the same (or similar) charges. Unfortunately this rule doesn’t seem to apply with historic preservation in Rochester. Because the very same owner of this historic church at 660 West Main Street external link will, for a second time, ask the Zoning Board for permission to demolish the structure to make way for a discount store.

Dawn Noto is president of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association. She was concerned about the demolition plans in March of 2013 when the Zoning Board blocked them the first time. This time Dawn says the conditions are no different and the City should be working with the owner on a plan to rehab the church building instead of entertaining his plan for a second time…

(more…)

Monday, July 14th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News, Urban Development | 20 Comments »

Rochester Center City Master Plan: Q&A

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Rochester Center City [PHOTO: RocPx.com]
The City of Rochester Bureau of Planning and Zoning is in the process of updating Center City Master Plan. From the City’s website, “The intent is for this document to be a strategic plan [to] help the city measure and celebrate downtown progress, prioritize further research and analysis, prioritize projects, and help secure funding.”

A draft plan can be viewed online external link, and in a series of open houses the City is now gathering public input on that draft. The last open house is this Wednesday evening (details at the end of this story).

I had a chance to catch up with Jason Haremza, senior planner with the City of Rochester, to ask a few questions about the update…

(more…)

Monday, December 9th, 2013
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Urban Development | 5 Comments »

Judgement Day for an Old Church, and an Unbuilt “College Town”

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Judgement Day for an Old Church and a Unbuilt 'College Town'
Two important cases will go before the Zoning Board this Thursday: the ongoing saga of one historic church on Main Street, and design concerns regarding the future College Town. Salvation for the church, as well as the promise of a pedestrian-friendly College Town, may hang in the balance.

First, if you’ve been following the story of the little white church at 660 W. Main Street, owner Marvin Maye will make one more appeal to challenge the building’s status as a Designated Building of Historic Value. If he succeeds, he could have a clear path forward to demolish the 140-something-year-old church.* And in its place would go a Dollar General store…

(more…)

Sunday, March 17th, 2013
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | 30 Comments »

Loving Life at Erie Harbor Apartments

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Jim Mayer and his wife Irene invite us into their home at Erie Harbor Apartments. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
“The units at Erie Harbor are very poorly designed and overpriced… The ground floor units don’t even have a view of the river – it is blocked by a berm… Shoddy construction… The stairs creak… Tacky… Ugliest building in Rochester…” These are all comments you may have heard about the Erie Harbor Apartments external link which were officially opened last fall external link.

When comments like these were left under a recent post on RochesterSubway.com, Jim Mayer didn’t take it sitting down. He contacted me and invited me to visit his home. He and his wife Irene sold their home in Brighton and now live at Erie Harbor. I admit, after nearly a three hour visit, I left feeling a bit jealous at just how much this couple is loving life in their new digs…

(more…)

Monday, March 11th, 2013
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Urban Development | 40 Comments »

Rust Belt Cities: Rather Than Patronizing Young People, Give Them What They Ask For

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Cyclist on the sidewalk across the street from the Midtown development, Rochester, NY. [PHOTO: Rick U, RocPX.com]
I want to share with you an opinion piece from RustWire.comexternal link last week. The article was reposted on BuffaloRising.com external link and it’s now made its way down I-90 to RochesterSubway.com. Angie Schmitt begins by blasting attempts to market cities to young people. Angie cites an example from Columbus, Ohio where leaders spent a $30,000 grant to hire a so-called “Gen Y” expert to tell them how they could retain and attract the widely-coveted demographic. “Why didn’t they just ask the young people that live there what they want, and maybe put the $30,000 toward that?” she asks…

(more…)

Monday, December 17th, 2012
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Posted in Opinion, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 17 Comments »

A Better Bus Stop Sign for Rochester

Monday, April 25th, 2011

I believe RTS could ease the lives of all of its customers and gain a substantial number of new riders simply by redesigning the bus stop signs. And I'm not afraid to donate some free design services to get us there. Here's my proposed redesign…

While visiting Seattle a few years ago something occurred to me. Here I was on the other side of the country in a city I had never been to before in my life, and I was navigating their bus system like seasoned Seattleite. There were no fancy digital real-time signs, I had no smart phone, no GPS anything… I didn’t even have a printed schedule. I didn’t need any of those things because I had this…

(more…)

Monday, April 25th, 2011
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 44 Comments »

Gas Stations Pose Urban Design Challenge

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Abandoned Mobil station at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Clover in Pittsford, NY. It's been years since they removed the pumps from this station.

On Monday evening, June 8, 2009, the Rochester Regional Community Design Center external link will go before Rochester’s City Planning Commission and appeal the decision to allow a Fastrac gas station to be built on Main Street next to the Main/University Inner Loop on-rampexternal link. Roger Brown, Creative Consultant at RRCDC explains, “Though we don’t agree with the Zoning Board’s decision to allow a gas station at that site … much of our case will be about the urban design of the building and how it needs to be designed according to the Center City Design Standards for Main Street.”

I’ll talk more about those “urban design standards” and how you can help. But first, there’s a virus spreading across America…

(more…)

Saturday, May 16th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

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