I’m probably going to take a lot of heat from people for the comparison I’m about to draw, but hear me out first. Then you can tell me that I’m being overly dramatic. Here it goes…
The photo above was taken last week in Xiazhangyang, China. This is the home of Luo Baogen and his wife. When the Chinese government offered them 260,000 yuan ($41,573 U.S.) to vacate their home so a new highway could be built, the elderly couple refused the offer…
Unable to evict them without an agreement, the government decided to build the highway around the house – ALL around it. Nice heh? The road, which leads to Wenling Railway Station, has yet to be opened. But once it does, Mr. and Mrs. Luo can expect a steady stream of traffic driving through day and night. [See the story on NationalPost.com ]
Now, back here in the good old U.S. of A. This (above) is the home of Stacie Colaprete and Ariane Drew at 644 W. Main St. in Rochester, NY.
Stacie and Ariane already have a strip mall to the right of them. A year ago, Marvin Maye of Spencerport, NY, bought the church on the other side. He wants to demolish the church and lease the land to Dollar General so they can put a retail store there. Now imagine this is YOUR home – wedged between two low-end retail boxes and surrounded by asphalt…
“Obviously we do not want to be surrounded on all sides,” Ariane says. “We will be forced to move if this plan goes through. We don’t have any personal issues with Marvin Maye, but just as he is doing what is best for him, we are doing what is best for us. Our stand is very clear. The question everyone else should ask is: what is best for the community? We do not believe a Dollar General is the answer.”
I understand full well that Marvin Maye has rights as a property owner. I own a home. I wouldn’t appreciate somebody telling me what I can and can’t do with it. But reality is, property owners also have responsibilities. We have a responsibility to maintain our property (Marvin knew his was a Designated Building of Historic Value when he bought it). We also have a responsibility not to undermine the value of our neighbors’ property, which a Dollar General would certainly do.
Rochester’s Project Review Committee has said this church should not be demolished. The Preservation Board has said this church should not be demolished. And on Thursday, the Zoning Board will have the final say.
Thankfully this isn’t communist China. This is America. And you can also have your say:
WHEN: Thursday at 11:30am (UPDATE: the meeting begins at 9:30am but the Dollar General case might begin anytime between 10:30 and 11:30. Be smart and try to get there as early as possible.)
WHERE: City Hall, 3rd Floor, City Council’s Chambers
WHAT: The Zoning Board will hear public comments and decide whether to allow the church at 660 West Main Street to be demolished for a Dollar General. Please attend this hearing and speak out against the demolition. If you cannot make the hearing, send your comments to Tim Raymond at [email protected].
P.S. – Don’t forget to watch Ghost Hunters tonight!
Tags: 644 W. Main Street, 660 W. Main Street, Ariane Drew, China, demolition, Dollar General, highway, highway built around house, Luo Baogen, nail house, Rochester, Rochester NY, Stacie Colaprete, Xiazhangyang, Zhejiang province
This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 at 8:12 am and is filed under Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Thank you for this post. Well done!!