Monday, July 14, 2014

WEEK AHEAD: Maye tries again; Highland expansion meeting; atheist speaks

Posted By on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge Marvin Maye wants to tear down this vacant church on West Main for an unspecified food store. The application is in front of the city's Zoning Board this week. - FILE PHOTO
  • Marvin Maye wants to tear down this vacant church on West Main for an unspecified food store. The application is in front of the city's Zoning Board this week.
The City of Rochester’s Zoning Board will consider an application from Maye Development to demolish a vacant two-story house and a vacant church at 660-668 West Main Street. The company wants to put an unspecified food store on the site. The meeting will be broken into two sections. The section that includes Maye’s application begins at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 17, in City Council chambers at City Hall, 30 Church Street.

Developer Marvin Maye tried to get permission from the city in 2012 and 2013 to tear down the church for a Dollar General store. But the application faced strenuous opposition from area residents and neighborhood groups who said that the store would be a poor fit in the newly revitalized area.

The church is also a Designated Building of Historic Value in the city. It is the one-time home of the German Liederkranz Club, one of only four surviving buildings "associated with the cultural history of Rochester's large German-American community in the 20th century,” according to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Representatives of Highland Hospital will hold an open meeting tonight (Monday, July 14) on the hospital’s planned expansion. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. in the Olmsted Lodge in Highland Park, 171 Reservoir Avenue.

Highland plans a two-story, 30,000-square-foot expansion off the back of the hospital on what is currently a hospital parking lot at the end of Bellevue Drive. The addition would house six larger operating rooms and allow the hospital to expand its current, cramped operating rooms, officials say. Observation beds will also be added.

The hospital also planned at one time to use 27 Bellevue Drive, a vacant house, for office space. But that plan met resistance from residents of the close-quarters neighborhood, and the hospital appears to have backed off. BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN

A Hamlin man, also an atheist, will deliver the opening invocation at Tuesday’s Greece Town Board meeting.

Dan Courtney says his invocation will center on the need for local governments to be inclusive and to focus on what brings people together, not what divides them.

Two Greece residents previously sued the town over its practice of opening Town Board meetings with prayer. Most of the prayers are Christian in nature, which gives the appearance that the town is endorsing a particular religion, they argued. But the US Supreme Court sided with Greece and said that the practice is appropriate.

Courtney signed up to offer the invocation immediately after that decision.

"I want to make it clear to the non-Christian community, the minority faiths, and nonbelievers in the Town of Greece," Courtney has said. "I want them to know that they can participate in the process."

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Greece Town Hall, 1 Vince Tofany Boulevard. BY JEREMY MOULE 

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