Should abandoned church be torn down to build Dollar General store?
Posted at: 11/29/2012 6:42 AM
| Updated at: 11/29/2012 5:18 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com
The fight continues to save a church in the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood. Some say it should be torn down, others want to preserve it. On Thursday, people in the community got a chance to voice their opinions at a public hearing.
Dozens of residents from the community spent more than two hours in front of the city's zoning board. Now the decision is in the hands of the city.
In a tense public hearing, stood a community divided. Right in the middle of the battle, stands a church.
Developer Marvin Maye wants to tear down the old Westminster Presbyterian Church on West Main Street and build a Dollar General store in its place. Local residents are outraged at the thought. and they made it known. Thursday.
Stacie Colaprete said, “I want to see the neighborhood preserved and also developed and this is a step in the wrong direction.
Toni Orlati said, “Too much damage has been done already to the City of Rochester.”
The church dates back to the 1800's. Maye says the structure of the building is too old to preserve.
He says when he bought the property, he had big plans. He says he'll fight to the end.
Martin Maye, developer, said, “This is not a designated building of historical value number one. Number two, you didn't do anything to protect your assets. The city didn't do anything, the Landmark Society didn't do anything. This neighborhood association didn't do anything.”
Several residents also came to support the development.
Anthony Gibbs said, “These are jobs created in Rochester by a rochesterian.”
The zoning board heard dozens of comments. They received hundreds of signatures and dozens of letters, from both sides. But until a decision is ultimately reached, this community will remain divided.
City officials aren't sure when they will decide on what will happen to the church. It could take months.