Rochester, N.Y. – The city will ask mini-marts and bars to sign “good neighbor agreements” in the coming months.
The agreements spell out rules for signage, loitering, litter, meetings with city officials and items that can’t be sold, such as drug paraphernalia and bandanas.
The agreements have some stores along Monroe Avenue concerned this is part of a larger effort by the city to control businesses.
“I think this is an attempt by the city to make a contractual agreement which they can use to shut down businesses,” said Alex White, who owns a game store.
‘They’re overreaching,” said pet shop owner Lisa Jacques. “People will be intimidated into signing it…the true intent is to close any business at any time.”
The agreements are nonbinding and businesses don’t have to sign, said Southeast Quadrant Administrator Nancy Johns Price. She said much of the agreement is already in city code and the agreements facilitate conversations with businesses. “It’s about education, building a good relationship and asking you to be a good neighbor.”
This month, city council will consider new regulations for mini-marts, which can attract nuisance activity and crime.
John Thomas, a Monroe Ave. area resident, spent the morning picking up litter. “I think there needs to be something done around the mini-marts. There are a lot of problems.”