Rochester, N.Y. - The Rochester City Council unanimously passed new zoning rules Wednesday night, which will restrict new corner stores.
New stores will no longer be able to open within 500 feet of each other in residential areas. The sale of tobacco, alcohol and lottery tickets will be substantially curbed.
The stores will also be mandated to sell fresh produce.
The zoning changes were proposed because many city residents said the corner stores fostered illegal activity, like drug dealing.
Several of those residents turned out Wednesday to support the measure.
Council President Lovely Warren told the crowd the changes will go along way to clean up corner stores that, she said, sell loose cigarettes and drug paraphernalia.
"This gives us control and also gives us an opportunity to ask the store owners to invest in the community," Warren said.
Several dozen corner store owners attended the meaning, and asked the council to vote down the changes.
"The problems are because of drugs and the Rochester police not having control, but you blame us," said owner Ameen Shaibi.
Stores already operating will be grandfathered in and, therefore, will not have to abide by the new rules.