Rochester, N.Y. – People packed a hearing at City Hall on the fate of a historic church on West Main Street.
Owner Marvin Maye wants to tear it down and build a plaza with a Dollar General store. He needs to convince the Zoning Board of Appeals the church doesn’t have historic value and the projects fits in with the neighborhood.
Maye got the state to remove the church from the state register of historic places. It remains on a city list of places with designated historic value.
“'The building has suffered extensive loss of historic fabric and architectural integrity,’” read Maye from a letter he received from the state. “There’s no reason for this to be held up.”
“We don’t see the need for the structure to remain. It’s an eyesore. It invites a lot of crime,” said Anthony Gibbs who lives in the neighborhood and owns a business.
But most residents opposed the project.
“You want to put a Dollar General across from my house? I oppose this application,” Vivian Moss told the board. “How on earth would you like a Dollar General being placed across from your house?”
“Approval of this project would be a major step backward for the rejuvenation of West Main Street,” said Roger Brown.
The zoning board reserved decision.