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Charlotte residents voice concerns about development

Rochester, N.Y. -- Hundreds of people attended the Charlotte Community Association meeting Monday night to talk about plans for a major, multiphase, multimillion dollar development at the Port of Rochester.

"Everybody keeps saying is that 'the city is listening.' If the city was listening, we wouldn't be here to begin with," Charlotte resident Sue Millen said as the crowd applauded.

Millen said the city has ignored residents' concerns and left them out of the conversation.

Millen said the plans proposed for the port would ruin the character of Charlotte, taking away its quaint beach town feel and their view of the water.

"All the people that say they love Charlotte, they don't live here; they come they visit, they leave," Millen said, adding it's the residents that should have the final say in the plans.

"We've had a long experience of things getting jammed down our throat here," one resident said.

Ready to give city officials a mouthful, people stood in line to get a chance to speak. Given a two-minute time limit, people stepped up to the microphone to make sure their voices were heard.

"I don't think that residential uses or high-rise buildings or the sale of public lands is right for Charlotte, and whatever we do should be very right for Charlotte and most should be able to agree about it," one man said.

Based in Michigan, Edgewater Resources is proposing a development that includes hotel and residential towers that would stand 10 to 13 stories tall.

"Are we going to be protected from all the mania that would go on, that will go on with all the additional people that are going to be brought down here?" one resident asked.

Rochester's environmental quality manager, Mark Gregor, fielded questions but had few answers to satisfy the crowd.

The impact is something Gregor said the city cannot predict; however, he said city is working with the developer to create a balance that would not take too much away from residents but still improve the local economy.

While Mayor Lovely Warren signed off on the $77 million deal, the city has an exclusive eight-month negotiation period to go over the proposal.

Once plans are finalized, Rochester City Council will have to approve the sale of the property and the development plans.

Still early in the design phase, Gregor said plans will likely change as the city hears from community members and work to balance out the development.

Another meeting to discuss the project itself will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Roger Robach Community Center on 188 Beach Ave.

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Washington Times