ALBANY, N.Y. -- The New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) said that it is "alarmed" by new zoning restrictions being proposed in the City of Rochester, N.Y., "that would discriminate against, and preemptively punish, even the most responsible neighborhood retailers."
Proponents of the zoning amendments seek to "tar all convenience stores as an undesirable form of commerce," the state association said, "and to use this unfair characterization to infringe upon fundamental rights of hard-working business families who collect and remit taxes, provide employment opportunities, comply with myriad state and local regulations and do their best to serve local residents."
Considered on Wednesday by the City Council, the zoning amendments contain provisions that would:
In addition, NYACS said that the city proposes to "coerce" certain shop owners into signing a "Good Neighbor Agreement" pledging to clean "all areas within 100 feet of (his/her) property lines," which the association said "is preposterous," and to display "No Trespassing" signs outside, "essentially telling prospective customers to keep out, chasing business away."
"We acknowledge the legitimate concerns of law enforcement and community leaders about the frequency and severity of incidents in and around certain retail shops in the city. And we respect the city's desire to regulate commerce and maintain order. But in our view, the overzealous restrictions set forth in these proposed amendments would unfairly constrain convenience store owners who are not part of the problem," said NYACS.