The Town of Greece’s Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously April 5 to deny a request for a zoning code variance that would have permitted the establishment of an adult bookstore near six homes.
Kirk A. Morris, chairman of the zoning board, noted that the Lee Road store would be too close to homes; could draw an undue amount of traffic; could increase litter in the area, including discarded sexually oriented materials and drug-related paraphernalia; and could drive down property values.
“It is the board’s opinion that an alternate use of this property would be more fitting,” Morris said.
The board did approve a request for a variance that would allow the property’s owner, Jan DeGroote, to have a parking lot smaller in size than the one required by the town’s code.
A woman who answered the phone at DeGroote’s adult store in Henrietta said he was declining comment on the issue.
The bookstore was opposed by parishioners at both Holy Rosary and Most Precious Blood parishes in Rochester, which are both located nearby. In their fight against the bookstore, the parishes worked with Interfaith Action, a federation of Monroe County churches, businesses and groups.
Father Gary Tyman, pastor of Most Precious Blood and Holy Rosary, praised the board’s vote.
“This shows the importance for neighborhoods and communities to be organized and for people to work together,” Father Tyman said.
DeGroote had sought variances to Greece zoning restrictions requiring adult businesses to be at least 1,000 feet away from schools, churches, child-care centers, parks or playgrounds. The site of DeGroote’s proposed bookstore was within 50 feet of one residence and less than 1,000 feet from five other residences.
Kevin D’Agostino lives within 50 feet of the proposed bookstore, and approved of the board’s decision.
“I think the town did the right thing,” D’Agostino said, noting that he was afraid that the bookstore would attract “everything that no one wants to see.”