City of Rochester, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[§ 60, L.L. No. 4-1925; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
All legislative power of the City shall be vested in a body known as the "Common Council" or "Council," which shall consist of five Councilmembers at Large and four District Councilmembers elected as hereinbefore provided.
[§ 61, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 1-1952; L.L. No. 1-1958; L.L. No. 4-1960; L.L. No. 5-1960; L.L. No. 9-1963; L.L. No. 3-1964; L.L. No. 4-1965; L.L. No. 2-1968; L.L. No. 4-1968; L.L. No. 4-1977; § 1, L.L. No. 1-1982; § 1, L.L. No. 10-1985; § 1, L.L. No. 2-1988; § 1, L.L. No. 1-1990; § 1, L.L. No. 14-1993; § 1, L.L. No. 7-1997; § 1, L.L. No. 4-2001; § 1, L.L. No. 11-2005; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006; § 1, L.L. No. 2-2009; § 1, L.L. No. 12-2009; § 1, L.L. No. 2-2014; § 1, L.L. No. 2-2018]
The electors of the City shall elect five Councilmembers at Large, and the electors of each City district shall elect one District Councilmember.[1] The term of office of all Councilmembers elected as herein provided shall be four years. The terms of office of all Councilmembers shall begin on the first day of January following their election. All Councilmembers shall be electors and shall have resided in the City continuously not less than two years preceding their election. District Councilmembers shall have resided in the district from which they are elected not less than one year. Any Councilmember may be recalled[2] as hereinbefore provided at the general municipal election following his or her election. The annual salary of each member of Council is $34,994. On January 1 of 2019, 2020, and 2021, such annual salary shall be increased by the same percentage, if any, that the Consumer Price Index - Urban has increased during the most recent twelve-month period prior to January 1 for which such Index has been published, except that no such increase shall exceed an annual rate of 3%. A Councilmember may decline to accept a salary increase through written notification to the Director of Finance.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also § 2-1, Elective officers.
[2]
Editor's Note: See also § 5-54, Recall.
[§ 62, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 16-1962; L.L. No. 3-1967; L.L. No. 9-1971; § 1, L.L. No. 1-1983; § 1, L.L. No. 2-2003; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006; § 1, L.L. No. 5-2011]
For the purposes of electing District Councilmembers, the City shall be divided into four districts: Northeast District, East District, South District and Northwest District.
A. 
The Northeast District shall include all the area described within the boundaries as follows: Beginning at the intersection of the center line of the Genesee River with the shore of Lake Ontario; Thence southerly along the center line of the Genesee River to its intersection with the center line East Main Street; Thence easterly along the center line of East Main Street to its intersection with the center line of North Goodman Street; Thence northerly along the center line of North Goodman Street to its intersection with Clifford Avenue; Thence easterly along the center line of Clifford Avenue to its intersection with Lyceum Street; Thence northerly along the center line of Lyceum Street to its interception with Fernwood Park; Thence easterly along the center line of Fernwood Park to its intersection with Walbar Street; Thence southerly along the center line of Walbar Street to its intersection with Clifford Avenue; Thence easterly along the center line of Clifford Avenue to its intersection with Woodman Park; Thence northerly along the center line of Woodman Park to its intersection with Seymour Road; Thence easterly along the center line of Seymour Road to the easterly boundary of the City; Thence northerly along the easterly boundary of the City to the northerly boundary of the City; Thence westerly along the northerly boundary of the City to a point 33 feet easterly from the center line of Culver Road; Thence northerly and parallel to the center line of Culver Road to a point 33 feet northerly from the center line of Hoffman Road produced easterly; Thence northwesterly parallel to the center line of Hoffman Road to a point 33 feet easterly from the center line of Wisner Road; Thence northerly and parallel to the center line of Wisner Road to the southerly boundary of Durand Eastman Park; Thence easterly along the southerly line of Durand Eastman Park to the easterly line of Durand Eastman Park; Thence generally northerly along the easterly boundary of Durand Eastman Park to the shore of Lake Ontario; Thence westerly along the shore of Lake Ontario to the westerly line of Durand Eastman Park; Thence generally southerly along the westerly line of Durand Eastman Park to the intersection of the southerly line of Durand Eastman Park; Thence generally easterly along the southerly line of Durand Eastman Park to a point 33 feet westerly from the center line of Wisner Road; Thence southerly and parallel to the center line of Wisner Road to a point 33 feet south of the center line of Hoffman Road produced westerly; Thence southeasterly and parallel to the center line of Hoffman Road to a point 33 feet westerly from the center line of Culver Road; Thence southerly and parallel to the center line of Culver Road to the northerly boundary line of the City; Thence westerly along the northerly line of the City to the easterly line of the City on the east side of the Genesee River; Thence generally northerly along the said easterly City line to the shore of Lake Ontario; Thence northwesterly to the center of the Genesee River and the point of beginning.
B. 
The East District shall include all the area described within the boundaries as follows: Beginning on the center line of the Genesee River and its intersection with the center line of East Main Street; Thence easterly along the center line of East Main Street to its intersection with the center line of East Avenue; Thence southeasterly along the center line of East Avenue to its intersection with the center line of North Chestnut Street; Thence northerly along the center line of North Chestnut Street to its intersection with the center line of East Main Street; Thence easterly along the center line of East Main Street to its intersection with the center line of North Goodman Street; Thence northerly along the center line of North Goodman Street to its intersection of Clifford Avenue; Thence easterly along the center line of Clifford Avenue to its intersection with Lyceum Street; Thence northerly along the center line of Lyceum Street to its intersection with Fernwood Park; Thence easterly along the center line of Fernwood Park to its intersection with Walbar Street; Thence southerly along the center line of Walbar Street to its intersection of Clifford Avenue; Thence easterly along the center line of Clifford Avenue to its intersection with Woodman Park; Thence northerly along the center line of Woodman Park to its intersection with Seymour Road; Thence easterly along the center line of Seymour Road to the easterly boundary of the City; Thence southerly along the easterly line of the City including the area known as Densmore Creek to the southerly boundary of the City; Thence westerly along the southerly boundary of the City to its intersection with Elmwood Avenue; Thence westerly along the center line of Elmwood Avenue to its intersection with the center line of South Goodman Street; Thence northerly along the center line of South Goodman Street to its intersection of Rockingham Street; Thence westerly along the center line of Rockingham Street to its intersection with Mount Vernon Avenue; Thence northerly along the center line of Mount Vernon Avenue to its intersection with Caroline Street; Thence easterly along the center line of Caroline Street to its intersection with Meigs Street; Thence northerly along the center line of Meigs Street to its intersection with Interstate 490; Thence generally northwest along the center line of Interstate 490 and the Inner Loop to the center line of the Genesee River; Thence northerly along the center line of the Genesee River to its intersection of the center line of East Main Street and the place of beginning.
C. 
The South District shall include all the area described within the boundaries as follows: Beginning at the intersection of the westerly boundary of the City with Buffalo Road; Thence easterly along the center line of Buffalo Road to its intersection with the former New York Central Railway; Thence northeasterly along the former New York Central Railway to its intersection with Colvin Street; Thence southerly along the center line of Colvin Street to its intersection with West Avenue; Thence easterly along the center line of West Avenue to its intersection with West Main Street; Thence easterly along the center line of West Main Street to its intersection with Brown Street; Thence northeasterly along the center line of Brown Street to its intersection with Interstate 490; Thence easterly along the center line of Interstate 490 to its intersection with the Inner Loop; Thence northeasterly along the center line of the Inner Loop to its intersection with the Genesee River; Thence southerly along the center line of the Genesee River to its intersection with Interstate 490; Thence southeasterly along the center line of Interstate 490 to its intersection with Meigs Street; Thence southerly along the center line of Meigs Street to its intersection with Caroline Street; Thence westerly along the center line of Caroline Street to its intersection with Mount Vernon Avenue; Thence southerly along the center line of Mount Vernon Avenue to its intersection with Rockingham Street; Thence southeasterly along the center line of Rockingham Street to its intersection with South Goodman Street; Thence southerly along the center line of South Goodman Street to its intersection with Elmwood Avenue; Thence easterly along the center line of Elmwood Avenue to its intersection with the easterly boundary of the City; Thence generally southerly along the easterly boundary of the City to the southerly boundary of the City; Thence generally along the southerly boundary of the City, including Genesee Valley Park, to the westerly boundary of the City; Thence generally along the westerly boundary of the City, including the Rochester/Monroe County International Airport, to its intersection with Buffalo Road and the point of beginning.
D. 
The Northwest District shall include all the area described within the boundaries as follows: Beginning at the intersection of the center line of the Genesee River with the shore of Lake Ontario; Thence southerly along the center line of the Genesee River to its intersection with the Inner Loop; Thence southwesterly along the Inner Loop to its intersection with Interstate 490; Thence northwesterly along the center line of Interstate 490 to its intersection with the center line of Brown Street; Thence southwesterly along the center line of Brown Street to its intersection with West Main Street; Thence westerly along the center line of West Main Street to its intersection with West Avenue; Thence westerly along the center line of West Avenue to its intersection with Colvin Street; Thence northerly along the center line of Colvin Street to its intersection with the former New York Central Railway; Thence southwesterly along the New York Central Railway to its intersection with Buffalo Road; Thence generally westerly along the center line of Buffalo Road to the westerly boundary of the City; Thence northerly following the westerly boundary of the City to its intersection with the shore of Lake Ontario; Thence easterly along the shore of Lake Ontario to the center line of the Genesee River and the point of beginning.
E. 
Territory annexed subsequent to the enactment of this local law shall be included in a district as provided by the Council by local law. If, by addition of territory, or for any other reason, the districts become grossly unequal in population, the Council may, by local law, reassign territory of the City to the districts so that the districts shall lee composed of contiguous and compact territories as nearly equal in population as is practical.
F. 
This local law does not affect the tenure of the incumbent elective officers. The intent of this local law is to change the council district boundaries for the next municipal election after the adoption of this local law, and each succeeding election thereafter. The incumbent elected officials will remain duly elected officials representing their respective areas until the expiration of their elective or appointive terms. Any Councilmember already elected before the adoption of this local law whose term has not commenced shall serve for the term of office for which he or she has been elected, and shall represent his or her respective area until the expiration of his or her term.
[§ 63, L.L. No. 4-1925; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984[1]]
Vacancies in the office of member of the Council arising otherwise than by expiration of term or by recall shall, within one month, be filled by appointment of a nominee of the members of the Council of the same political affiliation as the person who vacated the office by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Council. If the Council has not filled the vacancy within 30 days from the date the vacancy occurs, then the President of the Council shall fill the vacancy by appointment of a person from the same political party as the person who vacated the office. The person so appointed shall hold office until the first day of January succeeding the first general election held in time to permit the filing of nominating petitions following the vacancy, at which a successor must be elected for the unexpired term.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law was approved at referendum 11-6-1984 and took effect 1-1-1986.
[L.L. No. 9-1987]
The Council shall meet on the first business day in each January, following a general municipal election, and organize as the Council of the City of Rochester. At each such meeting the Council shall select a President of the Council, a Vice President and a City Clerk.
[§ 70, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 11-1930; § 1, L.L. No. 7-1981; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1983; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984[1]; § 1, L.L. No. 2-2016]
The Council shall fix the time of its regular meetings. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Mayor, the President of the Council or any three members of Council. The City Clerk shall cause a written notice thereof, specifying the object of the meeting, to be served upon each member personally or to be delivered at the member's usual place of residence at least 24 hours before the time fixed for such meeting, except that, if such notice is served prior to 5:00 p.m., the time for the special meeting may be fixed at any time after 9:00 a.m. the following day. Council members may waive service of such notice in writing. At such special meeting no business other than that named in the notice of meeting shall be transacted. When the City Council is required by law to hold a public hearing on legislation or other matters, the President of the City Council may determine that said public hearing shall be held on the same day as the meetings of regularly scheduled and standing City Council's committees. Notice of such a hearing shall be delivered to all members of the City Council at least 24 hours before the hearing, and any member of the City Council may attend and participate in the hearing. A majority of City Council members shall be present to constitute a valid public hearing.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law was approved at referendum 11-6-1984 and took effect 1-1-1986.
[§ 84, c. 755, L. 1907, as amended by L.L. No. 5-1956; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
The Council may determine the rules of its own proceedings and is the judge of the election and qualification of its members. Its meetings are public and its records open to public inspection, and a majority of all its members constitute a quorum to do business. It may compel the attendance of absent members at any meeting properly called and may punish or expel a member for disorderly conduct, for a violation of its rules or for official misconduct or declare his or her seat vacant by reason of absence continuing for the space of at least two months; but no member may be expelled and no vacancy be declared on account of absence, except by the vote of ¾ of all the members of the Council, after the delinquent member has had an opportunity to be heard. All appointments and designations by the Council are determined upon a vote taken by a roll call of its members and an entry upon the journal of the choice of each member or of the ayes and nays, if any.
[§ 71, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 11-1928; L.L. No. 25-1928; L.L. No. 1-1940; c. 710, L. 1943; L.L. No. 1-1957; L.L. No. 12-1972; § 1, L.L. No. 12-1980; § 1, L.L. No. 10-1983; repealed by § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law was approved at referendum 11-6-1984 and took effect 1-1-1986.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 9-1984[1]; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
A. 
General procedures. The City Council shall act by local law, ordinance or resolution.
B. 
Local laws. Local laws shall be adopted pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York. Every local law passed by the City Council shall be certified by the City Clerk after its passage and shall be presented to the Mayor for approval. No local law shall be approved by the Mayor until a public hearing thereon has been held before the Mayor. This hearing shall be held on public notice of at least five days, such notice to be given by the Mayor within 10 days after the local law shall have been presented to him or her, and the hearing shall be held within 20 days after such presentation. If the Mayor approves the local law, he or she shall sign it and return it to the City Clerk. If the Mayor disapproves it, he or she shall return it to the City Clerk with objections stated in writing, and the City Clerk shall present the law with such objections to the City Council at its next regular meeting. Such objections shall be entered in the journal of proceedings. The City Council, within 30 days thereafter, may reconsider the local law. If after the reconsideration such local law is repassed by a vote of at least 2/3 of the total members of the City Council, it shall be deemed adopted, notwithstanding the objections of the Mayor. Only one vote shall be had upon such reconsideration. The vote shall be taken by ayes and nays, and the names of the members present and their votes shall be entered in the journal of proceedings. If within 30 days after a local law shall have been presented to the Mayor, the Mayor shall neither approve it nor return it to the City Clerk with objections, the local law shall be deemed adopted in like manner as if the Mayor had signed it. At any time prior to the approval of a local law or its return by the Mayor, the City Council may recall the same and reconsider its action thereon.
C. 
Ordinances. No ordinance, unless otherwise provided by local law, unless it be an ordinance fixing the salary or salaries of certain City officers or employees or adopting the budget, levying the annual tax or confirming the roll or rolls of items to be added to the annual tax, shall be voted upon earlier than the third day after its introduction into the Council, except by the approval of six members of the Council or if accompanied by a statement of necessity of immediate passage signed by the Mayor. On the passage of every ordinance which is not passed by unanimous vote, the ayes and nays of the members voting thereon shall be entered in full upon the journal. The passage of an ordinance requires the affirmative vote of at least a majority of all the members of the Council, except as otherwise provided by the Local Finance Law. An ordinance amended after introduction does not become a new ordinance unless the President of the Council, or the Council upon appeal from the President's ruling, rules that the amendment is so substantial as to constitute a new ordinance. Every ordinance shall be certified by the City Clerk after its passage by Council and shall be presented to the Mayor for approval or disapproval in the same manner as provided in this Charter for the adoption of local laws, except that if within 30 days after an ordinance shall have been presented to the Mayor, the Mayor shall neither approve it nor return it to the Clerk with objections, the ordinance shall be deemed to be adopted in like manner as if the Mayor had signed it and except that no public hearing shall be required to be held by the Mayor.
D. 
Resolutions. The adoption of a resolution requires the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the members of Council. A resolution shall not have the force or effect of law, but shall be binding upon the members of Council.
E. 
Notwithstanding any provisions of this Charter to the contrary, no local law or ordinance passed by the City Council shall be deemed adopted without approval by the Mayor before the first day of January of any even-numbered year if the time for approval of said local law or ordinance by the Mayor has not expired before said first day of January.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law was approved at referendum 11-6-1984 and took effect 1-1-1986.
[§ 72, L.L. No. 4-1925; repealed by § 2, L.L. No. 6-1981]
[§ 73, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 2-1929; c. 710, L. 1943; L.L. No. 6-1975; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984[1]; § 1, L.L. No. 10-2009]
All ordinances introduced or adopted at any meeting of the Council and the complete minutes of each such meeting shall be printed within 60 days after the adjournment of the meeting and shall be distributed by the City Clerk to each member of the Council, to the Mayor and to the head of each City department and bureau. Ordinances shall be printed in full in the minutes of the meeting at which they are introduced but, unless amended, shall be published by title only in the minutes of subsequent meetings at which they are considered; provided, however, that it shall not be necessary to print and/or distribute any maps which may be adopted as a part of any ordinance; and provided further, however, that it shall not be necessary to print and/or distribute any ordinance that exceeds 25 pages typewritten and double-spaced with one-and-one-half-inch margins, as long as two copies of said ordinance are submitted to the City Clerk when introduced and are kept on file by the Clerk for public inspection, and as long as the title of said ordinance is printed in the minutes of the meeting at which it is introduced with the notation that said ordinance exceeds 25 pages and is on file with the City Clerk for public inspection. At the close of each year it shall be the duty of the City Clerk to have the minutes of all meetings held during that year printed, indexed and bound in adequate number. Official notices that are required by law to be published shall be published in an official newspaper of the City, except as otherwise provided by the Local Finance Law.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law was approved at referendum 11-6-1984 and took effect 1-1-1986.
[§ 103, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1929; L.L. No. 4-1965; § 2, L.L. No. 10-2009]
A brief abstract of every ordinance of the Council imposing a penalty or fine or imprisonment, and every amendment thereto, must before the same takes effect be published at least once in each week for two successive weeks in an official newspaper of the City, provided that in case of insurrection, riot, pestilence, conflagration or other public necessity requiring immediate operation of such ordinance, it shall take effect as soon as proclamation thereof has been made by the Mayor and the same has been posted in five public places in each ward of the City. The City Clerk shall prepare such brief abstract of every such ordinance with the advice of the Corporation Counsel.
[§ 75, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 12-1928; repealed by L.L. No. 5-1955. New § 75 added by L.L. No. 5-1955; L.L. No. 4-1965; § 3, L.L. No. 6-1981]
The Council shall provide for the publication, in book form, of a municipal code consisting of:
A. 
The Charter of the City of Rochester and a schedule of all special acts of the legislature and special local laws pertaining to the City of Rochester.
B. 
All ordinances and local laws of a general nature.
The City Clerk shall provide for the printing and distribution of a periodic supplement to both the Charter and the ordinances, which said supplements shall contain, in loose-leaf form, all amendments and additions of the preceding period.
[§ 74, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 1-1976; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984[2]; § 3, L.L. No. 10-2009]
The Council shall designate, biennially in January of each even-numbered year, the official newspapers for the City. Required notices may be placed in one or more such newspapers.
[1]
Editor's Note: On May 11, 1926, the Common Council passed the following Local Law "In Relation to Publication in the Official Papers"; Be it enacted by the Common Council of the City of Rochester as follows:
Section 1. All matters and things except matters and things relating to public utility franchises or the alienation or leasing of City property, required by Chapter 755 of the Laws of 1907, entitled. "An act constituting the charter of the City of Rochester," or acts amendatory thereof or supplemental thereto, to be published in the official papers shall hereafter be published in only one of the official papers.
Section 2. All provisions of Chapter 755 of the Laws of 1907, entitled "An act constituting the Charter of the City of Rochester," and acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto, inconsistent with the provisions of this local law are hereby superseded.
Section 3. This local law shall take effect July 12, 1926.
[2]
Editor's Note: This local law was approved at referendum 11-6-1984 and took effect 1-1-1986.
[§ 125, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1965; § 4, L.L. No. 6-1981]
The printed minutes of the Council and the printed ordinances of the Council heretofore or hereafter published, certified by the City Clerk under the City Seal or printed or purporting to be printed under authority of the Council, or purporting to be the printed minutes or printed ordinances of the Council, are presumptive evidence of the ordinances, resolutions, bylaws and rules contained therein, of the reports, communications, petitions and documents presented to the Council contained therein, of the acts and recitals of occurrences contained therein, of all proceedings of the Council and of all other matters contained therein, and are presumptive evidence of the due adoption and publication of all ordinances contained therein. A certificate signed by the City Clerk under the City Seal, certifying to the contents, adoption and publication of an ordinance or of any of said facts, is presumptive evidence of the facts contained in such certificate.
[§ 76, L.L. No. 4-1925; as added by L.L. No. 1-1928; L.L. No. 1-1933; L.L. No. 3-1939; repealed by § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law was approved at referendum 11-6-1984 and took effect 1-1-1986.