[§ 291, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 505, L. 1917; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 4-1930; L.L. No. 4-1956; L.L. No. 5-1974; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
Except as otherwise provided in this local law the Council shall continue to have all such powers as have heretofore been granted to the Common Council of the City by Chapter 755 of the Laws of 1907 and by the laws amendatory thereof. The Council shall have all powers conferred upon the Superintendent of City Planning under Subsection B of this section and such powers as now are or may hereafter be conferred by this or any other local law. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of Section 32 of Chapter 755 of the Laws of 1907, entitled "An act constituting the Charter of the City of Rochester," or of any other provision of said chapter and acts amendatory thereof or supplemental thereto, or of any provision of this local law or of any other local law, the Council may, in its discretion, determine by a unanimous vote that the City of Rochester is justly and equitably obligated to pay and that the interest of the City will be best subserved by the payment or compromise of any claim against the City of Rochester arising from the existence, maintenance or use of City sewer or water mains, which has been certified to said Council in writing by the Corporation Counsel as an illegal or invalid claim against the City but which, notwithstanding, in his or her judgment, it is equitable and proper for the City to pay in whole or in part; and the Council may, by unanimous vote, authorize the Director of Finance to pay said claim in such amount as the Council shall so determine to be just, in full satisfaction of such claim, provided that the claimant shall fully release the City upon any such payment, in such form as shall be approved by the Corporation Counsel.
The Council has power to divide the City into districts and to regulate, restrict and prohibit the location of businesses, trades and industries and the location or alteration of buildings or structures designed for specified uses or of a certain character or class in any such district. A portion of a street may form or be a part of any such district. Residence districts may be created in which shall be permitted only single-family dwelling houses or dwelling houses or residences containing accommodations for such number of families as may be deemed proper. Specified businesses, trades or industries may be permitted in one district and others excluded therefrom, and special regulations may be prescribed for the businesses, trades or industries so permitted in such district. Regulations, restrictions and prohibitions in one or more districts may differ from those of other districts. The use or occupation of a building or structure in any district must not to be changed so as to be in violation of the regulations, restrictions or prohibitions applying to such district. Such regulations, restrictions and prohibitions shall be designed to promote the health of the public, for the safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City, for the promotion of the growth and prosperity of the City and to secure the proper development and upbuilding of the City.
The Council shall provide for an independent audit, within one month after the close of each fiscal year, of all accounts of the City government by qualified public accountants, who shall be selected by the Council and who shall have no personal interest directly or indirectly in the financial affairs of the City or any of its offices. The results of such audit shall be published immediately upon its completion.
The Council shall make provision for the employment of such legislative staff as may be needed in the discharge of its duties; such staff shall be appointed by the Council. Services provided by such staff shall be available to all members of Council on a uniform and equitable basis. Such staff may include independent legal counsel or persons with expertise in research, policy analysis, budget analysis, planning and other matters relating to the legislative duties of the Council. Such staff may be retained by direct employment, contract or other arrangement. Such staff shall be included in the office of the City Clerk.
The Council shall have the power to confirm or reject all mayoral appointments except as may be provided otherwise in this Charter.
The Council shall have the power to enact legislation over the disapproval of the Mayor as provided in this Charter.
The Council shall have the power to investigate all departments, boards, bureaus and officers; and to have access to all records and papers kept in the custody of any department, board, bureau or other agency; to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers or other evidence at any meeting of the Council or of any committee thereof and, for that purpose, to issue subpoenas signed by the President of the Council.
[§§ 85, 85-a c. 755, L. 1907; as added by c. 413, L. 1940; c. 297, L. 1943; c. 839, L. 1945; L.L. No. 4-1965]
The legislative power of the City is vested in the Council, and it has authority to enact ordinances not inconsistent with law for the government of the City and the management of its business, for the protection of its property and the indemnification of the City against loss or liability, for the preservation of good order, peace and health, for the safety and welfare of its inhabitants and the protection, enjoyment and security of their property and for such other purposes as the interests of the municipality and its citizens require. Its authority, except as otherwise provided in this act or by law, is legislative only.
Subject to the provisions of § 34.00 of the Local Finance Law, the Council may in its discretion determine that any ordinance or local law, except a local law subject to a mandatory referendum under the provisions of the City Home Rule Law, shall become operative as described therein only if and when approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified electors of the City of Rochester voting on a proposition for its approval. Such ordinance or local law may provide for its submission for approval of the electors at a special election held not less than 60 days after the adoption thereof or at the next general election held not less than 60 days after the adoption thereof.
A proposition for the submission of an ordinance or a local law to the approval of the electors pursuant to this section shall contain the title of such ordinance or local law. The City Clerk with the advice of the Corporation Counsel shall prepare an abstract of such ordinance or local law concisely stating the title, purpose and effect thereof and forthwith shall transmit such proposition and abstract to the election officers charged with the duty of publishing the notice of and furnishing the supplies for such election. A sufficient number of copies of such abstract shall be printed and made available at the time of registration or otherwise in advance of the election to such electors as desire them and shall be delivered with the other election supplies and distributed to the electors at the election. If there be more than one such proposition to be voted upon at such election, such propositions shall be separately and consecutively numbered.
At any time prior to the election at which an ordinance or a local law is to be submitted to the electors for approval pursuant to the provisions of this section, the Council, not later than 15 days prior to the election, may reconsider its action thereon and repeal such ordinance or local law, whereupon the proposition for its approval shall not be submitted at such election or, if submitted, the vote of the electors thereon shall be without effect.
If any local law which the Council has determined shall not become operative until approved by a majority of the electors as hereinbefore in this section provided is also, but for the provisions of this section, subject to a referendum on petition pursuant to §§ 16 and 17 of the City Home Rule Law, such local law shall not be subject to the referendum on petition provided for by §§ 16 and 17 of the City Home Rule Law.
Editor's Note: The City Home Rule Law was repealed by Chapter 843 of the Laws of 1963, effective 1-1-1964. See now the Municipal Home Rule Law.
[§ 86, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 250, L. 1910; c. 292, L. 1921; c. 524, L. 1921; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 4-1965; § 1, L.L. No. 4-1981; § 1, L.L. No. 8-1985]
In addition to the powers conferred by the last section, the Council has power to adopt ordinances for the following purposes within the City:
To regulate and provide for the licensing of pawnbroking and pawnbrokers, auctions and auctioneers, employment agencies and those conducting them, peddling and peddlers, junk dealing and junk dealers, temporary sales and those engaged in them, huckstering and hucksters and the selling of hay, straw and farm produce; to regulate the inspection and sealing of weights and measures, the operation and speed of all vehicles upon the public streets, highways and places; to regulate the emission of smoke from and to prohibit the emission of dense smoke from buildings, boilers, stationary engines, traction engines, railroad engines and locomotives, boats on the canal or river and from all other sources; to regulate the manufacture, storage, transportation, use and sale of petroleum products, easily combustible and inflammable materials and explosives; to regulate the construction, erection, alteration and repair of buildings and structures, the construction, erection, alteration, repair and use of electric wires, lines or cables inside and outside of buildings and structures and to provide for the approval of plans thereof; to adopt ordinances for the maintenance of order, protection of property and preservation and care of the safety, health, comfort and general welfare of the inhabitants of the City and visitors thereto and for any of said purposes to regulate and license occupations and businesses; to provide for the licensing of dogs, the seizure of unlicensed dogs, the care and protection of lost, strayed and homeless dogs, for securing and protecting the rights of the owners thereof, for the protection of the public against dogs, and the destruction of dangerous or vicious dogs whether licensed or not; and to authorize the Mayor to enter into a contract with an incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals having jurisdiction in the City, for the capture and impoundage of all unlicensed dogs and for the maintenance of a shelter for lost, strayed or homeless dogs.
To regulate and control the laying, maintenance, alteration and repair of subways, conduits, mains and pipes in and under the public streets, highways and places; to regulate and control the erection, construction and maintenance of poles, cables and wires in, upon, over and under the public streets, highways and places; to require cables and wires, except trolley wires and the necessary guy and supporting wires used in connection with such trolley wires, erected and proposed to be erected upon and over the public streets, highways and places, to be placed underground, not exceeding in one year the amount which may be placed in 20 miles of single duct, unless the ordinances for the excess over said 20 miles are unanimously approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment; to regulate and control the opening and excavation of public streets, highways and places and the use of public streets, highways and places, or any part thereof, or the space above or underneath them for any purpose whatever; to regulate the operation and speed upon and over public streets, highways and places of locomotives, engines and cars upon steam, electric and street surface railroads.
To grant all rights or franchises to use the streets, highways and public places or any part thereof or the space above or underneath them, for any purpose whatever, upon such terms and conditions as it deems proper.
To divide the City into districts and to regulate, determine and limit the height and bulk of buildings or structures hereafter erected, altered, remodeled or repaired, and to regulate, determine and limit the area of yards, courts and other open spaces. A portion of a street may form or be a part of any such district. Regulations, restrictions, prohibitions, determinations and limitations in one or more districts may differ from those of other districts, but shall be uniform for each class of buildings throughout any district. Such regulations, restrictions, prohibitions, determinations and limitations shall be designed to promote the health of the public, for the safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City, for the promotion of the growth and prosperity of the City and to secure the proper development and upbuilding of the City.
[§ 87, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 4-1965]
An ordinance authorizing any franchise must be passed by a vote of ¾ of all the members of the Council and must provide for a disposition of the same at public auction to the highest bidder, under proper regulations for the protection of the City and after public notice to be published once each week for three weeks in the official papers. The Council may grant to the owner or lessees of an existing franchise under which operations are being actually carried on, additional franchise rights or extensions in the street or streets in which the said franchise exists, without advertisement and sale. No franchise shall be granted or be operative for a period longer than 25 years.
[§ 88, c. 755 L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1965]
All purchases or other acquisition by the City of real estate or any right or easement therein must be authorized by ordinance of the Council. This section does not apply to purchases of real estate or rights or easements therein for school purposes or in actions for foreclosure of tax liens.
[§ 203, L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 3-1974; § 3, L.L. No. 2-1981; § 1, L.L. No. 15-1981; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
Whenever the Council determines to authorize the purchase of any real estate or rights or easements therein, it shall pass an ordinance containing a description of the real estate or rights or easements to be acquired, declaring its intention to acquire the same and that it deems the same necessary for municipal purposes, directing the Mayor to ascertain the price and to negotiate for the purchase of the same and to report to the Council the price at which the purchase can be made. If the Council approves the price reported by the Mayor, it shall authorize him or her to make such purchase. If the Council disapproves the price reported by the Mayor or if the Mayor reports that he or she is unable to obtain a price by negotiation, the Council may direct the Corporation Counsel to institute condemnation proceedings for the acquisition of such real estate, rights or easements. In case a local assessment is to be levied for the whole or any part of the expense of the acquisition of such real estate, rights or easements, the Council shall proceed thereon as in the case of other local improvements and may, in the ordinance for the local improvement, direct the acquisition, as herein provided, of real estate, rights or easements necessary therefor.
The Council may authorize the acquisition of real property, including any or all commercial or industrial improvements or fixtures thereon, which real property, improvements or fixtures are already subject to the lien of a prior mortgage or mortgages. Such acquisition shall not affect the enforceability, validity or priority of the prior mortgage or mortgages or the debt secured thereby. The City shall not assume any responsibility for payment of any of the said prior secured debt and shall have no liability therefor, whether by judgment, by deficiency judgment after foreclosure or otherwise. Such acquisition may be authorized by ordinance of the City Council when the entire amount of funds authorized for said acquisition is derived from the federal government and in such other cases as shall not contravene the provisions of Article 8, § 1, of the Constitution of the State of New York.
[§ 90, c. 755, L. 1907; as added by c. 547, L. 1918; L.L. No. 4-1965]
Whenever the Board of Education reports to the Council that it is unable to purchase real estate, rights or easements deemed necessary by it for school purposes, the Council may pass an ordinance containing a description of the real estate, rights or easements to be acquired and declaring its intention to acquire the same and that it deems the same necessary for municipal purposes, and directing the Corporation Counsel to institute condemnation proceedings for the acquirement of the same.
[§ 91, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 547, L. 1918; c. 431, L. 1920; c. 524, L. 1921; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 3-1941; L.L. No. 12-1942; L.L. No. 3-1974; L.L. No. 8-1975; § 1, L.L. No. 7-1993]
The Council may provide for the disposition of any real property and rights and easements therein, except sections, lots and burial places in cemeteries administered by the City, at public auction, at private sale or by other means in accordance with provisions established in the Code of the City of Rochester.
All sales of such real property must be made pursuant to authority granted by ordinance of the Council passed by ¾ of all the members except any right or interest less than a fee simple and the disposition of any real property and rights and easements therein acquired under tax foreclosure shall be made pursuant to an ordinance passed by a majority of all the members.
The Council, in providing for the disposition of any real property and rights and easements therein at private sale, shall prescribe the purchase price, the conditions of sale, the terms, covenants and agreements to be included and the terms of payment of real estate brokerage commission, if any, to be paid for the procurement of the purchaser therein.
[§ 92, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 431, L. 1920; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 9-1962; L.L. No. 13-1971; L.L. No. 3-1974; § 4, L.L. No. 2-1981]
Except as otherwise provided in this act, all leases of real estate or of any right or easement therein or the remainder of land and property acquired for actual construction in the laying out, widening, extending or relocating parks, public places, highways or streets and not needed and not appropriated for such park, public place, highway or street belonging to the City must be made pursuant to authority granted by ordinance of the Council, and upon such terms and conditions, if any, as are specified in such ordinance. Any more land and property than is needed for actual construction in the laying out, widening, extending or relocating parks, public places, highways or streets and not appropriated for such purpose may be leased and used for any purpose and for any term determined by the Council. The Council is empowered to lease the sewerage system, including but not limited to sewer collection mains, together with the laterals, interceptors, pump station, holding basins, treatment facilities, rights in land, easements and property used in connection therewith and, any and all appurtenances thereto, to the Rochester Pure Waters District of the County of Monroe to operate, maintain and repair such system for the benefit of the City for a period of 40 years and of any additional period the Council may authorize. Any such lease may provide for the increase, improvement and reconstruction of such system by said county for and on behalf of said district.
[§ 94, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1965]
The Council has power by ordinance to locate and establish playgrounds and to determine that a small park or square or a part thereof may be used for other than park purposes and to, thereupon, place it or such part thereof under the control of the proper department, board or officer.
[§ 110, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1965]
The Council has power by ordinance to authorize the construction and erection for City purposes of buildings, works and reservoirs within or without the limits of the City.
[§ 111, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 5-1933; L.L. No. 4-1965]
The Council has power to require the opening, laying out, inpaving, repaving, grading, regrading, repairing, sprinkling, chemical treatment of surface, lighting, cleaning, sodding, embellishment, alteration, widening and discontinuance of public streets, highways and places, and the cutting and sowing of grass and planting and care of trees therein: the construction, alteration, repair and cleaning of sidewalks on the public streets, highways and places; the street numbering and renumbering of houses, buildings and structures: the construction, alteration, repair and cleaning of public sewers and drains and of laterals connected therewith, and the construction, alteration, repair, cleaning and extension of public sewers and drains beyond the limits of the City: the construction within or without the City of sewage disposal plants, and the alteration, repair and cleaning of the same; the construction, alteration and repair of bridges and arches over any water or other places: the removal of dirt, rubbish and deposits from and the deepening of the Genesee River, and the construction, alteration and repair of walls along the banks of said river, and the construction, alteration and repair of the banks thereof; and the construction of all other public improvements and work deemed necessary, and the guarantee to keep any improvement or work in good order and repair for such time as it determines.
[§ 112, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 368, L. 1908; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 4-1965]
The Council may direct that the whole of the expense of a public improvement or work be assessed upon the property deemed benefited or that the whole or part thereof be charged to the City at large and the remainder, if any, assessed upon the property deemed benefited. The Council may direct that the portion of expense, heretofore or hereafter incurred, of a public improvement for which by law or agreement a street railway corporation is liable or chargeable, shall be assessed on the special franchises of such street railway corporation situate within the City.
[§ 118, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1965]
In the year 1908, and in each fifth year thereafter until the bonds issued for the construction of the east side trunk sewer are paid and redeemed, the Council must determine what amount, if any, of east side trunk sewer bonds, in addition to those falling due during the next five years, it will cause to be redeemed, and the amount of money necessary to be raised therefor and for the bonds falling due, and the amount necessary to be raised for interest during the next five years on east side trunk sewer bonds, and also the amount it deems necessary to be raised by assessment upon the property benefited to pay the cost and expense of constructing or reconstructing the east side trunk sewer additions thereto, and overflows from the same, in settling judgments and claims caused by the sewer, additions and overflows, the construction or reconstruction of a disposal plant for said sewer and the purchase of lands, rights and easements necessary for the construction or maintenance of the sewer, additions, overflows and disposal plants, and for such other purposes connected with the sewer, additions, overflows and disposal plant as it deems desirable; and it must direct the total amount thereof, together with any interest paid on account thereof by the City, and interest on the total amount to the time the first installment becomes due, and all expenses incident to the making of the assessment to be assessed on the portion or part of the City which it deems benefited thereby. The Council must proceed thereon as in the case of other public improvements or work involving a local assessment, and the assessment therefor is payable in five equal annual installments, the time when each becomes due to be determined as in the case of other local assessments, and the same rate of interest to be paid thereon as on other local assessments, and to be levied and collected as other local assessments; and the same proceedings for its enforcement and collection may be taken by the City as is provided herein for the enforcement of other local assessments.
[§ 95, c. 755, L. 1907 repealed by L.L. No. 1-1953; New § 95 added by L.L. No. 2-1953 and amended by L.L. No. 3-1953; L.L. No. 2-1963; L.L. No. 6-1971; § 7, L.L. No. 2-1980]
If the front or other exterior wall of any building erected on or before the first day of January 1965 in this City encroaches not more than six inches upon any city street or highway, the Council may authorize the maintenance of such encroachment, by ordinance, during the period of time such encroachment is in existence; provided, however, that such authorization shall not confer any right or claim to be asserted against the City or the state.
The Council shall, by ordinance, authorize the Commissioner of Environmental Services to grant permission for such encroachment upon the filing of a bond indemnifying the City against all loss, liability or damage which may result by reason of the construction or maintenance of said encroachment, upon which bond any person injured by such construction or maintenance may sue, or in lieu of such bond, a policy of liability insurance insuring the City and the licensee against all loss, liability or damage which may result by reason of the construction or maintenance of said encroachment.
Application for all signs and encroachments, exclusive of the aforementioned building wall encroachments, in, upon, under or over the public streets, highways or places, shall be made to the Commissioner of Environmental Services, except where plans indicate an attachment to a building, said plans must be approved by the Director of Buildings, and then said application shall be referred to the Commissioner of Environmental Services for final disposition and approval.
[§ 121, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 486, L. 1916; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 6-1930; L.L. No. 1-1960; L.L. No. 20-1970]
An ordinance of the Council altering the name of a public street or highway, or changing the legally established grade of a public street or highway, or discontinuing a public street or highway, must be passed by a vote of ¾ of all the members thereof. When lands have been used by the public as a street or highway for more than one year, the Council may by ordinance declare the same to be a public street and fix the width and location thereof, and such location may be fixed by reference to the map hereinafter directed to be filed. Such ordinance is presumptive evidence that the lands included within the street, as therein located, or a portion thereof, have been used by the public as a street or highway for more than one year. A copy of such ordinance must thereupon be recorded, and a map of said street as located filed in the County Clerk's office, and said ordinance published at least twice in the official paper with a notice requiring all persons having or claiming to have any right, title or interest in, or lien upon, the lands included in said street, to file their claims for compensation therefor with the Corporation Counsel. An ordinance locating a street does not waive any rights of the City, and is not to be construed as an admission that such street, or any part thereof, was not previously a public street, or that any person is entitled to compensation for the lands included therein.
Any change in the width or location of a street not requiring a change of the Official Map or Plan, and any change in the direction of traffic on a street or the grade of a street shall be approved by an ordinance of the Council after notice of a public hearing has been published at least five days prior to the public hearing. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as requiring approval of the Council for the resurfacing of a street.
[§ 98, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 4-1965; repealed by § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984]
[§ 101, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 92, L. 1923; L.L. No. 4-1925; L.L. No. 5-1957; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1984]
The Council may pass an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract, without competition, for the examination or care of the teeth of children attending the schools and providing for the payment of specified annual or semiannual amounts thereon for a period not exceeding five years. The Council may pass an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a contract, without competition, with any duly incorporated and chartered university maintaining a college of medicine, dentistry or surgery and maintaining and conducting in connection therewith a hospital, for the furnishing of materials, supplies, accommodations, services or facilities for conducting a hospital maintained by the City or for doing part of the health work of the City in connection therewith, or both, and providing for the payment by the City to such university of specified annual or semiannual amounts for or the costs of furnishing such materials, supplies, accommodations, services or facilities for a period not exceeding 15 years.
[§ 104, c. 755, 1907; L.L. No. 4-1965; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
Any board, bureau or officer authorized by ordinance of the Council to grant any license has discretionary power to grant or refuse the same, and the Council may provide that any license, right or permission granted under or by virtue of an ordinance thereof may be revoked by the board, bureau or officer issuing the same, either summarily in his or her or its discretion or after a hearing, upon a violation of the laws of the state or ordinances of the Council by the person or corporation to whom the same was granted or who is acting under or using the same, or his or her or its agents, servants or employees.
[§ 102, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 495, L. 1918; L.L. No. 1-1965; L.L. No. 4-1965; § 1, L.L. No. 4-1995]
It may be provided in a general ordinance or ordinances or any ordinance or ordinances adopted by the Council that a violation of an ordinance of the Council is punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 180 days or both such fine and imprisonment, or by a penalty not exceeding $5,000 in a civil action, or by a maximum and minimum fine or a maximum and minimum term of imprisonment or both, or by a maximum or minimum amount of penalty, or by a definite amount of penalty. The amount of fine and term of imprisonment within the limits prescribed by the Council and the imposition of one or both must be determined by the court. The amount of penalty to be recovered in a civil action, of which the City Court of the City of Rochester, the County Court of Monroe County, and the Supreme Court have jurisdiction, if not fixed at a definite amount, must be determined by the court or jury within the limits fixed by the Council.
[§ 126, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 524, L. 1921; c. 431, L. 1956]
The City of Rochester may maintain actions in the Monroe County Court, the Supreme Court and other courts of record of competent jurisdiction to restrain violations of penal and other ordinances of the Council.
[§ 127, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 4-1965]
No member or committee of the Council has power to employ any person, incur any expense, or purchase any material for or on behalf of the City or any of its officers, boards or departments, except as otherwise expressly provided in this act.
[§ 96, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 250, L. 1910; c. 55, L. 1912; c. 131, L. 1919; c. 514, L. 1920; as part repealed by L.L. No. 4-1925; as amended by L.L. No. 8-1942; c. 710, L. 1943 (effective 4-2-45); L.L. No. 4-1965]
The provisions of any general law or special law, unless hereafter enacted and specifically expressing an intention so to do, shall not limit or affect the powers of the Council to make appropriations for school purposes.