City of Rochester, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Rochester City Council 4-13-1999 by Ord. No. 99-120;[1] amended in its entirety 12-17-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-388. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Official Map — See Ch. 76.
Zoning — See Ch. 120.
Land Subdivision Regulations — See Ch. 128.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 130, Master Plan, adopted by the Rochester Planning Commission 3-10-1964 and the Rochester City Council 3-24-1964 by Res. No. 64-43.
A. 
For the purpose of this chapter, the Comprehensive Plan shall consist of the City's future land use development goals, policies and/or programs as they are contained in the adopted portions of the following:
(1) 
Renaissance 2010 Plan;
(2) 
Zoning Code and Official Zoning Map;
(3) 
Subdivision Ordinance;
(4) 
Official Street Map;
(5) 
Capital Improvement Program;
(6) 
Functional Street Classification Map; and
(7) 
Adopted Urban Renewal Plans.
The Comprehensive Plan, or any part thereof, shall be considered an official statement of the City of Rochester with respect to the existing and developing character of various areas of the City; the proper objectives, standards and direction for the future maintenance, growth and development of the City; the means to be employed to protect existing character or development and to encourage future development that will be in the best interest of the City; and the actions and programs to be undertaken by the City with respect to its future maintenance and development. The Comprehensive Plan shall serve as a guide and resource for City officials and agencies in the performance of their duties but, except as otherwise provided in this chapter and the codes and ordinances of the City, shall not be binding upon them.
Because the Comprehensive Plan consists of a number of related ordinances and documents, it shall be deemed to be amended as its subsidiary parts are amended or otherwise changed. Such amendments shall be adopted in accordance with the procedures set forth in other parts of the Code of the City of Rochester, such as Chapter 120 and Chapter 128 of the Code. In those instances where an amendment procedure is not otherwise provided in the Code of the City of Rochester, amendments to the Comprehensive Plan shall be adopted in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 120-90.
A. 
In addition to the authority set forth in Chapter 120, Zoning Code, the City Planning Commission shall review and report on all matters relating to the location of any highway, park, square, playground or recreation ground or public open space within the City; the discontinuance, closing or abandonment of a public highway; and any other land use matters of City-wide impact and importance referred to it by the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, Mayor or City Council.
[Amended 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179]
(1) 
Procedure for review and construction.
(a) 
Within 45 days of any such submission, the Planning Commission shall review such plans for conformity to the Comprehensive Plan and, if necessary, shall confer with the submitting agency with regard to suggested alterations and shall transmit either its approval or disapproval of such plans to the submitting agency, stating in detail the reasons for such recommendation.
(b) 
If the Planning Commission has issued its approval or has failed to act with respect to a submission within 45 days or such longer period as may have been agreed to by the submitting agency, the submitting agency may then, but not before, proceed with work on the proposed project. If the Planning Commission has recommended disapproval, then the submitting agency shall undertake no work with respect to the proposed project unless it shall have first obtained express approval therefor from the City Council by ordinance duly adopted.
(c) 
No City official, agency or department shall issue any permit, approval or authorization necessary in conjunction with any public project subject to this provision, nor issue or authorize any funds or expenditures for such project, unless the agency responsible for such project shall have first obtained the approval of the Planning Commission or the City Council as herein required.
(d) 
In addition, the Mayor shall, before submitting the capital improvement program to the City Council, submit such program to the Planning Commission for its review and comments. The Mayor shall submit any comments of the Planning Commission to the City Council at the same time as the capital improvement program is submitted.
The Comprehensive Plan of the City of Rochester shall consist of the campaigns, policies and goals of Rochester 2010: The Renaissance Plan, as follows:
A. 
Campaign One: Involved Citizens.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to engage the widest array of our citizens in the safety, upkeep and renewal of our neighborhoods and community, to provide opportunities for citizens to work together to plan for their collective future and to take actions to realize that future, to celebrate the positive aspects of community life and to support citizens taking responsibility for using these opportunities to enhance their community.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Citizens, institutions, businesses and government will demonstrate a sense of responsibility and accountability through their individual actions and their relationships with each other and the community at large.
(b) 
Citizens will take responsibility for their neighborhoods, become actively involved in the Neighbors Building Neighborhoods (NBN) process through planning, implementation and monitoring and join together through participation and commitment in achieving the vision of Rochester 2010: The Renaissance Plan.
(c) 
Create an ongoing community planning and development review process that actively involves our citizens, anticipates emerging land use trends, appropriately weighs and considers competing land use and development interests as well as local and regional perspectives and results in fair and equitable decisions.
(d) 
Citizens, businesses, institutions and neighborhoods will be informed and will adequately listen to and communicate with each other about opportunities, issues and concerns facing our community.
(e) 
Citizens, institutions and businesses will be encouraged to participate in events, activities and celebrations that serve to knit our community together and that are focused on the positive aspects of our community.
(f) 
Support and coordinate public meetings, discussions and other informational opportunities for our citizens in an efficient and productive manner that provides essential, timely information and reaches the appropriate audience.
B. 
Campaign Two: Educational Excellence.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to support the highest quality educational and job-training opportunities for our citizens on a lifelong basis, to promote and support our public schools as a focal point of neighborhood activity and pride and to encourage our citizens to take responsibility for using these opportunities to educate and prepare themselves for work, careers and responsible citizenship.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Our educational system will provide every student with a safe, supportive and challenging educational experience and environment.
(b) 
Create an educational system that offers high-performing neighborhood and magnet schools of choice for all of our children.
(c) 
Encourage the emergence of a highly educated citizenry that has the necessary knowledge, skills and aspirations to achieve a high quality of life.
(d) 
Schools will be the focal point of neighborhood activity and pride with appropriate community uses and lifelong learning, training and community outreach programs.
(e) 
Promote opportunities for an early start to education for our children through preschool and other similar type programs.
(f) 
Promote a positive perception of our public educational institutions based on adequate knowledge and communication about educational issues and successes.
(g) 
Create consensus-based community standards for educational performance and outcomes that equal or exceed regional averages and that involve students, teachers, administrators and parents in both development and accountability.
(h) 
Citizens, businesses and institutions will take ownership of and responsibility for our community's educational system.
(i) 
Retain students in our community after college graduation both in terms of residents attending local and out-of-area colleges and out-of-area students attending local colleges.
C. 
Campaign Three: Health, Safety and Responsibility.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to support our citizens and families in leading healthy, safe, productive and self-determined lives. We support our citizens taking responsibility for helping to improve the health, safety and welfare of themselves and those around them; developing and maintaining safe, clean, attractive neighborhoods that are free from public disorder and nuisances; and recognizing and celebrating examples of good citizenship and personal responsibility.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Promote neighborhoods that are safe, clean and attractive, that minimize drug sales and use, loitering, graffiti, public drunkenness, property code violations, incidents of fires and other negative quality-of-life issues and that ultimately reduce the demand for public safety services.
(b) 
Create the safest community in New York State in terms of our per capita rate of crime, fires and accidents.
(c) 
Create a positive perception of our public safety institutions and our community's safety, security and quality of life and create an adequate level of communication and knowledge, among our citizens, about public safety issues and concerns facing our community.
(d) 
Promote a reduction in the problems and impacts of homelessness, the abuse of drugs and alcohol and unwanted teenage pregnancies through appropriate opportunities to improve individual health, safety and welfare.
(e) 
Ensure that our public safety system agencies and our citizens adequately listen to and communicate with each other about public safety problems and concerns and collaborative efforts.
(f) 
Promote a health and human service delivery system that is efficient, accessible, meets the diverse needs of all of our citizens, is customer-friendly and is supportive of the priorities of neighborhoods and families.
(g) 
Support a quality health-care system that is affordable to both employees and employers, as well as the general public.
D. 
Campaign Four: Environmental Stewardship.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to maintain and enhance, through individual and collective efforts of our citizens, businesses and governments, the overall quality of our environmental assets and resources (air, land and water quality), our community's three great waterways (Lake Ontario, the Genesee River and the Erie Canal), our unique and historic parks system, our open space areas and urban forest and our clean neighborhood environments.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Reduce the amounts of litter in our community and expand recycling and composting activities and efforts among our citizens and businesses.
(b) 
Reduce the amounts and toxicity of the various forms of pollution entering our environment and the public health threats from all forms of environmental pollution and contaminants.
(c) 
Encourage, undertake and review development and activities in a way that protects and sustains our varied ecosystems and neighborhood environments.
(d) 
Create awareness, among our citizens, of the health dangers associated with exposure to harmful materials.
(e) 
Preserve and enhance our waterways, parks, urban forest, recreation and open space areas through a regional no-net-loss approach and maximized environmental benefits derived from those resources and assets.
(f) 
Create an environmentally aware community that practices the values of environmental stewardship and responsibility and communicates those values to future generations.
(g) 
Support constituencies that promote recognition, preservation and enhancement of our parks, recreation and open space system and other environmental assets.
(h) 
Reclaim designated "brownfields" and other contaminated land, facilities and waterways for useful, productive development.
E. 
Campaign Five: Regional Partnerships.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to promote the concept of Rochester as the economic, social, cultural, transportation and institutional center of our county and region. We will seek out opportunities to plan and communicate effectively and work together with other governments to develop solutions to our common problems, in a way that recognizes a collaborative neighborhood/regional/global perspective rather than a city/state/nation perspective.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Encourage governmental agencies at the municipal, regional, state and federal level to embrace our City's Comprehensive Plan, respect its visions, policies and strategies and consider them in their own planning, budgetary and land use development/regulatory activities.
(b) 
Reduce the concentrations of poverty wherever they might exist.
(c) 
Support the development of a county and regional land use or development plan that incorporates an appropriate role for our City in the "Community of Monroe."
(d) 
Actively engage and support all levels of government, businesses and citizens and existing regional planning agencies in regional collaboration, communication and cooperation around critical issues and opportunities.
(e) 
Ensure improved intergovernmental cooperation and expansion of collaborative efforts between appropriate public agencies at all levels of government, including but not limited to economic development, transportation, housing, education and land use.
(f) 
Create a public infrastructure system that positively contributes to the physical, social and economic development objectives of the Greater Rochester Community and improves the quality of life for all of our citizens.
(g) 
Support a collaborative approach by businesses, organizations and area governments to communicate positive images of our City and region to our citizens and prospective visitors and residents.
F. 
Campaign Six: Economic Vitality.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to promote an environment in which businesses can develop and flourish; to develop a diverse local economy that supports quality jobs, produces new product, service and technology innovations and high-quality business and personal services; and to create a highly skilled workforce that embraces creativity and our rich entrepreneurial spirit. We will also promote and pursue the management of our community identity as a world-class City in which to do business, as well as a highly desirable place to live, work and visit.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Promote a business-support environment that facilitates the expansion and retention of existing businesses and the attraction and creation of new businesses with a special focus on the emerging high technology industries.
(b) 
Develop a business and financial environment that encourages businesses and individuals to build on our rich entrepreneurial spirit.
(c) 
Develop strong, economically viable and diverse neighborhood commercial areas that help to provide entry-level jobs, high-quality goods and personal services to our citizens, offer entrepreneurial opportunities and help increase our City's economic development and growth.
(d) 
Support a highly skilled and highly trained workforce that is capable of supporting a broad range of new and existing employment opportunities, including those found in the many emerging, high-tech, local industries.
(e) 
Promote the recognition, on the part of government, business, industry and employees, locally, regionally and nationally, that the Greater Rochester Community is a world-class community in many areas, such as imaging and optical technologies and precision manufacturing, and, therefore, a good place to locate as well as to stay.
(f) 
Encourage an integrated transportation system that is safe, efficient and meets the transportation requirements of our businesses, industries and citizens.
(g) 
Support and promote opportunities for shopping for residents and visitors at stores, businesses and personal service shops within our City.
(h) 
Promote a low-cost energy delivery system with sufficient reliability and capacity to meet the current and future needs of our businesses and industries.
G. 
Campaign Seven: Quality Service.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to provide high-quality services, programs, information and infrastructure to our citizens in a way that is efficient, affordable, accountable and takes into account the diverse needs of our citizens, builds trust and understanding, is based on communication, partnership and collaboration and, where appropriate, reduces demand for those services by encouraging citizen self-sufficiency.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Balance our citizens' needs for high-quality services, programs, information and infrastructure with a long-term understanding of their ability and willingness to pay for them.
(b) 
Deliver quality services, programs, information and infrastructure to all our citizens in a timely, efficient manner that responds to our citizens' customer satisfaction needs as determined by periodic sample surveys or questionnaires.
(c) 
Develop and maintain a public utility system that provides safe, reliable and adequate public services to our citizens and to properties, in full compliance with federal and state regulations.
(d) 
Maintain City-owned buildings and facilities that are attractive in appearance, are in good repair and comply with federal and state health, safety and accessibility regulations.
(e) 
Provide an advanced and coordinated communications system that adapts to emerging technologies and that serves the larger public interest.
(f) 
Provide a parks and recreation system and program that meets our citizen's needs and demands and expands and safeguards our urban forest.
(g) 
Promote efficient and economic delivery of private utility services to businesses and residents in our community.
H. 
Campaign Eight: Tourism Destination.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to promote recognition of our City and region as a tourism destination that embraces a broad range of four-season tourist attractions centered on our unique waterfront resources, recognizing especially the centrality of the Genesee River to the life of our community, along with arts, cultural, sports and entertainment facilities as well as our reputation as a supportive and innovative community, in a way that contributes to our community's local and national image as well as its economic vitality and growth.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Encourage sporting events and venues, special festivals, events, celebrations and conventions that help to bring visitors into our City and create an image and sense of place that is locally, regionally and nationally recognized.
(b) 
Encourage and help create appropriate private, market-driven investments in the local tourism industry that result in additional revenue for businesses and the creation of new jobs for local residents.
(c) 
Transform our extensive and unique waterfront resources and historic and cultural assets into a regional tourism destination attraction that maximizes economic, environmental and recreational benefits in a way that enhances the quality of life for City residents.
(d) 
Develop, protect and promote our parks, recreation and open space system as a prime four-season regional tourism attraction and asset that is complementary to our diverse waterfront resources.
(e) 
Promote the creation of a diverse transportation system that connects our many tourism attractions and resources and positively contributes to the physical, social and economic well-being of our citizens, visitors and community.
(f) 
Develop diverse, unique tourism attractions that balance economic issues and impacts with neighborhood preservation, enhancement and protection.
(g) 
Capitalize on our many recreational, historic, civic and business assets as well as our high quality of life to expand recognition of Rochester as a highly desirable tourism destination and attractive place to live.
I. 
Campaign Nine: Healthy Urban Neighborhoods.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to support unique, vital, interconnected urban neighborhoods which provide a variety of housing choice, accessible goods and services in a village-like setting, pedestrian-friendly environments, appropriate transit and parking facilities and access to park, recreation, environmental and cultural amenities.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Create appropriate and affordable housing choices/opportunities for all citizens through a housing system that promotes and supports new construction and rehabilitation, is responsive to market opportunities and encourages owner occupancy and affordable units for all incomes.
(b) 
Reduce the impacts of the concentrations of poverty in our community by encouraging economic diversity, appropriate neighborhood design and planning and expanded economic opportunity.
(c) 
Encourage strong, stable, vital and healthy neighborhoods that retain their unique characteristics, are supported by appropriate community resources, services and amenities in village-like settings, with neighborhood commercial centers serving nearby residential neighborhoods to provide essential goods and services and help create a high quality of life for every citizen.
(d) 
Support programs, facilities and events in our neighborhoods where citizens celebrate the positive aspects of City living as well as communicate and collaborate on issues important to our community's future.
(e) 
Ensure adequate parking resources or facilities that balance the protection of neighborhoods and residences with the need to sustain the economic viability and vitality of commercial areas.
(f) 
Develop a pedestrian circulation system that provides maximum accessibility to nearby goods and services, our parks, recreation and open space areas and other community amenities.
(g) 
Promote the creation of a safe, reliable and aesthetically pleasing transportation system that facilitates the movement of people and goods throughout our community and connects neighborhoods while encouraging alternatives to automobile transportation.
(h) 
Support a land use development pattern in our City that balances reasonable property use rights with our community's expectation of protection from negative impacts generated by nearby uses or activities.
J. 
Campaign Ten: Center City.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to pursue recognition and development of our downtown as the region's "Center City" to include an exciting mix of housing, specialty retail and services, restaurants, arts and cultural venues, entertainment and nightlife. We will also encourage the marketing and promotion, both regionally and nationally, of our Center City as the economic and cultural core of our region and its recognition by both citizens and visitors as being safe, vital and exciting.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Reduce the office and commercial (retail) vacancy rate within our Center City through appropriate actions that include the attraction of new tenants as well as the removal or conversion of unneeded space.
(b) 
Develop unique festivals, events, celebrations and venues within our Center City that help create and enhance its identity, draw businesses, residents and visitors and provide a strong sense of place and identity for our community.
(c) 
Encourage the development of an economically viable Center City (central business district and surrounding areas) that functions as the region's twenty-four-hour activity center and is a safe and attractive environment for the cultural, nightlife, business, arts and entertainment center of our region.
(d) 
Increase the number of people living in our Center City through affordable as well as market-rate housing development.
(e) 
Create a strong, competitive and marketable identity for our Center City that is locally, regionally and nationally recognized.
(f) 
Create a new functional boundary for what is now known as "downtown" that will be perceived, identified and marketed as the region's Center City.
(g) 
Create physical connections and design relationships within our Center City that reduce the barrier represented by the Inner Loop and connect surrounding areas, neighborhoods and districts, including the retail/office core, the festival riverfront areas, the High Falls entertainment district, the Erie Harbor on the Genesee waterfront, the West End and Susan B. Anthony District and the East End and South Wedge areas.
(h) 
Create a strong visual and aesthetic image for our Center City through articulated urban design and unique and inspiring architectural form.
K. 
Campaign Eleven: Arts and Culture.
(1) 
Policy: It is the policy of our City to support and promote arts and cultural events, activities and institutions in a way that establishes our City as a world-class cultural center, contributes to our community's life, vitality and growth and promotes citizen and business partnerships in using those resources to create economic development and community pride.
(2) 
Goals:
(a) 
Utilize our arts and cultural heritage and current assets as an economic development tool to create growth opportunities and a sense of community spirit and pride.
(b) 
Develop new and/or expanded venues for arts and cultural facilities, entertainment and activities throughout our City, including our diverse residential neighborhoods.
(c) 
Promote our community as the center for arts and cultural activity in our region.
(d) 
Encourage citizens to actively support and participate in our diverse arts and cultural activities, in a way that encourages more interactions and builds and strengthens our community.
(e) 
Encourage our arts and cultural institutions to be partners with each other in the development and enhancement of our City becoming the region's arts and cultural center.
(f) 
Promote, enhance and protect our City's historic, cultural and educational resources as unique assets that contribute to our City's vitality and sense of place.
A. 
The following studies and plans shall constitute implementing strategies for the Comprehensive Plan:
(1) 
The Thoroughfare Plan;
(2) 
The Downtown Cultural District Study;
(3) 
The Development Concept Plan for the Rochester Science Park;
(4) 
The Urban Cultural Park Management Plan;
(5) 
The Genesee River South Corridor Land Use and Development Plan;
(6) 
The Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan;
(7) 
The Brown's Race Land Use Plan;
(8) 
The Strong Neighborhood Planning Study; and
(9) 
The Center City Master Plan.
[Added 4-8-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-93]
[Added 3-18-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-91]
A. 
The following policies shall constitute implementing policies for the Comprehensive Plan:
(1) 
Housing Policy.