• Kevin Elliott

Rochester creates parks, open space district

Rochester City Council on Monday, December 11, approved creating a parks and open space district into the city's zoning ordinances to preserve land owned by the city and the Rochester Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

The new district stems from efforts started in 2010 when the city's planning department was working on the city's master plan. At that time, the city wanted to preserve parcels owned by the city and the DDA. Language was drafted to create the district and adopted it into the master plan in 2014. However, the district was never adopted into the city's zoning ordinances, said Rochester Deputy City Manager Nik Banda.

"There are different places in town, such as the municipal park and others," Banda said about parcels that would be included in the district. "This codifies that we will keep that as parks and open space. Some (spaces) include shelters, some are more intense."

The rezoning includes 23 parcels of land located in the city. The existing parcels are currently zoned for a variety of residential, office and other uses. The rezoning ensures the preservation of the parks and open spaces in the city.

The proposed district was unanimously approved following a public hearing at Monday's city council meeting.

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