Plan Commission sends recommendation to board

By Tracy Ouellette

Staff Writer

The Village of Rochester Plan Commission voted unanimously Monday night to recommend the re-zoning needed to accommodate construction of a new Village Hall.

The P-1 and P-2 zoning changes are necessary if the village wants to build the Village Hall on the library lot. According to board member Patricia Gerber, the re-zoning will also consolidate the old town and old village zoning and give a better representation of what the properties are actually being used for.

With the Plan Commission’s recommendation the Village Board will hold a public hearing on the re-zoning at the Dec. 12 regular board meeting.

The public will have a chance to speak for or against the re-zoning at that time.

The Village Board recently changed it’s public comment procedures and now requires anyone wishing to speak at meeting to pre-register and provide the board with an idea of what they wish to say. Citizens and guests are limited to 3 minutes of talking time at each meeting.

In response to the board’s new policy, the Plan Commission also adopted a similar policy to eliminate the “back-and-forth banter” that has happened in other meetings.

While resident Mike Pankonin agreed with the board and committee’s need to have order and thought the new policy was good, he thought the timing was unfortunate as it appeared to be response to recent board meetings that have gotten heated.

“I think the timing is too bad,” said Pankonin. “The perception out there is you’re trying to muzzle the public.”

The Dec. 12 Village Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. and the Rochester Public Library, 208 Spring St.