Zoning changes needed to build separate structure

By Tracy Ouellette

Staff writer

The Rochester Village Board Oct. 27 approved plans to construct a new village hall near the Rochester Library.

The plan, commissioned by Anderson-Ashton Inc., was one of six presented to the board for review and approval. All the board members favored the same plan (1-1) which calls for a separate structure to be built behind the library with a new parking lot, relocated play areas, tennis and basketball courts.

“It’s time to move forward,” said board member Chris Johnson. “It’s costing the village money.” While some of the additional amenities such as the tennis court were deemed “optional” only one board member voted against the plan, Gary Beck.

“Of the all the plans, I like 1-1 the best,” Beck said. “But I think I locked myself into the possibility of keeping the baseball fields so when you vote, I will probably vote nay.”

“We’ve been at this for two and a half years,” said board member Ed Chart. “I feel we made a mistake by not purchasing the ProHealth building and what I don’t want is to make another one now.”

As for the zoning issue that doesn’t allow for the new village hall to actually be built on that lot, Bill Matthews of Anderson-Ashton said the matter has not yet been resolved, but the “process is in the works.”

As it stands, zoning regulations within the village only allow for one principal structure on a single lot. To build village hall from the selected plans the three lots the make up that parcel of land would have to be combined into a single parcel and then rezone the lot to allow for two structures.

A hearing before the zoning board is scheduled for Dec. 5.


Other business

The board also approved, by unanimous vote, new procedures for public comment.

“The policy we’ve come up with is in response to some recent meetings that have gotten out of control,” said Village Clerk-Treasurer Betty Novy.

Among the changes, which include basic rules as to conduct and behavior, is the requirement that unless called upon to speak by the village president, citizens and guests at the board meeting are permitted to address the board only during the agenda item titled “Public Comments from Pre-Registered Citizens.”

Anyone wishing to comment at a meeting must fill out an “Attending Citizen Comments Registration Form” that requires the citizen’s name, phone number and address and details what they wish to comment on. Each pre-registered guest has three minutes per board meeting to speak.