Council denies developer's plans for a Walgreens in NW Rochester
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The Rochester City Council denied a developer's plan Monday night to build a new shopping center in a northwest neighborhood.
Chateau Circle LLC wanted to develop about eight acres on the north side of 55th Street Northwest, along the south side of Villa Road Northwest. The proposal called for the demolition of three homes to make room for a Walgreens and an adjoining retail center.
"West Circle Drive has evolved from a township road with little traffic, to a major, urban arterial with thousands of trips per day," said development planner Leslie McGillivray-Rivas, according to a report by KTTC-TV. "Future traffic projections show significant increases in traffic volumes."
To move forward with the project, the land needed to be re-zoned from mixed single family and special district to general commercial. But council members agreed the designation of general commercial, or B-4, was too vague and could have paved the way for fast food restaurants and other 24-hour businesses disruptive to a residential neighborhood.
"B-4 is the zoning you want to put in place if you want to hurt a neighborhood. … It is not neighborhood friendly," said council member Michael Wojcik, according to a report by the Post-Bulletin.
The proposal had sparked criticism from neighbors, many of whom attended Monday's council meeting. They argued that the development would have increased traffic and noise in their neighborhood.
"It's zoned residential. Why can't the developer look at zoning map like the people who bought homes here did and develop somewhere that's zoned commercial?" asked neighbor Brian Noordyke in a report last month by the Post-Bulletin. "55th street is already the worst traffic problem in Rochester. Why would you want to add to that?"
Developers will reapply for a more limited rezoning that could still permit a Walgreens in the future. The drug store chain already has two locations in Rochester.