Mayor will not veto controversial development in Kutzky Park
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede will not veto a developer's proposal to build a three-story, 15-unit apartment complex in the Kutzky Park neighborhood.
"I understand the neighbors, that some of them are thinking it's way too big of a building," Brede told the Med City Beat in an interview recorded on Tuesday. "But things are transitioning [in that area]."
The Rochester City Council voted 4-3 in favor of the proposal at last week's meeting, despite opposition from the Kutzky Park Neighborhood Association and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The plan calls for the apartment complex to be built on the north side of First Street SW, just west of Seventh Avenue.
Opponents of the project insist it violates the city's comprehensive plan, which calls for low-density development at the site. Supporters argue the city needs to be flexible when it comes to proposals that could benefit the community.
City council member Michael Wojcik, who left the meeting early out of frustration, said he was "disgusted" by the council's decision to disregard existing regulations.
"In other places, we approve projects because of the rules," said Wojcik, in a video published to his personal blog. "In this particular case, even if you like the project, you have to deny it because of the rules."
Mayor Brede said he thought about exercising his veto power after the council's meeting but ultimately decided against it. He said he received a number of letters in support of the project.
"According to the city attorney, I think everything that was being done was legal," said Brede.
The council approved the proposal under the condition that the developer meets 13 recommendations outlined by city staff. A final vote will be required before any construction begins.
Mayor Brede's full interview with the Med City Beat will be published on Saturday; it was previously expected to be released on Friday.
(Cover photo: The Med City Beat)