The 2022 draft master plan update discusses the downtown,  green space and parks — like Rochester Municipal Park,  which the Paint Creek runs through.

The 2022 draft master plan update discusses the downtown, green space and parks — like Rochester Municipal Park, which the Paint Creek runs through.

Photo by Mary Beth Almond

Future of Rochester is up for public review

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published January 27, 2022


ROCHESTER — A draft of the city’s 2022 master plan is now open for public review and input through Feb. 7.

“There’s a 63-day window, required by the state, and ours ends on Feb. 7,” Rochester City Manager Blaine Wing said. 

The master plan, Wing said, is a policy document that uses data and citizen input to form policies about how the community should develop in the future. 

Rochester Mayor Stuart Bikson said the master plan is an “important first step into the strategic planning of the city.”

“It is important to update the city’s master plan as it gives direction to the future planning of the city. The master plan is a guide to what we want the future of Rochester to be,” he explained. 

Deputy City Manager Nik Banda said city staff has been working with Beckett & Raeder Inc. over the past year to update the plan — which was last adopted in 2014.  

Beckett & Raeder Inc. got the ball rolling by conducting background research and making presentations to the city’s four master plan steering committees — which focus on housing, sustainability, parking and downtown connections. 

Wing said city staff, the Downtown Development Authority and the Planning Commission also reviewed the document and added input. 

During the review, Banda said, officials found that many of the recommendations and visions of the 2014 plan continue to serve the city well.

“The good news is our master plan from five years ago was pretty solid, so this time around it’s really just been more tweaks,” he said.

The master plan update contains the community’s vision, goals, objectives and strategies while addressing future land uses and community development, and other community features for the next 20 years.

The draft document discusses parks, green space and the downtown, and recommends areas — or zones — for bikes and pedestrians. It also includes the last five years of change in demographics according to data from the 2020 U.S. Census, housing, and how the world has changed — illustrating new ideas, like vehicle charging stations. 

The proposed updated master plan also discusses the national shift away from industrial land uses, the demand for smaller housing options, and the incorporation of the city’s “Sustainable Rochester” project — a development framework that examines the impact of individual developments on regional and local sustainability indicators — among other changes.

“Nothing major changed,” Banda noted of the update. “But it’s always good to look at yourself every five years, reevaluate yourself and verify what to leave in or make changes on.”

Through Feb. 7, the public is invited to weigh in on the updated master plan.

“This is a great opportunity for citizens to voice their opinions about what they want Rochester to look like in the future,” Bikson said.

A public hearing on the draft master plan and final adoption is tentatively scheduled to come before the Planning Commission Feb. 7 and the City Council Feb. 28.

For more information regarding the master plan update, or to provide feedback, visit