LET Amend zoning code for churches

Rochester and the surrounding area are expanding, creating the need for many changes. One of those changes, fortunately, involves Rochester churches.

It should be looked on as a good sign that churches need to expand. Rochester has always prided itself on its large number of churches. Rather than limiting the size of churches in neighborhoods they should be encouraged to grow.

Churches have a right to be located anyplace in a community, but they can be regulated by development standards such as height, open space, off-street parking, signage, building codes, etc. Planning law also makes it possible for a community to designate specific sites as being best suited for churches and other land uses as part of a comprehensive community plan. But, to my knowledge, this approach has never been used in Rochester. Instead, it has seen fit to adopt a General Land Use Plan covering the entire community and the surrounding area.

It needs to be remembered that homes have been removed for many needs, such as highways, streets and parking lots.

If the Southeast Settlers Steering Committee thinks homes should be saved, no matter what, then it would be reasonable for the committee to propose an amendment to the city zoning code so that all churches come under the same set of locational regulations rather than reacting at the last minute to the expansion plans of each church.


Tom; O. Moore


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