Letter: City committee needs to review new urban-design standards
Rochester has a problem with its mayor-appointed boards and commissions. In February, City Administrator Stevan Kvenvold wrote a memo stating his personal opinion is that "the only body that should refer a development application to (the Committee on Urban Design and Environment) is the City Council." No action was ever taken on this memo.
Yet, four months later it is clear others share his opinions. When asked by a CUDE member to have the recently developed urban-design standards presented to the committee, City Council President Randy Staver replied, "As CUDE is an advisory body, I will leave it to the consensus of the council whether they would specifically ask CUDE to review the proposed standards."
Staver is incorrect. It is not up to the council to ask CUDE to review guidelines, projects or other items related to our mission. Developers or community groups often ask to come before the committee, of which I am chairwoman, or CUDE members will request staff to bring a project forward.
However, it is clear our council president shares the personal opinion of Mr. Kvenvold. CUDE should be reviewing the proposed urban-design standards as they will ultimately help us be a more efficient and valuable community advisory group.
Restricting access of our citizen boards, commissions and community voices is a problem Rochester needs to solve.