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City of Rochester

Project Green - Phase I

Strategic Residential Unit Reduction Nomination Process

The City of Rochester is proposing to develop and manage a citywide green-infrastructure initiative that acquires, assembles, and reuses abandoned and vacant properties. The goal is the establishment and funding of a multi-purpose land-bank program that strategically decommissions surplus public infrastructure, acquires abandoned properties (e.g., tax-delinquent or seriously blighted sites), and relocates households within identified areas for the program. The long-term goal is to reduce the housing inventory city-wide by 3,000 dwelling units through a strategic clearance of structures in order to re-establish a functioning housing market. The purpose of that land-bank would be to control and coordinate future redevelopment for:

  • Economic Development—Industrial, Manufacturing, & Commercial
  • Community Development—Housing
  • Environmental Justice—Brownfield, Open Space, Parks, Recreation, etc.
  • Private Dispositions—For-Profit, Not-For-Profit, Individuals
  • Long Term Green Infrastructure Development and Management

The City seeks to foster, through the City Quadrant Teams, the empowerment of residents and property owners to design a network of neighborhood reinvestment plans that will stabilize residential and commercial properties in neighborhoods that have sustained the most decay. Each Quadrant Team will be hosting planning sessions for the purpose of nominating Pilot Projects by neighborhood stakeholders (sector leaders, neighborhood presidents, block club leader, business district representatives, etc.). These planning sessions will be brainstorming sessions to identify suitable blocks and strategies for the above references objectives. Each proposed site and strategy will be submitted for consideration on the attached Pilot Project Nomination Form. In addition, the Quadrant Teams will ask for input selection criteria that should be used to rank and rate potential Project Green areas.
Operation Uplift crew in field(6)

Once nominations are collected, the City Bureau of Planning and Zoning will analyze each nominated area and provide information on the level of vacancy, disposition of properties, housing tenure, property condition, and potential costs. Information will also be gathered on how each area relates to the selection criteria developed. Finally, eligible areas will be ranked and selected for Phase I in collaboration with City Council.

Selection Criteria

  • Projects that Break New Ground:
    • Pilot Projects must address residential inventory right sizing and vacant land management strategies including, but not limited to:
      • strategic residential inventory clearance
      • vacant land greening
      • community gardens
      • urban agriculture
      • green building
  • Highly-Visible Locations near Amenities, Assets, and Primary Development Areas:
    • Locations for Pilot Projects must be relevant to current development areas and neighborhood assets. Projects will highlight the feasibility of green development by selecting a site in a highly visible location. The project area should attract visitors, be accessible by public transportation and be within walking distance from popular venues. A project mission statement, as well as details, will be posted for public viewing.
  • Ability to Attract Funding:
    • In addition to City Project Green funding it is essential that Pilot Projects gain other funding in order to execute the project. It is beneficial to have organizations invested fiscally and/or personally (time, talent, and treasury) in the projects outcomes in order to optimize the results of the project. Partnerships will be encouraged as effective ways of bringing in additional funding and resources to the project; the more organizations that hold a stake in the project, the better.
  • Local Constituencies and Implementation Partners:
    • After designing the pilot project, selecting the optimal location, and gaining financial backing, the next step is in the actual approval and implementation of the project. Council representative support, as well as community canvassing, is essential. The support of the community is needed in upholding sustainability. Education about the positive effects of the pilot project should be provided.
  • Project and Program Sustainability:
    • Once selected pilot projects are implemented a feasible plan for sustaining the green properties must be in place. Selection of projects will consider the long-term costs and sustainability of the project, including the ability to maintain matching funds and partnerships.
  • Location and Type:
    • Pilot Project site(s) will be chosen in each of the four Quadrants. The projects will be a variety of sizes based on the opportunities each quadrant presents:
      • Small—Less than one block or face block
      • Medium—1 to 2 contiguous blocks or face blocks
      • Large—More than 2 contiguous blocks or face blocks

View the Nomination Definitions here

Quadrant Vacant Land Maps

Return to Project overview here 

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