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Center City Master Plan FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

The previous CCMP was adopted in 2003.  Since that time many important development projects, political and market changes, budget issues and other significant events have impacted the Center City. The updated CCMP is an opportunity to engage the public and downtown stakeholders in an important discussion about our city’s future and to revitalize community interest in a critical effort to create a new vision for downtown Rochester.   View the 2003 Center City Master Plan.  

Rochester’s updated Center City Master Plan is a strategic plan that identifies priorities for investment and development and makes clear whether specific projects are public sector or private sector. The city has a much greater ability to implement public sector investments; private sector investments are more determined by market forces.   

The plan identifies a fundamental vision of lively streets, highlights the importance of the Genesee River and Main Street, places downtown in the geographical context of the City and region, and identifies several key leverage points.  Physical details of specific projects such as reconstructed streets, new trails, revitalized parks, and new buildings are not included in the updated CCMP, but rather will be developed as specific projects move forward, utilizing the vision in the plan. 

When the plan update process began, the boundaries of the Center City Zoning District were used as a starting point for discussion. Over the course of the public input process, the city's planners heard that these boundaries did not reflect what people thought of as "center city" or "downtown."  Therefore, a new geographical definition was drafted, one that includes everything within the Inner Loop, but also High Falls, the entire East End, the Union-Alexander neighborhood (including the Alexander Park development), and Wadsworth Square.  Download the map here. 


City Council will use the Center City Master Plan (CCMP) for review and approval of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and other important development decisions.  The city’s various boards and commissions will use the CCMP as a guide and reference for better, more efficient decision-making.

City staff will use the CCMP as public infrastructure projects are planned, designed, built, and maintained. Developers will use the CCMP to inform their development proposals and, in so doing, streamline the approval process.

Citizens are what make up the City and the citizens of Rochester will use the plan to understand the vision for the future of Center City and use it in public decision making processes.   

City staff spent much of 2012 laying the groundwork for the Center City Master Plan Update.  

Public engagement, through the survey and stakeholder meetings, took place from January to March, 2013. 

The draft plan was compiled throughout the Summer and Fall of 2013.   

A first draft of the plan was released in early November 2013.  A series of public events were held to present the draft and gather comments on the general format and content of the draft plan. 

An updated draft plan was prepared and submitted to City Council in late 2014. The revised CCMP was adopted by City Council on January 20, 2015.  The printing and distribution of the adopted plan is underway.