ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A parcel of land in the City of Rochester is at the center of a debate, and this time it’s not Parcel 5 downtown — it’s Parcel 1 in Charlotte.
City officials say they want to re-develop the property at the Port of Rochester, but a letter from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren’s office is adding to the debate, sparking controversy in the process.
The letter claimed that a city councilman lied about what development would take place at Parcel 1. However, there is no set plan for the space and a local leader disagrees with how the mayor’s office is handling the process.
Rochester City Councilman Jose Peo says he spent three years getting input from the community about what to do at Parcel 1. Right now, he’s concerned about the mayor’s letter sent to those living nearby.
“It saddens me because my office is right down the hall from her. She could have easily came and spoken to me about the fact that the developer himself told us that they were talking and he’s come up multiple times to meet with her about the development in Parcel 1, and I was relaying to the community exactly what was told to use,” said Peo.
This left a bad taste in Peo’s mouth.
“Using tax payer dollars to send out politically charged letters — this is not her first time, and I’m hoping it’s her last,” said Peo.
News 8 asked the mayor’s spokesperson, Justin Roj, if she used tax-payers dollars to send a letter accusing a city council member of lying — here’s what he said:
“The mayor sent a letter recently to Charlotte residents to inform them about potential developments in Charlotte and she corrected for the record some misstatements made by Councilman Peo as it relates to that project and we look forward to sharing information with the community as the RFP process goes forward so there’s a fair and complete selection process,” Roj said.
Although the mayor’s spokesperson didn’t answer the initial question, he did say what they envision for the property.
“This is actually the third RFP for Parcel 1 in Charlotte and our hope is to find a qualified developer to put forth the project that will meet the needs of the community, which will probably involve a mix of housing, retail and other amenities for the community. And that will be an open process that involves the community,” said Roj.
Some living in Charlotte who received the letter shared their opinion about it.
“It made it sound like there’s this whole system that these requests for proposals go through, but at the end of the day it’s up to the mayor. Why is there this big process but it’s the mayor that makes the final decision anyway?,” said Charlotte resident Gabriel.
Councilman Peo said he believes his vision of Parcel 1 lines up with the mayor’s, and he wants to make sure they can agree on a developer for the property.
What will happen with Parcel 1 is still unknown.