Rochester City Council unable to override mayor’s veto on billboard proposal

(ABC 6 News) – A location for a new billboard in northwest Rochester caused concerns with the city council.

Reagan Outdoor Advertising requested the city build it.

The council voted 5 to 2 to approve the construction site, but Mayor Kim Norton vetoed it, claiming it violates city code.

Norton says city code doesn’t allow billboards to be built within 300 feet of places of worship. The plan for this one advertising nearby would have advertised nearby classic storage.

The plan would be to have it near Homestead Church. Monday night the council wasn’t able to override Norton’s veto.

Regan Outdoor Advertising recently had to take down their billboard in the area because of construction of a new building off highway 52 where it sat for 30 years.

Homestead Church didn’t oppose moving the billboard within 75 feet of their property according to Reagan Outdoor Advertising.

Norton says her veto decision was a legal decision.

“I fear that we not only put the city at risk legally should the decision be challenged but also sets a severe precedent for future variants or other quasi judicial decisions,” said Norton at Monday’s council meeting.

The final vote on whether to uphold the veto had council members Keane and Carlson agreeing with Mayor Norton. Council members Palmer and Wahl were in favor of the billboard’s move as the church was not opposed to it. Council members Dennis and Kirkpatrick did not vote to overturn the veto. With council member Mark Bransford absent from Monday night’s meeting, the 2-2-2 vote wasn’t able to override Norton’s veto.

This veto was only the sixth time Mayor Norton chose to do so. The most recent one was on July 11th, when she vetoed the sales tax extension, which was eventually overturned by the city council.