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Letter: Resident finds plans to rezone parkland perplexing

To the editor,

I attended the parkland rezoning hearing at Rosemount City Hall on Feb. 28.

I am perplexed as to why the newer city parks, like Bloomfield Park, were not "saved" from a "residential" zoning like the city said all the older parks would be. City staff told us the reason for rezoning was so all parks had the same zoning designation. Now, they are refusing to be consistent like they claimed. Will they try again to sneak in a "residential" rezoning of all the others?

Also, why is one of our city fire departments zoned "public/institutional" while the other one is zoned "residential"? This isn't consistent either.

The City of Apple Valley already has their zoning for the 2030 Comprehensive Plan approved by the Metropolitan Council. The only thing they changed was to separate their previous P/I (public parks/institutional) zoning into two separate zones. For clarity, Apple Valley zoned all their public parks "P." All schools and government buildings are zoned "I." Apple Valley's public schools are surrounded by "residential," just like Rosemount's, and their government buildings are surrounded by businesses, just like Rosemount's, yet they retained the "institutional" zoning for all.

Rosemount is attempting to zone all schools except the high school "residential" and zone the high school separate from the others. It is also lumping our government and public buildings into a "downtown/business" category that Apple Valley reserves only for private businesses. Apple Valley's zoning makes Rosemount's new rezoning's look rather odd.

City regulations are intended to help people's understanding of government. Instead of connecting us, Rosemount's new rezoning is confusing us. At the very least, Comprehensive Plans and zoning ordinances ought to communicate clearly to citizens. Any government document that is comprehensive only to government insiders is an impediment to good governance -- not an aid. Our zoning documents ought to communicate clearly to regular citizens the allowed uses for property.

In a letter to Rosemount's city planner regarding rezoning, the city attorney wrote: "If the city intends to keep city hall at its current location ... I see no reason why the city should go through an effort to find some other land use designation for the property. On the other hand, if there is a reasonable possibility that property that is currently zoned for public and institutional uses may be put to some different land use in the future, it may be a good idea to plan for that alternate land use at this time."

I have an idea that this whole exercise is just a way to bill taxpayers for a new city hall and high school without telling us in plain English. Is this a preview of what's ahead for Rosemount?

I only hope that word will spread about this inconsistency in rezoning that's afoot and that John Q Public will be peeved enough to turn out at the Tuesday, March 27 rezoning hearing at 6:30 p.m. in Rosemount City Hall.

Tim Judy,