Plan takes shape for South Urban area
Rosemount’s South Urban Gateway for Reinvestment task force has created a working document to guide redevelopment the hourglass-shaped neighborhood along Highway 3, between County Road 42 and County Road 46.
Nothing will happen overnight, but the document lays out recommendations and strategies that will help the area better meet the needs of Rosemount residents, said task force chair Melissa Kenninger.
“All in all I feel really good about what we did,” said Kenninger.
Rosemount released the draft report of the task force’s findings late last week. The draft report is available on the city’s website at http://www.ci.rosemount.mn.us/index.aspx?nid=560.
The vision for the task force was to create a revitalization plan for the corridor. City planner Eric Zweber said the area hasn’t been looked at in a long time and it was good time to create a plan for its redevelopment.
There’s a lot of potential in the redevelopment of the project area, including adding tax base, additional jobs for residents and providing more commercial shopping in town. Much of the southern portion of the property consists of undeveloped farmland. The northern part of the project area has properties that are non-conforming or are underdeveloped.
Zweber said many of the task force findings are supported by a market/feasibility study that was completed by Maxfield Research.The task force broke down the area into block parcels and evaluated the best development scenarios for each block. They looked at where businesses are located, whether those businesses conform to current zoning ordinances and building codes and if and what redevelopment opportunities exist.
Based on those findings, the task force made a series of recommendations including Comprehensive Plan land use amendments and zoning code revisions to support private investments and redevelopment into the area.
While some of the areas won’t be developed for years, some like the Titan Equipment/Bus Garage block has potential in the immediate future. Zweber said with the closure of Titan and relocation of at least some of the Independent School District 196 buses, development of the block will likely come sooner rather than later. He said the highly visible site has high potential to bring a large commercial business to Rosemount.
In addition to laying out recommendations the report may also open up opportunities. Zweber said having the document and accompanying research will help the city in applying for grant funding. The city has been successful in gaining grants for its downtown redevelopment.
Unlike the downtown redevelopment project, Zweber said the city’s not interested in purchasing property but rather developing policies and standards that will encourage business and property owners to invest in the area. However, the city can help private development using grant dollars to make infrastructure improvements.
With the report mostly complete, the task force would like to hear from residents.
Rosemount will host an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 5 at Rosemount City Hall, 2875 145th St. W. The report will also be presented at a Rosemount Business Council meeting.
Kenninger said the task force would like to hear comments on what the task force came up with and what residents would like to see happen with the area.
“We want to hear from residents. The open house will be a great venue for residents to come out and weigh in on the things they’d like to see,” said Kenninger.
The SUGAR task force will meet one more time after the open house to discuss any comments received and to make any revisions. After that, Zweber said the report will go on for approval from the city’s port authority, planning commission and ultimately the city council.
Zweber said the council and its advisory committees will be responsible for utilizing the recommendations as projects and opportunities come up.
The 10 members of the task force represent a number of interests in the city. From the city, committee members include mayor Bill Droste, councilmember Mark DeBettignies and planning commissioners Joseph Kurle and Mike Weber. Four business owners from the South Gateway area sit on the committee: including Rick Battaglia, owner of Rick’s Auto, Kay Butler, McDonald’s franchisee, Randy Dukek, ISD 196 coordinator of transportation and Nick Rapp from Rapp Chiropractic. Residents-at-large Jamal Abdulahi and Kenninger also sit on the committee.
An unintended outcome of the task force, Zweber said a number of the business owners in the corridor have started to a small group with the interest of spurring investments into the area from the inside out.
“The business owners got to know each other and established connections,” said Zweber.