Planning commission OKs Comp Plan updateLittle by little the city of Rosemount's 2030 Comprehensive Plan has come together over the past year and a half. The major components are together. Now it's just a matter of tweaking things.
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Little by little the city of Rosemount's 2030 Comprehensive Plan has come together over the past year and a half. The major components are together. Now it's just a matter of tweaking things.
The comprehensive plan guides the city's land development. Every 10 years, the city updates the plan, as is required by Minnesota State Statute.
On Tuesday the planning commission held the second half of a public hearing it opened April 21. The hearing was meant to take comments on the proposed land use map and address changes suggested by people at the April meeting.
Senior planner Eric Zweber began the hearing by addressing concerns brought up at the first meeting, including some raised by CF Industries, the University of Minnesota and resident Irene Beberg.
After hearing concerns the planning commission recommended the council release the draft of the 2030 plan for a six-month review.
None of the concerns brought up posed huge concerns for the planning commission. Most were about land use designations such as a CF Industries' request that 750 feet on the northeast corner of the company's property be classified General Industrial.
Because plans for the company's land use are still in the early stages, Zweber recommended the commission wait for more information before deciding. He said they could wait until the six month public review period is over before making any changes.
The other concerns Zweber brought to the commission members' attention were issues Beberg had with the map. Beberg, who with her mother and sister owns 55 acres in northwestern Rosemount, requested the properties get served with urban services, including water and sewer, and be designated as commercial and high density residential. Her property and others in the northwest corner of the city are designated rural residential.
Zweber said Beberg is correct that her property and others in the area can be served with urban services and developed to urban levels of density. However, he said that fact does not mean it should be.
The area in question, Zweber said, has unique environmental features including woodlands, wetlands and lakes. He said the commission should consider preserving the land and its characteristics.
Supporting her argument, Beberg said communities to the north including Eagan and Apple Valley have planned higher density neighborhoods in the area.
Zweber's response was that both of those communities have large parcels of land such as the Minnesota Zoo and Lebanon Hills Regional Park that won't be developed that maintain features of the land.
Rosemount does not have such amenities, so Zweber said commissioners should consider preserving the land through the rural residential designation. He said Inver Grove Heights has taken similar actions.
When residents living in the area were asked last year whether they wanted the rural residential maximum to remain one home per five acres, 85 percent said yes.
On the Friday before the meeting the University of Minnesota sent a letter that addresses a couple of issues including the environmental review for UMore land and its interim uses. He said staff has not had time to evaluate the requests and will continue to come up with a response.
With the recommendation approved, the planning commission will hold a joint meeting with the city council to discuss the plan and any other issues on June 18.
On July 1, the city council will vote to authorize the release of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan for a six month review. During the review period other governmental agencies, neighboring cities and residents will have a chance to go through the document and comment further.
After the review period is complete the planning commission will review comments and recommend changes to the council. The council will adopt the plan sometime early in 2009 and submit it to the Metropolitan Council.
In other business the planning commission approved an amendment to the Planned Unit Development for the Harmony subdivision. All the vacant properties within the subdivision, along with the neighboring Pickens property, is being purchase by Rottlund Homes.
The original plat for the land includes a lot for 120 units in two apartment buildings and another building planned for senior housing. However, Rottlund does not build apartments or senior housing and wants the PUD changed so they can building a variety of housing including town houses and single family.
The planning commission held a public hearing on the matter before approving the changes to the PUD.
Several residents spoke on the matter. One resident said he thought the change would be a positive change for the neighborhood.
Rick Sampo had a different view.
“How's it going to help to have all these empty houses?” he asked the commission.
Despite Sampo's comments, the commission approved both recommendations.
The issue will not stop with the planning commission, though. The port authority looked at the issue at its last meeting and will review it again sometime in June because it affects the Brockway Tax Increment Financing District. The increment from the tax base raised by the residential construction is used to first pay back TIF funds then for downtown development.
The port authority had mixed responses to the proposal, mostly regarding the effect the proposal would have on the housing mix within the city.
The city has expressed goals in its comprehensive plan to provide housing for persons in all stages of life, Zweber said.
The city council will address this this issue during its review sometime in June.