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New hotel and gas station coming to Rosemount

A new hotel and gas station are coming to Rosemount. The Rosemount City Council voted unanimously last week on a series of actions to approve the two projects.

Plans for the two commercial developments were submitted by KJ Walk, Inc. The plans call for a SuperAmerica gas station and Country Inn and Suites to be built in the Rosewood Commercial development, which lies north of County Road 42 and east of the railroad tracks.

While the city council rarely goes against commission recommendations, it did in this case. The council approved the gas station despite the planning commission's recommendation for denial.

In October the planning commission had recommended a series of actions to allow for a hotel on the property but recommended denial of the gas station. At the time, planning commission chair John Powell said he did not feel like there was adequate study of the traffic issues in the area of the development.

A traffic study conducted since that meeting has suggested the site could handle the added traffic of the gas station and hotel. The staff memo stated that the traffic analysis modeled the traffic flow both with and without the extension of 149th Street.

Community development director Kim Lindquist said the study showed the current road system could handle the full development of the property, which includes six additional lots meant for retail or restaurants.

With the new information, Lindquist said staff made the recommendation that the city council approve actions for both projects. Development plans call for a three-story, 70-room Country Inn and Suites and a corporate-owned SuperAmerica, which will include five pumping islands and a car wash.

For the planning commission, the traffic concerns came out of a public hearing. During the October meeting a number of residents addressed the commission to express concerns that the addition of the gas station would increase traffic through the residential neighborhood that sits north of the area.

Since that meeting the council has fast tracked plans to build a frontage road, 149th Street, to help relieve some of the traffic concerns. The city designated the proposed street a Municipal State Aid Road which will provide some funding for the project.

Additionally, staff has been working with the two property owners, KJ Walk and TCF Bank, to get approval to build the road which will extend from Biscayne Avenue to Business Parkway. The city has not yet received the right-of-way to build the road.

Part of the reason for building 149th is possible access changes at the intersection of Business Parkway. Currently there is full access, but at some point Dakota County has plans to modify the intersection to a three-fourths access, which means vehicles will not be able to turn left out of Business Parkway.

Lindquist said the intersection will be changed when the county feels there is too much traffic at the intersection. The idea of extending 149th Street is that people who want to exit the commercial area will take it east.

Even as it became clear that the council intended to vote in favor of the two projects, resident Melissa Kenninger asked the council to make it a condition that the gas station not be built unless 149th was constructed.

While the council noted her concerns and thanked her for coming out, they voted to approve both projects without any additional conditions.

Council member Kim Shoe-Corrigan said the two uses, a hotel and gas station, are very compatible with one and other. She added she is concerned about traffic issues with the site as it continues to develop and that the council will keep it on their radar as they move forward.

Council member Mark DeBettignies said he was confident they could make it work out for both the businesses and the residents.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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