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South Gateway planning begins

The old adage says two heads are better than one. When it comes to development, it takes a few more. 

Rosemount’s South Gateway Task Force held its first meeting Sept. 16. The goal of the 11-member task force is to create a revitalization plan for the stretch along Highway 3 between County Road 42 and County Road 46.

When finished, the task force and a planned market study will help determine how to develop some of the vacant land and identify redevelopment opportunities for older commercial properties along the stretch.

Much of the area is undeveloped farm land, said city planner Eric Zweber, while other parts of the area are developed but underutilized. Zweber said the city identified the area for further analysis during its 2008 comprehensive planning process. The comprehensive planning process looks at land in the larger context of development while the task force will look at the south gateway area parcel by parcel.

Because of the broad nature of the property, Zweber said the city wanted to make sure there was a wide range of interests on the task force. He said the city designed the group to include more residents than city officials.

“We wanted a different make-up of people,” said Zweber.

Zweber said the 11 members of the task force represent a number of interests in the city. Committee members include mayor Bill Droste, councilmember Mark DeBettignies, planning commissioners Joseph Kurle and Mike Weber and port authority member Bob Leuth. Additionally, 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 Melissa Kenninger also sit on the committee.

Coinciding with the task force, the city will commission a market study. Zweber said the city received a Dakota County Community Development Agency grant to conduct the study. The receipt of the grant prompted the city to start the process. So far Maxfield Research has submitted a proposal to conduct the study. Zweber said the city is soliciting more proposals but isn’t sure what it will receive.

In addition to creating a planning document, Zweber said the group will identify zoning and planning changes that could help the area develop. Ten years ago the city commissioned a similar task force for the downtown area, which resulted in the construction of the Robert Trail Library and Waterford Commons. The port authority plans to review that planning document in the months ahead to evaluate whether it should be updated.

Zweber said the process is expected to take eight to nine months. The committee has meetings scheduled through May.

To gather even more community input, the city will hold an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Rosemount City Council Chambers, 2875 145 St. W. Zweber said the city will send out notices to all the business owners and residents living in the south gateway area. However, any resident can attend.

For more information visit the city’s website at

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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