Dev Code Update Planned for Rochester Council – Post Bulletin

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ROCHESTER — The planned transition to a new unified development code continues to move forward, with the potential for new development options.

The added flexibility of the proposed new development code was recently cited during reviews of an apartment building project at the former Perkins site in Northwest Rochester.

Rochester City Council rejected a proposed zoning change, saying the request did not fit the area, but Rochester community development planner Emma Miller-Shindelar said future passage of the code could provide viable alternatives for similar development.

The code includes increased flexibility in certain zoning options while seeking to provide clarity.

Miller-Shindelar recently told the Rochester Planning and Zoning Commission that the Unified Development Code attempts to provide regulations in a form that is more easily understood by all Rochester residents, from developers to neighbors of potential new construction.

On Monday, City Council will receive an update on the code development process ahead of community engagement efforts scheduled for May and June.

Work on the new development code began in early 2020, and the board is expected to make a good decision on adoption in August, with implementation slated for early next year.

The draft code was rolled out in three parts, setting standards for what can be built and how developers can receive approval for their projects.

Many aspects of the code aim to streamline a process that can currently take several public meetings to get to a point where a new apartment complex or commercial building can be built.

While the streamlining effort is expected to reduce public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission or City Council, it does not necessarily limit public comment, as the proposed code raises the bar for notifications when development is planned.

Monday’s council update will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the council chambers of the city-county government center, 151 Fourth St. SE.

The meeting, which will also include a discussion of the city’s transit development plan, will be broadcast live at www.rochestermn.gov/meetings/council-meetings and will be available on cable channel Spectrum 180 or 188 and the Metronet 80 channel.

Following the council’s update, community development staff will continue to meet with builders, neighborhood associations and others with a particular interest in the development to review potential changes to the 442-page document.

Additionally, city staff scheduled a series of community activities related to the Unified Development Code. They are:

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 24 at Peace Plaza.
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 26 at Peace Plaza.
  • 4-6 p.m. May 26 at the Galleria Food Court, 111 S. Broadway Ave.
  • 6-8 p.m. June 13 at Cascade Lake Park, 88 23rd Ave. SW.
  • 6-8 p.m. June 14 at Three Links Playground at Silver Lake Park, 1098 Seventh St. NE.
  • 6-8 p.m. June 15 at Lincolnshire Park, 5276 Members Pkwy NW.
  • 6-8 p.m. June 16 at Cooke Park, 722 Seventh St. NW.

Meetings scheduled for the week of May 9 include:

Rochester

Olmsted County

  • County Commissioner’s Open House, Monday at 6 p.m. in Conference Room 2 of the City-County Government Center.
  • Commission on Human Rights, Thursday at 6 p.m. in Conference Room 2 of the City-County Government Center.
  • Zoning Board of Adjustment, 7 p.m. Thursday in the City-County Government Center Board Rooms.
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