ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayor Kim Norton was concerned a ten-year lease could be too long. She's since been in contact with the developer - who said he would compromise to 5 with a possible extension to 7 and a half years. For Norton, it was a nice compromise but not everyone agreed on City Council.
"There was some concern that I had overstepped my reach in my negotiation but it was the developer that came to us because he wanted us to be supportive of his endeavor," Mayor Norton said.
This brings us to the residents of Slatterly Park. Many remain outraged over what they see as a lack of transparency by developers and Mayo Clinic regarding the future of this lot. Of late, residents say developers have been doing a better job at engaging with Slatterly Park on what's next.
"I'd like to see ore housing, mixed-use, residential shops, groceries, childcare, public facilities like the library or other public facilities," Cathy Clermont said.
City Councilmember Michael Wojcik maintains Mayo Clinic simply got off the wrong foot when launching its efforts.
"Mayo made it harder for it to say yes to everybody," Wojcik said. "This was a process that did not play out very well. They understand how badly they messed it up. There was nothing in the end that could make people happy because Mayo just overstepped their bounds.
As this once-heated drama begins to cool - Slatterly Park residents reflect on what we've learned.
"If developers engaged in neighbors early in the process and bring as much information as they can, it doesn't feel like it's a surprise," Clermont said.
The item for a shortened lease next hits City Council Monday. Other than the length, no other terms of the lease have changed.