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Rochester City Council: Proposed affordable housing complex clears hurdle, expanded authorization for dancing at bars

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City Council coverage 1/3/2022

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Changes made at City Hall could have more Rochester residents dancing, while bringing a contentious proposed housing development one step closer to approval.
Proposed Apartment Complex Takes Step Forward
Council members have approved a set of zoning and land-use changes allowing a developer to move forward with their plan to build a multi-family apartment building in Northwest Rochester.
A 2.3-acre property at the intersection of 36th Avenue and Country Club Road NW will now be considered a medium-density residential site. Titan Development and Investments is working to construct a three-story, 72 unit affordable housing complex at the property, to be known as Manor Hills.
However, some residents of the Country Club Manor neighborhood are objecting to the apartment complex being built, saying it wouldn't fit the area and possibly impact their properties.
"If this development proceeds, our house value will definitely be impacted," said Terry Fields of Country Club Manor. "Given a choice between our house and a similar home that is not directly adjacent to a three-story building, everyone would pick the other house. Wouldn't you?"
Country Club Manor Resident Steve Fields added, "the building size does not fit the surrounding neighborhood. I want to repeat, we are not opposed to affordable housing, but this development makes no sense due to its size and density on a tiny lot."
Following Monday night's land use and zoning changes, the owner of the property in question will seek approval of their site development plan.
City Leaders Expand Authorization for Dancing at Bars
Local leaders have voted to adjust Rochester's liquor license endorsements to automatically allow patron dancing until 10 P.M.
Until now, local liquor license holders have needed an additional entertainment endorsement to allow dancing at their businesses. However, city staff says many are wanting to allow dancing during morning, afternoon, and early evening hours.
The change means businesses with liquor licenses will no longer need a general entertainment endorsement to allow dancing, which city staff says was cost-prohibitive.
Plan for SE Rochester Reconstruction Project Approved
The City of Rochester will update a six-block stretch of Southeast Rochester while crews work to connect a new RPU substation through the area.
Installation of the substation is expected to disturb utilities and pavement along 9th Street SE from 4th Avenue to Slatterly Park this spring. During that time, the city will replace existing roadways, curbs, gutters, concrete drive approaches, and water services identified as not meeting MDH standards.
"One of the reasons we want to do it these ways is you'd hate to tear this up in 2022 for RPU, and come back three years later and tear it up to redo the streets," said Rochester City Council Member Patrick Keane.
45 adjacent property owners are expected to contribute over $173,000 worth of assessments to the $3.2 million project. A hearing related to the assessments is set to take place on February 7th.

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