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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Residents in a southwest Rochester neighborhood are opposing a proposed zone change involving a housing development that is scheduled to be presented to the city Planning and Zoning Commission.

One objection they have is it’s being planned by a member of the commission.

Diane Lund letter

The letter writer lives a block away from the site and is the wife of Olmsted County District Court Judge Kevin Lund.


Documents submitted to the commission indicate the nearly half-acre site is located on the north side of 6th St SW and the west side of 14th Ave SW, about a block south of St Marys Hospital and a block east of Folwell School.

The project is proposed by Ben Kall and requires a zone change.

The documents indicate if approved, “there is a tentative proposal for multi-family attached rowhouse development on site” which could include up to 12 units.

Staff is recommending approval of the zone change.

The commission is scheduled to review the request during a virtual meeting Wednesday (6:00 pm).

The commission received this summary from city staff:

“The R-2x zone district was specifically created in 2018 to promote areas with a mixture of residential dwelling types of overall low to medium density near the downtown core. This district is established to support residential infill and reinvestment. The proposed zoning district of R-2x is permissible under, and consistent with, the “Low Density Residential” Land Use Designation of the P2S Comprehensive Plan The 2040 Community Vision statement is a critical framing element for P2S 2040. It synthesizes public input into a description of how the community wants the city to look, feel, and function over the next two decades. It informs the goals, policies and strategies that give policymakers and elected officials the comprehensive perspective needed to make rational decisions about Rochester’s future. One of the six tenets of the 2040 vision statement is that Rochester be characterized by its safe and friendly neighborhoods, diverse and affordable housing options for people of all ages and backgrounds, thriving downtown, vibrant public spaces, and easy access to parks and recreational amenities.

Rochester’s demographic trends indicate that a wider variety of housing options are essential to meet the community’s current and future needs, particularly as downsizing Baby Boomer households begin to look for housing options requiring less maintenance and upkeep and a growing number of young adults seek affordable housing choices. As household sizes decrease and service jobs increase, there will be a need for additional smaller-size homes resulting in shifts to higher housing densities in order to accommodate more housing units within the city limits. At the same time, there will likely continue to be an increase in the number of households at the upper end of the income scales, suggesting an increasing demand for higher-end housing. With Rochester facing a need to attract more labor to fill a growing job base, it is important that people can find the housing they need in neighborhoods that offer the amenities they want.

Rochester is expected to add another 50,000 people by 2040 – a 55% increase in population. These residents will need places to live. New and existing neighborhoods located throughout the city will provide the bulk of housing opportunities, and increasingly, residents have options to live downtown. Recent Downtown plans have identified growing interest in expanding central city housing opportunity for those seeking a vibrant urban environment within a range of housing styles and an array of amenities. The percentage of people living downtown is expected to grow significantly in the future due to the effect of the Destination Medical Center (DMC) initiative.”

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