Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council is being asked to support the creation of a historic district in downtown Rochester but the majority of the property owners affected by the proposed designation are opposed. A vote on the issue is possible Monday evening.

City of Rochester

The establishment of a historic district, which was recently approved by the Rochester Historic Preservation Commission on a 6-2 vote, would impose additional governmental reviews for exterior alterations or demolition of buildings but would also provide the affected property owners with access to federal funding sources for renovation and preservation projects. The proposed district basically encompasses the areas between the east side of South Broadway and First Avenue Southwest from the north side of Second Street to Fourth Street with the addition of the historic Riverside Building on the southeast corner of Fourth Street and South Broadway.

There currently 30 buildings that would be included in the proposed Historic District and the owners of 18 of them have either sent letters to the City Council and/or have signed a petition expressing opposition. Many of the letters are from owners who expressed their personal passion for saving some of the oldest commercial buildings in the city and their fear of having to seek the input and approval of the Historic Preservation Commission if they wish to make alterations to their properties.