Initial plans for Main Street project okayed

Rochester planning commissioners on Wednesday, September 5, approved preliminary plans for a development project at 1205 N. Main Street consisting of office space and upper residential condominium units.

Gregory Schneider, of Rochester Home and Office, had received approval in 2015 for a two-story development with 5,500 square feet of office space and about 12,000 feet of residential space for eight condominium units. However, those plan were subsequently cancelled and the site was cleared for a scaled-down version.

The new proposal consists of 3,100 square feet of office space below six residential condominium units. While smaller in size, the proposed development would be a total of three stories tall, with each condominium unit consisting of two-stories. The city's zoning ordinance and master plan, which is in the process of being updated, calls for a maximum height of 2.5 stories, and 35 feet. Schneider said the proposed development would be a total of 34 feet in height.

Rochester Planning Consultant Vidya Krishnan said at the meeting that she would need to double check the ordinance to ensure that three-story buildings would be permitted, or if the ordinance requires both the height and number of stories to comply. Regardless of the number of stories, Krishnan advised the applicant that a cross-view diagram would need to be provided with an official site plan, as the project is required to meet line of sight requirements in the downtown area.

Additionally, she recommended preliminary plans be revised to include updated landscaping, pedestrian access and other architectural items noted in the preliminary plans.

In total, Krishnan noted about 18 different items need to be addressed in formal site plans.

Commission members approved acceptance of the preliminary plans with formal site plans to be reviewed at a hearing at the planning commission's October meeting.

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