By Ivan Raconteur
MONTROSE, MN Many Montrose residents turned out to hear a presentation outlining the new Highway 12 redevelopment plan prior to Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The plan, which is designed to guide future development along the Highway 12 corridor in Monrose, is the result of months of planning by the Highway 12 redevelopment task force. The group was established to “Enhance the Highway 12 corridor by creating a unique identity for Montrose that promotes community pride and economic development.”
The effort is the result of increased population, which has increased demand for commercial goods and services. The Montrose Economic Development Authority identified a need to “improve the aesthetics and functionality” of the city’s existing commercial areas.
The task force established seven goals, including:
• focussing on the unique identity of Montrose by incorporating the city’s history and architectural features.
• integrating mixed uses, including commercial and residential applications.
• developing and defining a downtown district.
• incorporating quality architectural and design standards.
• including streetscape improvements and green infrastructure to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment and community gathering areas.
• encouraging connectivity by providing safe crossings and connections from residential and commercial areas to educational facilities in the community, as well as connecting the Highway 12 area to other parts of the community.
• promoting sustainability by using sustainable building and construction concepts.
The plan includes a proposed implementation schedule that begins in 2010.
In 2010, the plan calls for acquisition of a parcel on the northwest corner of the intersection of Highway 12 and Buffalo Avenue for a downtown plaza or specialized seating area.
Also scheduled for 2010 are implementation of Phase 1 of the landscape plan, and acquisition of banners for streetlights.
The second phase of the landscape plan, which includes raised flower beds and plant materials, is scheduled for 2011.
Subsequent phases of the landscape plan are scheduled for each of the next four years, from 2012 to 2015.
An engineering study to provide detailed, accurate cost estimates for burying overhead power lines is scheduled for 2015-2017.
Following the public hearing, the city council adopted the Highway 12 redevelopment plan.
The council tabled discussion of the design standards, and will consider these during an open house that has yet to be scheduled.