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Tree-planting variance sought for NW Rochester commercial site

A variance from the city's tree-planting requirement is being sought for a 102-acre commercial development in northwest Rochester.

The development, Northwest Commercial Center, is proposed by Northwest Investments of La Crosse, Wis. The development will include a Kwik Trip store at 19th Street Northwest and West Circle Drive. The item is on the agenda for the Rochester City Council meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the city-county Government Center council chambers.

The developer is asking the city council to relax the planting standard from one tree per 35 feet to one tree per 50 feet of frontage, and to allow trees to be planted in clusters rather than evenly spaced across the development. The trees will block visibility from the highway to the development, the developer says.

The variance request is included with a final plat application for the property.

 Also on the council's agenda is time for landowners on Second Street Southwest between Sixth and 11th avenues to be heard on a special assessment planned for a street project later this year.


Assessments will total about one-third, or $1.46 million, of an estimated $4.1 million reconstruction project. It's the first major street work in the area since a concrete rehabilitation project in 1994. The concrete panels there date originally to 1969.

Property owners may stretch their assessment payments over as long as 10 years. The city charges a 5.75 percent interest rate.

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