Public Hearing Closed at P&Z DMC Hearing

66 minutes into the the Rochester-Olmsted Planning and Zoning Commission’s public hearing on the Draft DMC Development Plan closed, about a dozen visitors having weighed in on the plan’s latest iteration.

Transit emerged as a common theme for comment throughout the evening. Proposals in the plan include new parking systems, street reconfigurations, buses, rail, elevated rail, street cars, and more.

Staff in the Planning Department recommended at least seven studies that should to be complete before the commission can evaluate some facets of the plan. Studies Barker suggested include:

  • Transit/Street Capacity System Study
  •  Project Planning Study
  • Study of Downtown Parking and Park & Ride Needs
  • Downtown Access Authority
  • City Loop / Cultural Crescent Implementation Study
  • Priority projects and investment study
  • Policy and Ordinance study

Planning Department Director Mitzi Baker suggested the commission consider hiring consultant or more planning staff to help conduct the studies in an effective and timely manner.

A complete meeting packet, including details about the proposed studies, is available on the commission’s website.

Commissioner Kraig Durst may have summarized the comments best when he thanked the many visitors to come out on a sub-zero day and encouraged people to continue working “to make our great city even greater.”

“We’re all on the same team. We might disagree sometimes, but we’re all working together.”
—  Kraig Durst, Planning and Zoning Commission member

Commissioner Paul Sims urged the Economic Development Agency and the DMCC Board of Directors to increase the visual presence of the DMC brand and projects quickly before this bold initiative becomes a ship without an anchor.

“The first step is the key,” Sims said. “TheDMC brand needs to be constantly brought forward and to move as quickly as we can with the idea … otherwise we run the risk that we end up with a bridge to nowhere.”

Make big plans; aim high in hope and work
— Commissioner Paul Sims, quoting architect Daniel Burnham