Heritage Preservation Commission meeting goes beyond agenda, dis - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Heritage Preservation Commission meeting goes beyond agenda, discusses process of landmark designation

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

The designation of Landmark Properties has been a hot-button issue for the Heritage Preservation Commission.

The Hotel Carlton has been nominated by City Council, but the process to get to the actual designation is causing some headaches.

Tuesday's meeting dug a lot deeper than what was on the agenda; it brought up underlying concerns in regards to the landmark designation process, as well as what constitutes a landmark property.

Dating back to 1920, the Hotel Carton seeps history.

Nominated by City Council to become a Landmark Property, the owners, MBK Properties, aren't particularly excited.

"This is an area ripe for development plans. It's a very difficult area to deal with because it's old and non-compliant for health and safety features and it would be very difficult to renovate," said Jeff Broberg of WSB Associates, who represents MBK Properties.

Tuesday's Heritage Preservation Commission Meeting discussed the nomination, which eventually led to further discussion on process.

"Determine 1) Is it a heritage preservation site? And 2) If it is, what restrictions, requirements, etc. they would put on any activity on that site," said City Administrator Aaron Reeves.

Situations concerning third-party involvement were also brought to the forefront.

"Bring in second and third parties, we don't know what their reports say or come here. We need, you know, 30 days to review what everybody's reports are," said Broberg during the meeting.

“They haven't really defined what the rights of a party is if they are subject to a third person nominating something they don't own,” Broberg added.

John Kruesel's Antique collection was also nominated for Landmark designation.

"These objects, in my opinion, many of them are another form of landmark,” said Kruesel.

Under the current ordinance, collections are not considered "landmarks”, which led to the question: What constitutes a landmark?

"I'm gonna suggest that people in Rochester know what a landmark is," said Kruesel.

Kruesel used the example of the giant corn tower that directs people to the fairgrounds.

Kruesel wants what's sacred to Rochester, to remain at home.

"Regarding my items, I don't want them to leave this community,” said Kruesel.

As far as the Hotel Carlton goes, designation is now up to the public.

"Pushing this discussion uphill with a boulder is no small task. That task now is in your hands," Kruesel added.

The hope is to have a public hearing in early June.

This will give community members a chance to voice their thoughts on the Hotel Carlton becoming designated as a Landmark Property.

The owners of the property said they don't have plans for the property right now.

There was a proposal on deck, however, things have been put on hold for now.

Starting at next month's HPC meeting on May 23rd, the meetings will begin at 5 p.m., instead of 4 p.m., as they do now. 

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