KASSON, Minn. (KTTC) -- The Kasson City Council voted 3-1 on Wednesday to approve a rezoning change in southwest Kasson. The new ordinance allows for commercial building in Lions Park and the immediate residential area.
Oppidan Inc., a national property development firm, presented plans to city council members at Wednesday's meeting. Their plans to build a facility on the site and lease it to Shopko have been met with opposition from residents for months.
"We're going to continue with the process to, hopefully, gain final approval and construct a new facility for the residents of Kasson," said Paul Tucci with Oppidan, Inc.
More than 20 residents were at the meeting to voice concerns. Hundreds have signed a petition to stop the demolition of Lions Park and future construction projects.
"That petition of 300 was not all southwest people that signed it," said Kasson Resident, Judy Rupert. "The mayor says he had 12 calls that were for it. Twelve against 380? Where's the math there?"
Members of city council said the development would bring new business and jobs to Kasson. Council Member Lorraine Hopkins put in motion to approve the rezoning. Hopkins said Shopko would bring at least 30 jobs to the city and open doors for other major retailers in Kasson.
"We don't just represent southwest Kasson. We represent the city," said Hopkins. "The things that we've heard and what've been sent to us is 'we would like to have it here.'"
City of Kasson Community Development Director, Mike Martin, said the city set goals in 2011 and a top priority was to make the downtown area more commercial.
"It's mentioned throughout that document that the conversion of Mantorville Avenue from a residential street to a commercial corridor is important to Kasson," said Martin.
Oppidan said they will be making formal proposals to the city in the next few weeks.
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