City Council discusses proposed affordable housing development - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

City Council discusses proposed affordable housing development

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Neighbors packed the council chambers at Monday's Rochester City Council meeting to share their concerns over a proposed affordable housing development.

Joseph Development has proposed a 49-unit project to be called Ashland Village near 19th Street Northwest. Neighbors came to Monday's public hearing to share concerns over how they were notified about the development, many saying they hadn't received any formal notice at all. Neighbors also said they had concerns over traffic and safety in the neighborhood, as well as concerns about declining property values and increased crime.

Tensions about the issue boiled over after the public hearing was closed and a brief recess was called before council members returned to finish sharing their views.

"The rules that we must follow do not take into consideration things like 'are these people good enough to live in my neighborhood?'" said Michael Wojcik shortly after the meeting reconvened. "We believe that regardless of income, regardless of the cost of units, we believe in the economic diversity of Rochester and we've done a great job of doing that."

Ultimately the council decided to table the discussion until the next council meeting on July 21 due to the neighbors concerns over notification about the project.

The developer said it will hold another neighborhood meeting before the next council meeting..

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