June 28, 2023 Old Village Open House

While I typically don't post Open House meeting information, this one was fairly significant.

I was present but my goal was to listen to what people had to say and I believe our new administrator did a good job walking the residents through it.

Before I get further here's a few definitions:

  • zoning - What a property is currently being used as. In the Old Village most of the properties are RO (single family homes).
  • guided use - This is a designation applied to a property indicating what future uses that property will have to comply with should it be developed or redeveloped. It isn't applied to selling a property. If a property will be demolished and rebuilt then it would need to comply with this.
  • Mixed Use - As a guided use type, this is kind of a garbage can of uses. It can mean medium density housing (5-8 per acre) or it could mean commercial use. It does not include low density housing (under 5 per acre). Currently the entire Old Village is guided this.

Back in the mid 2000's the city submitted a comprehensive plan to the Metropolitan Council that contained a chapter on what I would call a pie-in-the-sky vision for the Old Village. To help support and implement that, the entire Old Village was guided to Mixed Use.

Around 2015 the city hosted a planning event called "Dayton By Design" which included a number of professionals that embedded themselves in the city for a couple of days. My family hosted one of them. They came up with an assortment of ideas and some changes to this pie-in-the-sky vision.

For the comprehensive plan submitted in 2019, this chapter was left out. I suspect it was to be able to put in a slightly different plan as an amendment in the future that wouldn't be compared to what it was replacing, but it doesn't really matter why it was pulled out.

About a year back there was a proposal to sell off a property on Levee street the city received due to tax forfeiture. Unfortunately the property (which was empty land) was advertised as single family even though I reminded the then administrator that it needed to comply with the guided use, not the current zoning. It fell of deaf ears.

The approval of that sale was held off until we decided on what we want the guidance to be. I also had a suspicion that the bulk of the residents down there didn't know what that guided use was or how it impacted them. So I requested the city have an open house in the Old Village to explain some of this history and what their opinions were to go forward.

What I was hoping to get opinions on was, should we continue with this vision and what should we do with the guided use.

Unfortunately there was a lot of focus on some of what I thought were nonsensical ideas in this vision (such as the walking bridge) but we did get a lot of input on the overall concepts.

I would have liked to get more opinions on the guided use for specific streets but we basically ran out of time.

We haven't collected all of the written input yet but I think the overall opinion was the residents were concerned about the impacts to their property with the mixed use guidance.

If you have some opinions/questions on this (regardless of where you live) please contact me.