St. Cloud Plans for Affordable Housing Amid New State Legislation

The St. Cloud Planning Commission recently convened to deliberate on the implications of new state legislation for local development, with a focus on affordable housing and the city’s adherence to the Live Local Act. The meeting’s core discussions revolved around proposed changes to the zoning and land use of a 1.6-acre property, known as Alpha Neptune and Sunnyside, and the broader impact of Senate Bill 102 on the city’s zoning and development processes. Commissioners were briefed on the annexation, comprehensive plan amendment, and zoning map amendment for the property, which staff recommended approving.

The proposed future land use is mixed use, with the prospective zoning of mixed use, deemed consistent with the surrounding area. The development’s consistency with the local community was a key point, accentuated by the staff’s recommendation to approve the annexation and comprehensive plan amendment. The presentation underscored the significance of Senate Bill 102, which effectively restricts local governments from imposing additional limitations on Live Local Act projects. This legislation allows multifamily developments within certain zoning districts to proceed without the need for rezoning or comprehensive plan amendments.

The commission engaged in a discussion about the nuances of the state law, particularly inquiring about height and density limitations for the proposed developments. The affordability aspect was also scrutinized, with commissioners seeking clarity on the income thresholds for the affordable housing units. The review process for projects, as well as potential impacts on the surrounding area, were additional focal points. Commissioners were intent on understanding the checks and balances that would ensure developments comply with height limits, density regulations, and other Land Development Code requirements. Concerns regarding the potential effects on the city’s zoning and development processes were raised.

Further discussions encompassed the buffer requirements between different land uses, such as industrial and single-family residential areas, and the affordability of housing under the Live Local Act. The commission deliberated on the income requirements for potential residents and addressed parking regulations for multifamily developments, including the possibility of reducing the number of parking units required. Questions regarding the integration of public transportation, such as bus stops within the developments, were raised, with explanations provided on the limitations involved. Architectural standards, design criteria, and the approval process for the ordinance related to the Land Development Code were also topics of conversation.


The commission shed light on the proposed changes as a response to the state bill. Balancing the production of quality housing, addressing affordability, and complying with state mandates was emphasized as a priority. The impact of the bill on city development was discussed, with assurances that changes in density would be minimal. Additionally, the commission mentioned an upcoming future land use amendment update and its compatibility with county regulations.

Mention was made of administrative updates, including the introduction of a new principal planner, forthcoming workshop items, and the potential addition of new members to the commission. A departing member was acknowledged for their service, and a call for adjournment concluded the meeting.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Nathan Blackwell
Planning Board Officials:

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