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St. Cloud City Council votes on proposal for new fire station and housing policy at today’s meeting

(KNSI) – At today’s meeting, the St. Cloud City Council will likely ask voters for the green light to build a new fire station and hold a public hearing on a concept to create more housing.

The council will ask residents to approve allocating up to $43.5 million for a fire station in the growing South St. Cloud neighborhood around Tech High School. A yes vote would result in a property tax increase.

City staff argue that the fire station is necessary to reduce response times to under six minutes. The fire department says it is called to about 10,000 emergency calls annually, a 32% increase in the last four years. If construction is approved, it would be the city’s sixth station.

The public will also have the opportunity to speak to the council about an ordinance change that would allow single-family lots to be converted to multi-family housing. This model, called the “Light Touch Density Model,” would allow people to add a second building to their lot or convert homes for renters. The number of rental units would be determined by building and lot size. Experts say this will increase the housing supply in urbanized areas.

Accessory dwellings are permitted in more than a dozen communities: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Richfield, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, White Bear Lake, Wayzata, Burnsville Rochester, Edina, Minnetonka and Eagan.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the town hall.

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