Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) – Rochester is planning to launch a new department July 1st.

The Community Development Department has been in the planning stages for about a year. 

Its 13-member staff will essentially start covering some of the duties of the  Rochester-Olmsted County Planning and Zoning Department that was formed in 1975. The city has decided to go its own way in large due to growing demands for development services.

The city last year hired Cindy Steinhauser as director of the new Community Development Dept, which will oversee activities that include planning, development, zoning compliance, sustainability, urban design, and heritage preservation, communications and engagement, and administrative support.

“We are positioning ourselves to respond to the consistent and unprecedented growth we see in this community,” says Steinhauser. “The formation of the City’s new Community Development Department is part of the City Council’s vision to be intentional and strategic about the transformation of Rochester – both now and in the coming years.”

The city saw record growth in construction and development last year as it approved building permits totaling nearly $600 million.

The department’s formation is the first phase in the city’s longer-term plan to create a one-stop development services center. This collaboration will bring the newly-formed Community Development Department as well as the Building Safety and Public Works Departments together under one roof to provide a more seamless customer service experience for those seeking to build, develop, and invest in the city.

News update:  A Byron man with a history of DUI has been arrested again.