Oct 13

Volunteer Opportunity: Help Us Make 'Chelsea Commons' A Reality

Posted on October 13, 2021 at 6:27 PM by Haley Foster

Chelsea Groups VolunteerAs we work to make the Vision for Chelsea Commons a reality, we need your help! We’re looking for residents to participate in two working groups responsible for shaping components of the plan area.


Open Space Proposal Review Team

The City has requested proposals for the design of the first phase of public spaces and landscaping at Chelsea Commons. The proposal review team will evaluate the proposals submitted by consulting firms and assist in recommending consulting teams for interview and selection by the City Council. If you’re interested in landscaping, park, and open space planning; this is a great opportunity! You’ll be helping select a team to guide this portion of the project! The team will meet approximately three times within a 3-week period between Oct. 25 and Nov. 15, 2021. The review team has an opening for one community member-at-large. To volunteer, please send an email to community.development@ci.monticello.mn.us with your name, address, and a short description of why you’re interested in serving no later than October 25, 2021. If you have any relevant background in landscape architecture or open space planning, please let us know.


Zoning Code Work Group

As a public-private venture, the character and quality of the private commercial and residential projects will have a big impact on the final project outcome. The City is forming a Zoning Ordinance Work Group to help define the uses that best fit the area, along with the best practices for building materials, landscaping, signage, and other site design requirements. If you’re interested in site planning, architecture, and urban design; the Zoning Work Group is an opportunity to share your thoughts for Chelsea Commons. The group will meet approximately four to five times between October and January 2021. The Zoning Working Group has an opening for one community member-at-large.  

If you’re interested in serving, please send an email to community.development@ci.monticello.mn.us with your name, address, and a short description of why you’re interested in serving no later than October 25, 2021.  If you have any relevant background in urban planning or zoning, please share that information in your email.

Oct 13

Help Us Name the “Chelsea Commons” Project

Posted on October 13, 2021 at 6:22 PM by Haley Foster

Chelsea Commons - Project Name

For nearly a year, the City of Monticello has been developing a plan for a new project encompassing approximately 100 acres of largely vacant land in the center of our community. 

Throughout the planning stages, the name “Chelsea Commons” has been used as a working project title. However, as we prepare to adopt the plan and begin bringing it to life, we need a new name for the area. Your feedback will be a part of how City Council makes their decision.

What is Chelsea Commons?

Chelsea Commons is envisioned as an exceptional neighborhood in which to live, work and play. It combines a mix of commercial services, residential living opportunities, and public open space amenities. Chelsea Commons is centered on a significant recreational water feature and surrounded by a series of interconnected public spaces for discovery. It is also a public-private partnership. It relies on private development, as well as a significant investment in the public infrastructure to create an exceptional amenity that serves both its immediate neighborhood and the community. It is, in short, a central component of Monticello’s vision, and how it sees itself into the future. But it is not the only one. Chelsea Commons fits into the fabric of the City’s significant investments in its downtown, and in the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Each of these “Big Three” elements of the City’s present and future share the role in creation of a new place for the community to come together.

 Chelsea Commons - Concept Drawings

Where Did the Idea Come From?

The “Chelsea Commons” idea is a response to the many changes shaping the world around us. The Plan for the area is influenced by the long-term shifts from 2008 economic recession, the so-called “Amazon effect” on retailing and commerce, and the evolving trends in the ways people choose to spend their time and money. It also arrived at a time when Monticello was preparing the Monticello 2040 Vision Plan. We needed to reimagine how development in this space could best fit into the Monticello community.

Project Planning

The City Council is ultimately responsible for the decisions that will flow from the plan, and they have debated its pros and cons in several forums. Most of those forums have included one or all the City’s commissions, including Planning Commission; Parks, Arts, and Recreation Commission; and the Economic Development Authority. 

The landowners within the district were also a critical voice in the conceptual planning from the very beginning – before Council had even authorized proceeding with the Small Area Plan. It was imperative to city staff that Council understood landowner impressions of the project, as they’re vital partners in accomplishing the project vision.

Next Steps

The Planning Commission is holding a public hearing at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 27 to discuss the Chelsea Commons Small Area Plan. Then, at the 6:30 p.m. City Council meeting, Council will consider formally adopting the Small Area Plan. Help City Council name the 'Chelsea Commons' project by selecting your favorite name here!

Oct 13

City Council Approves DMV Relocation

Posted on October 13, 2021 at 6:21 PM by Haley Foster

Yes, the Monticello DMV is moving, but not yet!2007-07-20-16  3rd and Cedar DMV

The Monticello DMV is getting a new location! On July 26, City Council approved notifying the State of Minnesota of intent to move the DMV from its current location to the Prairie Center building at 118 W. 6th Street. In addition, on Aug. 23 City Council approved a construction contract for the improvements necessary to remodel the first floor of the building for the DMV. 

Starting September 9, the FiberNet Monticello offices will be temporarily closed due to the construction and demolition in the Prairie Center building for the new Monticello DMV location. FiberNet is expected to reopen in their second-floor office on Monday, Oct. 4.

We’re thrilled to see this project progressing, but the existing DMV location at 119 E 3rd Street remains the office for the public until further notice. The new location is not expected to be fully operational until late 2021 or early 2022. Alerts and notices will be made prior to the move. 

The DMV is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, as well as FAQs, check out our website!