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Appropriate Business Mix for a Rural Transit Center in Lent Township

Lent Township is located in Chisago County, along Interstate 35W. A large percentage of Lent's residents are employed in the Twin Cities and patronize merchants in communities along the I-35 travel corridor. The township also borders several well-established commercial centers in North Branch and Stacy that compete for local consumers. In 2008, Lent assumed planning and zoning authority from the county. One of its first acts was to establish a 320-acre Rural Transit Center (RTC) at the intersection of Interstate 35 and County Road 17, a busy local feeder route. Limited commercial uses are now permitted in the RTC by right or as conditional uses. Graduate students in urban and regional planning helped the township assess the potential for future commercial-industrial development in the RTC. Students produced a final report that assessed market demand for, infrastructure and service needs of, employment opportunities from, and overall feasibility of three development scenarios for the RTC: (1) a light-industrial and manufacturing park (the township's preferred alternative); (2) a trail-oriented development along the Sunrise Prairie Trail, a multiuse recreational trail that has been identified as the alignment for the proposed Rush Line commuter-rail corridor; and (3) a mixed-use assisted-living and senior housing development with supportive service-retail establishments. The township will use the report to guide future development plans for this area.

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Lent Township
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