See more of the story

The Rosemount Planning Commission this week unanimously approved several measures — plats, a final site plan and building plan — needed for the Meta Platforms data center project to move forward, despite objections from dozens of residents.

The City Council will consider approving the same items at its Dec. 5 meeting.

Plans for the center were initially dubbed "Project Bigfoot." The approvals were granted to Jimnist, which is a Meta company.

Meta's data center would be housed on 280 acres in the University of Minnesota's UMore Park along County Road 42. The U's Board of Regents approved a $39.7 million land sale to Meta in September. The deal is expected to close by the end of January.

Some residents shared concerns about water and electricity use while others wanted to know why the project received so many variances, such as with fence height.

Projects of this magnitude ask for deviations from city code for various reasons, and this project was granted a typical number of variances, said Rosemount City Administrator Logan Martin.

There's already been "pretty extensive" soil sampling done on this part of the UMore property by the University of Minnesota and Meta, Martin said, though other areas will require more clean-up.

Meta would like to start the project next year, Martin said.