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Residents angry over proposed housing development

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A proposed development in north Rosemount was not well received by neighbors at a Rosemount Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night.

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The planning commission held a public hearing on a series of requests from Friedges Excavating for a luxury housing development that would be called Wilde Lake Estates.

Friedges proposes to build 14 custom-made single-family homes on the current farmland. Real estate agent Troy Friedges said the homes would sell for between $600,000 and $800,000.

The project would include the installation of a cul-de-sac on the east side of Dodd Boulevard as well as the construction of holding pond for stormwater to keep it out of nearby wetlands.

As part of the proposal the city would receive property that would be designated for a future trail linking the city’s trail system to Lebanon Hills, which is part of Dakota County’s plans for the area.

As part of the land swap, city staff supported a planned unit development, also known as a PUD, agreement that would allow for slightly smaller lot sizes than is required by the city’s rural residential standards. Staff has recommended a minimum two-acre lot size for the project, whereas the city’s zoning code has 2.5-acre minimum.

A PUD is a site-specific tool cities use to help development. City planner Eric Zweber said in this case the city approached the applicant to use the PUD process to obtain trail corridor width.

Additionally, the city also requested money to put in escrow for the future paving of Dodd Boulevard. City engineer Phil Olson said that while the city has no plans to pave the road, the city wanted to collect the money while it could to avoid having to reach in the city’s coffers in the future.

The reduced lot size and the mention of Dodd being paved did not sit well with residents.

Residents brought up concerns about water pollution, traffic safety issues and the loss of the rural feel of the area.

More than 30 residents spoke, some vehemently protesting the project and the changes it could bring to the area.

“I like my neighborhood and I don’t want it to change. Start over,” said one woman.

In a letter to the planning commission, George and Carol Groff said they recently built their retirement home in hopes of enjoying the deer, turkeys and other wildlife in a peaceful country setting.

“It looks as if that will no longer be the case if this development is approved,” stated the Groffs.

Ted Hammond was the only resident who expressed support for the development. He raised concerns about the current farmhouse being a meth house and said he would be grateful for this development. Additionally, Hammond said he supports a trail through the area and looks forward to having access to Lebanon Hills.

Troy Friedges, who was there representing his seller, gave some perspective on the project. He’s been marketing the property for two years on behalf of the two women who own the property. His cousin John Friedges, a developer, expressed interest in the rural property and came up with a concept for it.

“This has been a long process,”Friedges told the crowd. “I’m trying to make this a win-win.”

At times the meeting took an unruly tone, especially as the planning commission voted to recommend the project move on to the city council for approval. It was difficult to hear the planning commission voting from the front row of council chambers over the chatter of the angry crowd.

Before voting in favor of the recommendation, planning commissioner Ryan Forster said he felt staff had adequately addressed the issues raised about water and traffic. In seeing the metrics of the project, Forster said he supported the smaller lot size because it worked.

The council will take on the matter sometime in the coming months.

Other business

Several residents expressed concerns Tuesday about a proposal for a commercial development which would be built near their homes. Joe and Patricia Dangor, as well as another neighbor, asked the planning commission to consider the residents living near a proposed development called Rosewood Center. The project would include a new Anytime Fitness location.

The Rosewood Center would be located north of County Road 42 and east of Highway 3. The land is owned by KJ Walk, Inc.

Joe Dangor said they bought their home thinking the entire area would be residential. While he conceded development would happen one way or another he asked the commission to be cognizant of the residential neighborhood nearby and include conditions that would ease the impact of the development.

“Be thoughtful about what you can do to help the neighbors,” said Joe.

Patricia Dangor expressed concerns about traffic. Specifically, she said since 149th Street was constructed, it’s been used as speed strip. She also said she would rather see a park built than a commercial development.

“I want to see something good happen in my neighborhood,” said Patricia.

The planning commission recommended approval to the city council with added conditions that addressed light and landscaping concerns. Additionally, KJ Walk CEO Warren Israelson said they would be cognizant of the concerns as they move forward with the project.

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Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
(651) 460-6606
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