by Eric Hagen
The Andover City Council at its Dec. 20, 2010 meeting approved a housing developer’s request to change six planned detached townhome lots into five single-family home lots.
After the Woodland Development Corporation of Ham Lake received this approval, it sold the five lots to TH Construction of Anoka. Two homes are already being built and one has been sold for $290,000. The rest of the homes will be priced similarly, said Tony Hennen of TH Construction.
According to City Planner Courtney Bednarz, the Woodland Crossings development was approved by the council in 2006. At the time, Woodland Development planned 23 single-family lots and 14 detached townhome lots. To date, 16 single-family homes and five detached townhomes have been built.
In 2009, Byron Westlund of Woodland Development came to the city with a request to change five single-family lots into six detached townhome lots along Jay Street. These are the same lots that Westlund now wants reverted back to the original plan of five-single family lots, according to Bednarz. The homes are located on the northwest corner of Jay Street and 157th Lane. The Woodland Crossings development is east of Nightingale Street.
According to Community Development Director David Carlberg, the developer indicated on this most recent proposal that there was a demand for single-family lots in the neighborhood.
“I always thought single-family homes would be a lot better component to that street,” said Valerie Holthus, planning and zoning commission member, who was on the commission when the conversion to townhomes was approved in 2009.
The commission discussed this proposal and held a one-minute public hearing Dec. 13, 2010. The two residents who spoke supported the conversion back to single-family homes.
Unlike the six townhomes, the five single-family homes will not be included in the townhome association, which is managed by Woodland Development. There was a handful of residents from the neighborhood at the council meeting and nobody raised any concerns about this.
Sewer and water stubs were put in at the edge of the property lines to serve the six townhomes at the time of development. Because one less home will be constructed, one less stub is needed.
Woodland Development Corporation initially requested that the unused water line remain, but the city was concerned that the city may have a substantial repair cost if the unused service line would fail at some point in the future. This would be a city responsibility to pay for.
Westlund ultimately agreed to pay for the removal of this extra water service line. This will require the street to be torn up at this point and the copper line will be cut off and sealed at the main connection line.
Westlund said he understands it is city policy for this connection to be closed. His main concern was his company had to tear up Jay Street before in order to add the sixth connection when converting from single family homes to townhomes in this area and now this has to be done again.
The city will credit Westlund $2,944 in park dedication fees and $671 in trail dedication fees because he will be constructing one less housing unit than previously approved, according to Bednarz.
Home builds in Andover in 2011
There have not been many meetings in Andover in which housing plats have come forward during the recession. However, that does not mean new homes have not been built.
According to City Administrator Jim Dickinson, 58 home building permits were issued in 2011. The city had budgeted to receive revenue from 35 home building permits.
However, the 2011 total was less than seen in 2010 when 71 home building permits were issued. The number of homes being built is also far fewer than what was built in the earlier years of the last decade. Between 2001 and 2005, the only time Andover issued less than 200 residential building permits in a year was 2003 when 182 permits were issued. The number of annual permits dropped below 100 starting in 2007.
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org