Coon Rapids makes zoning, land use change

The owners of five acres of vacant land at the southeast corner of Woodcrest Drive and Egret Boulevard is making a second attempt to change the land use and zoning of the property.

Last year the Coon Rapids City Council rejected a proposal to switch the land use and zoning from office to high density residential even thought it had been recommended by planning staff and the Coon Rapids Planning Commission.

But the council gave an indication that it might be willing to accept a moderate density residential land use and zoning designation.

That’s what property owner Victoria Jordan sought approval for from the planning commission June 21.

The commission recommended approval of the moderate density residential request June 21 and it will be considered by the council at its meeting July 17.

According to Planner Scott Harlicker, the land use and zoning for the property has either been neighborhood commercial or office for 25 years and has not developed.

“Because the property is not visible from Highway 10 and the nearest access to Highway 10 is over a mile away, it is not very desirable as commercial or office development,” Harlicker wrote in a report to the commission.

“It is a better candidate for a use that does not depend on visibility or access from Highway 10 such as moderate density residential.”

Indeed, Harlicker wrote that the property is located in an area that, with the exception of the car dealership that has Highway 10 frontage, is generally residential in character, with townhouses, neighborhood commercial and a park near by.

“Since the site has not developed as either commercial or office in over 25 years, the neighborhood has changed such that the applicant cannot maintain a reasonable use of the property under the current zoning,” he wrote.

Under moderate density residential, attached housing at a gross density of 4 to 9.9 units per acre can be built, according to Harlicker.

There are townhomes to the west of the site and property north of Egret has a land use designation of moderate density residential and neighborhood commercial, Harlicker said in his report.

“Developing this parcel at a moderate residential density would also make use of the nearby park and the adjacent convenience store,” he wrote.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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