Land use, zoning issue decision up to Coon Rapids council

A Coon Rapids developer’s request for a land use/zoning change on a 5.8-acre parcel has been recommended for denial by the Coon Rapids Planning Commission.

It will be up to the Coon Rapids City Council to determine the fate of Shamrock Development’s proposal to change the comprehensive land use and rezone property west of Springbrook Drive at 87th Avenue N.W. from community commercial to industrial.

The rezoning ordinance will be before the council at its Wednesday, Nov. 7 meeting for introduction, then if that goes ahead, both the rezoning ordinance and the comprehensive land use resolution approving the change will be back on the council agenda Tuesday, Nov. 20 for final action.

According to Planner Scott Harlicker, the property’s land use was community commercial before 2009, but the 2030 comprehensive land use plan approved by the council in 2009 redesignated the parcel for office use.

However, in December 2010 when the council considered rezoning the property to office to conform with the comprehensive land use plan, the change was rejected by the council because of lack of demand for office space in the city and the changing market, then in April 2011 the council changed the land use back to community commercial, Harlicker wrote in his report to the commission.

The property is part of a larger 23-acre parcel that is zoned for and has a land use designation of industrial, he wrote.

In a letter to the city requesting the zoning and land use change to industrial, Michael J. Kraling, Shamrock’s chief financial officer and vice president, wrote that the company wanted the eastern portion of the parcel to remain community commercial when it was before the council, but did tell the council that it would consider a land use change from commercial to industrial if circumstances changed.

“Under current market conditions, the demand for industrial property is greater than property zoned commercial,” Kraling wrote.

Harlicker recommended the zoning and land use change from community commercial to industrial.

According to Harlicker, industrial land uses don’t need direct access to a principal arterial (Highway 47) and this property accesses Evergreen Boulevard, which is the main collector street for Evergreen Industrial Park.

“Changing the land use designation to industrial would also unify the land use designation of the entire parcel,” Harlicker wrote.

“Split land use designations should be avoided when possible.”

But commission members disagreed.

They wanted a portion of the property abutting Springbrook Drive to remain community commercial, hence the recommendation for denial.

Shamrock has not presented any development plans to the city, Harlicker said.

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

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