Recommendation causes Coon Rapids land use plan change

A Coon Rapids developer’s proposal for a land use/zoning redesignation on a 5.8-acre parcel changed between the time the Coon Rapids Planning Commission denied the requests to when they went to the Coon Rapids City Council.

Originally, Shamrock Development’s proposal was to change the comprehensive land use and rezone property west of Springbrook Drive at 87th Avenue N.W. from community commercial to industrial, but the commission at its October meeting recommended denial because it wanted the portion of the property fronting Springbrook Drive to remain community commercial.

The rezoning ordinance and the comprehensive plan land use resolution that were unanimously approved without comment by the council Nov. 20 reflected the commission’s desire with community commercial remaining on the portion of the property some 500 feet west of Springbrook Drive, bounded by 87th Avenue to the south and the Aldi grocery store to the north.

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 in 2010, 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.

While no one spoke at the Planning Commission public hearing, commission members did not think the portion of the property adjacent to Springbrook Drive should lose its community commercial land use zoning and comprehensive plan land use designation.

The commission, on 4-0 vote, concluded that industrial zoning was not appropriate on the eastern most portion of the property, which fronts on Springbrook Drive.

According to commission members, adjacent uses and Springbrook Drive itself were commercial in nature and the property, beginning at Springbrook Drive on the east and extending some 500 feet to the west and bounded by 87th Avenue on the south and the Aldi grocery store should remain community commercial with the balance of the property rezoned to industrial.

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

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]