The Andover City Council took another step toward allowing a small assisted living senior facility to be developed.
The council May 21 unanimously approved a preliminary plat for the 1.8-acre development and it amended the planning document that had assumed the housing on this property would be for three eight-plexes.
Cherrywood Advanced Living of Big Lake is developing a 20-unit facility to serve senior citizens in need of assisted care, memory care or skilled nursing. Each unit will have a shared residential kitchen and a dining area, living room with fireplace, patio, spa, beauty shop and laundry room.
A common room would connect the two 10-unit resident houses, according to Wendy Hulsebus, one of the Cherrywood owners. She said it will not be a locked-down facility, but it could accept those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
“There was high demand for this. This will bring jobs to the community. It’s an attractive facility,” said Councilmember Julie Trude in response to some concerns raised by the Andover Planning and Zoning Commission.
The commission May 14 approved the revised preliminary plat and planned unit development on a 6-1 vote. Lynae Gudmundson voted no because she felt this 1.8 acres should have townhomes.
Community Development Director David Carlberg told the planning commissioners that the Andover Economic Development Authority (EDA) had this site on the market for over one-and-a-half years and was not getting any interest from residential developers to build more townhomes.
Parkside at Andover Station already has three eight-plexes and one four-plex, which along with two single-family homes were built by Bruggeman Homes.
Bruggeman Homes ceased operations in January 2011. The EDA in late April 2012 approved a developer’s agreement with Capstone Homes of Ramsey for it to construct 35 single-family homes on approximately 20 acres.
Besides having difficulty marketing the property for more townhomes before ultimately selling to Capstone, Trude believes the one-story assisted senior living facility will be a nice buffer between the townhomes to the east and single-family homes to the west.
This housing development is just south of the Andover Station North ball fields and not far north of the future Walmart on the former Pov’s Sports Bar site. There was some debate on what type of walking paths would be needed.
Steve Peterson, planning commissioner, did not think the seniors would be walking off-site much.
On the other hand, Commissioner Tim Cleven believes these seniors would be walking, especially to Walmart.
Trude did not think they would walk to Walmart because it would be difficult to carry a lot of bags home but could envision families walking with their loved ones to the ball fields.
The council ultimately asked that city staff make sure there is some type of connection to the trail along Linnet Street that goes to the north.
According to Carlberg, the council at an upcoming meeting will approve the final plat and vacation of easements. City staff would subsequently review and approve the landscaping, grading and site plan with the council’s wishes in mind.
The EDA sale to Cherrywood for $215,000 closes in September and groundbreaking would immediately follow, Carlberg said.
Cherrywood’s other developments are in Big Lake, Richmond and St. Cloud.
Eric Hagen is at [email protected]