Three more housing development plans approved in Blaine

The Blaine City Council Feb. 20 unanimously approved final plats for three different housing developments.

Woodland Development Corporation of Ham Lake received final plat approval to construct nine detached townhomes on 3.18-acres in the area of Woodland Parkway and Ghia Street.

This development is referred to as Woodland Village 6th Addition. This is part of a preliminary plat the council first approved in April 2006 that included 37 townhome units. Only four have yet to receive final plats after these nine, according to Planning and Community Development Director Bryan Schafer.

The council approved a 13-lot, 4.51-acre final plat for Blaine residents Al and Julie Neske in the area of 3041 128th Ave. NE. This is being called Harpers Grove 2nd Addition.

According to Schafer, the Neskes actually received preliminary plat and conditional use permit approvals in August 2008, but they have been unable to proceed with this 13-lot development and thus got time extensions.

The Neskes own a home in this neighborhood that has to be moved because it does not conform with the approved plat. Schafer told the council the Neskes would like to relocate the existing home to one of the new 13 lots, but would have to receive conditional use permit approval from the council before this happens.

The largest final plat approved that drew the most discussion was a 32-lot, 36.25-acre development known as Woods at Quail Creek 3rd Addition.

The third addition is north of the 33-lot second addition approved last year and the 44-home first addition approved in 2010 in the area of 125th Avenue and Xylite Street.

Some residents in the first addition raised concerns last year questioned when a full access would be available for their neighborhood instead of just having a right-in, right-out at Xylite Street.

Residents Matt Graff and Nicki Molin last year said they believed making a U-turn farther down 125th Avenue at Harpers Street was not safe, because there is no median there. This is also the main northern access for The Lakes housing development.

After hearing from the residents, the city of Blaine worked with Anoka county to temporarily allow Xylite Street to have full access to and from Main Street. Schafer clarified that this access would become a right-in, right-out once alternative routes to the full access Harpers Street are developed.

Graff, who is on the board of Woods of Quail Creek homeowners association, thanked the city, county and the Woods at Quail Creek developer (U.S. Home Corporation) for making Xylite Street a full access.

“It’s been a huge relief not just for the Woods of Quail Creek, but every driver on 125th,” he said at the Feb. 20 council meeting.

Graff lives on Xylite Street and would like this city road to keep its full access to the county-owned 125th Avenue rather than it being a temporary fix. He would like to see stoplights there someday, or perhaps a new frontage road that would connect with Cloud Drive and go by Pioneer Park.

Schafer said the residents are frustrated because there is no specific time table on when more access improvements to 125th Avenue would come.

“But the point is that development was approved relying on that single access on 125th,” Schafer said. “It was envisioned that as development happened in the future, we would try to get another access somewhere, but it was never a guarantee that it could be accomplished. We think we’re more likely now to get some access points that would help than we were with the original approval, but it will still take some time.”

Therese Kuffel and her husband Charles Kuffel own two lots of 10 acres and 5 acres in an area where a road connection to Harpers Street could be possible, they were previously informed. Therese said they have no intent to sell their property, so she asked the council Feb. 20 what its intent was.

Councilmember Russ Herbst said the city is not considering condemnation of any part of the Kuffel property for a road project. He said it will be up to a developer to approach the Kuffels and make an offer and subsequently work with the city on a road easement.

“The ball is in your court,” Herbst said.

Schafer said, “We have two fixed points. How it connects from the left to the right we don’t know until somebody does an evaluation of the property and some layouts we don’t know what the alignment is. We don’t have any intent other than to respond to a development proposal that might come in or might not come in.”

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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