The Andover City Council Tuesday evening, July 15 signed off on the first four homes in the Winslow Woods development and gave approval for rezoning the remaining acreage that sets the stage for future housing development.
The 52-acre Winslow Woods is bordered by the Sophies South neighborhood to the north, Winslow Hills to the west, the rural Holasek property to the south and railroad tracks to the east, according to Community Development Director David Carlberg.
The first issue the council unanimously approved Tuesday night was to rezone all 52 acres from R-1 single family rural to R-4 single family urban. Andover requires homes in R-1 zoning districts to be on lots of at least 2.5 acres. R-4 residential areas allow quarter-acre lots.
For now, Tony Emmerich Construction is only looking to prepare four single family home lots for construction near the intersection of 150th Lane and Yellow Pine Street. The council unanimously approved a final plat for this development Tuesday night.
At the July 8 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, three residents in the Winslow Hills development raised concerns about the value of the homes that could go in there based on the size of the lots.
John Derence has heard someone say that Andover is trying to be the “Edina of the north” and he wants Andover to achieve that. He believes if homes similar to what are in his neighborhood were developed on these lots, they would be priced much higher than the $300,000 homes he has heard would be developed here.
“$300,000 is trashing the neighborhood,” Derence said. “If you’d up that to $400,000 or $450,000 then we might get what I want and what the last gentleman wants, a better quality house in the neighborhood so that we can feel proud once again instead of thinking about putting up a for sale sign and getting out of here.”
Larry Olson, representing Tony Emmerich Construction, an Andover company, responded directly to this at the July 8 commission meeting.
“The developer isn’t putting in trashy homes,” Olson said. “You have no idea what’s going to go in there and to just come here and say that I think is a travesty.”
Carlberg said the zoning district only sets the minimum lot sizes. He said the four homes on the quarter-acre lots are on slightly smaller lots than Winslow Hills, which mostly has one-third-acre lots.
The developer is still working on grading and drainage, utility plans and tree removal needs for the remaining approximately 50 acres of Winslow Woods before any other preliminary plat comes forward. Carlberg said there would be another public hearing at that time with more details to be shared.
“We really can’t say what price home you’re going to put in as long as they meet the zoning requirements,” Mayor Mike Gamache said.
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org