Developer donates land for park use

Contributing Writer

A developer has donated a 4.75-acre parcel to the city of Coon Rapids for park purposes.

The Coon Rapids City Council March 7 unanimously adopted a resolution accepting the donation of property at 2245 Main St. NW adjacent to Bison Creek Park from Shamrock Development.

When Shamrock developed the Ashley Oaks townhouse subdivision west of Shenandoah Boulevard, two outlots were deeded to the city for parkland and it was envisioned that this lot, which is adjacent to the subdivision, would eventually be deeded to the city, according to Matt Brown, economic development coordinator.

The lot at 2245 Main St. has a single-family house that is in poor condition and has been vacant for several years, Brown told the council.

“Most of the property is considered wetland and is generally undevelopable,” he said. “The city’s comprehensive plan guides this property for park and open space purposes.”

But the donation comes at a cost to the city – demolition of the house at an estimated price tag of $10,000, paying off some $4,500 in special assessments and paying about $2,000 in property taxes before the parcel becomes tax exempt, according to Brown.

Council action March 7 included approving a budget amendment to the park improvement fund, which would be the source to pay those costs.

The parcel will remain passive park land within Bison Creek Park for the time being, but future improvements are expected to include looped trails to connect with existing trails in the park and a trailhead with parking, Brown said.

“It will make the park more accessible,” he said.

Asked by Council Member Brad Greskowiak if there were any restriction to the parcel’s future use by the city, Brown responded there were no deed restrictions on the property for park use and other public purposes.

Integrating this parcel into the park system makes sense because there is no sanitary sewer system available in that location and county does not want driveway access on to Main Street, according to Mayor Jerry Koch.