Blaine addresses three new housing projects

Staff Writer
I cover the cities of Andover, Blaine and Ramsey. I have worked at ABC Newspapers since August 2007.

The Blaine City Council addressed three different housing projects at its April 6 meeting.

First up on the agenda was a final plat for nine single-family homes at the southeast corner of London Street and Cloud Drive. The homes would be on the north side of London Park and the city will add a sidewalk to this park.

An existing home and two accessory structures on this property are being removed to prepare the 3.7-acre property for the Woodland Cove development, according to Planning and Community Development Director Bryan Schafer.

The lot sizes proposed by Woodland Development Co. will range from 14,590 to 18,720 square feet. This far exceeds the minimum lot size requirement of 10,800 square feet for this R-1AA residential zoning district.

Woodland Development will need approval from the Coon Creek Watershed District for maintenance of the new stormwater pond.

The council also approved a final plat for Ellie’s Cove, which will include 11 detached townhomes on the north side of North Road between Jewel and Lever streets. The Centennial School District’s campus is just east of this new development.

Council Member Dick Swanson is concerned that there would be a separate association for these 11 homes. He has historically opposed developments when he felt the homeowners associations were too small because he feels these will have a greater chance of financially struggling.

But he joined the ‘yes’ votes this time because the council had approved this same development before.

Schafer said another developer proposed the same exact concept in 2015 under the name Carole’s Cove.

However, Swanson voted against the next housing proposal to come up on the April 6 agenda because its association will have 18 properties.

Aspen Garden Holdings, LLC is proposing to construct five multi-unit townhome buildings that will have a total of 18 units. The development will be just south of Our Saviors Lutheran Church along Lexington Avenue.

“I think something this small you’re asking for trouble,” said Swanson, who added he would have been more supportive if these were rental units with one landlord controlling all 18 properties.

These townhomes were not Aspen Garden Holdings’ originally plan. It had received council approval in November 2015 for a 41-unit senior housing development that would have included assisted living and memory care. Schafer told the council in his staff report that the applicant decided on a different direction because of financial reasons.

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