12-home Harpers St. development approved

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

The Blaine City Council June 1 unanimously approved a preliminary plat and a conditional use permit for the development of 12 single family homes to be located on the east side of Harpers Street and north of 128th Avenue.

Planning and Community Development Director Bryan Schafer said this development, which is to be known as Brians Meadows, is one of the last lots to develop in this area. It was among a larger housing subdivison planned in 2005 that stalled during the economic recession.

Waters Edge Investments, LLC is the developer for this project. The floor plans call for at least 1,400 square feet for the finished above grade area but the homes would have basements as well. The lots generally will be around 80 feet wide and 135 feet deep. The estimated price range is $380,000 to $450,000. TH Construction is planning to be the primary builder, but the development may be open to other builders, Schafer said.

Stormwater ponding for the 12 new homes will be handled south of this development as part of a regional treatment system for homes in this area. The Coon Creek Watershed District still needs to approve a permit before homes can be built.

Sidewalks are being put in on the west side of Jamestown Street and the south side of 128th Lane as part of this development.

Richard and Charlene Wymer wrote a letter to the city stating their wishes that a mature stand of trees on one of the lots closest to them not be removed.

“We were shocked and saddened when house hunting in Blaine to see how few trees had been preserved in newer sub developments. The mature trees on our lot were one of the main reasons we purchased this home,” the Wymers wrote in a May 3 letter to the city.

Schafer said a lot of trees will be lost because of the site work that needs to happen. Much of the property needs to be elevated for the residential building pads and the new streets and then the area where the stormwater will be designed to go to must be dug to a lower elevation.

“If we went back to split entry homes or slab-on-grade and that’s what everybody bought these things would look different,” Schafer said. “But that’s not what sells. That’s not what people want to buy. It’s been a frustrating thing to watch this happen, but now it’s just part of the housing industry. They’re working well in their own property limits, but they are taking trees down that they need to for the grading plans they’ve submitted.”

Melanie and Dean Triplett sent an email to the city on May 9 to object to any further development along Harpers Street because of their concern of adding more traffic to this street that they said is not wide enough and already has people speeding through.

“The road is becoming a speedway, with many residents and/or visitors driving at speeds of 50-plus miles per hour on Harpers Street,” they wrote.

City Engineer Jean Keely said Harpers Street had been constructed with the original development, but was widened a year of two ago so it could handle the additional traffic.

“It’s sized properly for two lanes of traffic and one parking lane,” she said.

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