Council accepts study, directs site environmental review
The Corcoran City Council reviewed plans for a 350-home development, which would be the city’s first ever residential project served by municipal sewer and water.
The council also heard that an elementary school was included in Rockford School District’s concept plan for its site located near the city park, and continued discussion on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) projects.
The council reviewed the sewer and water feasibility study for Lennar Development’s proposed residential site located in the city’s southeast corner near the Maple Grove and Medina border.
Lennar also presented its first site plan, which proposes 375 homes spread out across 218 acres. City administrator Dan Donahue later said Lennar owns some properties at the site and is negotiating for others, “so the final acreage is yet to be determined.”
Now that the concept plan has been submitted, Lennar requested the city authorize an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW), since any development larger than 250 homes requires environmental review.
“The (feasibility) study went well,” Donahue said. “There will be several options on how to bring sewer and water to the site. What’s important is Lennar is laying out the streets. All that is needed for the EAW, where streets will be, home placements, wetlands etc.”
Next will be completion of the EAW and continuing to the sewer and water feasibility, and negotiating the final design.
“(Lennar) said they want to turn some dirt this fall and even start a model home,” Donahue said. “Final approval could come later this summer and they can start.”
The city council directed staff to proceed with the EAW, and accepted the first draft of the feasibility study.
In other matters, the council reviewed the Rockford School District’s property concept plan for its site located just west of the Corcoran City Park.
The city and school district qualified for a Hennepin County youth sports grant to develop a new ball field.
“The concept plan includes plans for the whole property,” administrator Donahue said. “And it includes a sketched-in elementary school.”
Donahue said the concept plan was reviewed by the Rockford School Board.
The grant requires action on the field approval has to be done by the end of the year, and the district’s concept plan maps out where the field would be located. Field construction would start this fall.
Donahue said any proposal for the school would take place on the district’s side. “It’s their plan,” he said.
In further news, staff updated the council about the TIF project and finance discussion, including downtown design guidelines and consulting services.
The city must decide where to allocate $1.8 million is remaining TIF funds that expire at the end of the year.
“The council is trying to figure out the best bang for the buck in terms of projects that have significant return,” administrator Donahue said.
Proposed projects include downtown utility extensions, Hope Church’s concept for assisted living at its site at County Rds. 116/30, and property acquisitions around County Rds. 10/50 downtown.
“If the council proceeds on a project, front end policies have to be in place,” Donahue said. “We’re just trying to figure out in the remaining seven months what do we have to do to get these projects approved and moving forward.”
Staff has met with TIF and finance consultants to get outlines of projects and how the city wants to proceeds.
“We’ll come back with some timelines and what has to be done to meet deadlines,” Donahue said.
In other action, the council:
APPROVED the site plan and variance for the Maple Hills Estate Community Center, which was secured through a $225,000 grant. The item will be back on the agenda May 9 to further look at options, such as architectural design. Organizers are hoping to start and finish construction this year.
GRANTED final approval and authority to issue contracts for the new public works facility. A tentative ground-breaking was set for May 6, depending on the weather.