St. Michael supports concept plan for new homes

Developer proposes 38 single-family homes near downtown

The St. Michael City Council gave its consensus to a developer’s proposal to build 38 new homes located just west of the downtown area.

The council also discussed concerns about county road darkness/visibility, and heard that a new senior center director was named.



Community development director Marc Weigle reported that home-builder D.R. Horton recently discussed a new concept plan with the planning commission for the Rivers Landing development located south of County Rd. 35 at County Rd. 119.

Weigle said that in 2008 the city approved a preliminary plat for 126 townhomes. The new plan includes 38 single-family lots.

Staff and the planning commission’s main concern was related to the city’s downtown plan that envisioned more mid- to high-density housing. Weigle said that after discussion about the recent recession and proximity to downtown, the planning commission was comfortable with allowing a single-family development instead of multi-family since there are other properties in the area that are designated for high-density once demand picks up.

Mayor Jerry Zachman and councilors Chris Schumm, Nadine Schoen and Kevin Kasel reached consensus to move ahead with the new single-family concept.




In other news, city administrator Steve Bot reported that the city received numerous complaints regarding poor nighttime visibility at several county highway intersections.

Bot said that on many occasions Wright County had evaluated lighting at the intersections but hasn’t had the funds to improve lighting. Funding for the two-year cycle through the Highway Safety Improvement Program was announced and Bot said the county highway department said it would apply for funding to light the intersections. Then, if funding is approved, there would be no cost to the city, and the county would do the work and pay its share.

Bot said the county engineer is requesting a letter of support from the city for this application. He drafted the letter for council approval, which was unanimously authorized.



In further news, administrator Bot said the Crow River Senior Center officially announced the new senior director to replace Joyce Flury, who is retiring.

Bot said the job was offered to Yvonne Waters, and that she has accepted the position. He said Waters has shown great ability in leading volunteers in the past and appears to possess great leadership skills.

He added that people who know Waters felt she would be a good motivator and great asset to the senior center.

The plan is for Waters to start later this month so she can work with Flury for one month before her retirement.