Medina looks at three single-family subdivisions

112 single-family homes, 56 apartment units proposed

Home builder D.R. Horton unveiled this concept plan for a mixed use development before the Medina City Council on Jan. 7. The plan calls for 85 single-family homes (located in the two gold areas), a future 56-unit apartment building (the orange area under the single family area on the west) and 3.55 acres of commercial property (the pink area in the lower left corner just north of Highway 55). Mohawk Drive is on the west and Arrowhead Drive is on the east. A large wetland (blue area in the center) would divide the two single-family areas. The builder, the city of Medina and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are discussing construction of a bridge across the wetland to take motorists east to Arrowhead Drive. (Concept drawing courtesy of D.R. Horton)

Home builder D.R. Horton unveiled this concept plan for a mixed use development before the Medina City Council on Jan. 7. The plan calls for 85 single-family homes (located in the two gold areas), a future 56-unit apartment building (the orange area under the single family area on the west) and 3.55 acres of commercial property (the pink area in the lower left corner just north of Highway 55). Mohawk Drive is on the west and Arrowhead Drive is on the east. A large wetland (blue area in the center) would divide the two single-family areas. The builder, the city of Medina and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are discussing construction of a bridge across the wetland to take motorists east to Arrowhead Drive. (Concept drawing courtesy of D.R. Horton)

Developers are getting ready to grade, dig and build single-family homes, and perhaps apartments, in Medina in the area north of Highway 55.

Evidence of an approaching active building season came before the Medina City Council, Tuesday, Jan. 7, when the council reviewed and took action on three proposed developments containing predominantly single-family homes. If every proposed home is built, the three developments together would contain 112 single-family homes and a 56-unit apartment building.

The three developments form an advance wave of applications that are in the hopper at Medina City Hall. The Medina Planning Commission is scheduled to look at three more, including the proposed Dominium affordable rental town home project that would contain 32 units.

HORTON-CAVANAUGH DEVELOPMENT

On Jan. 7, the largest proposed development on the City Council agenda was a D.R. Horton plan that would sit north of Highway 55 between Mohawk Drive and Arrowhead Drive. The Cavanaugh family owns the property. The Horton-Cavanaugh proposal calls for 85 single-family homes, a future 56-unit apartment building and 3.55 acres of commercial property in what eventually would be a mixed-use development, currently nameless.

The City Council directed city staff to draft a resolution approving the Stage I plan requested by Horton. The plan shows an 80-acre site, of which 42.07 acres would be buildable. The proposed apartments would be in the southwest corner. A massive wetland is located in the middle of the proposed development. The commercial property would be on the south end of the site north of Highway 55.

City Planner Dusty Finke explained that the purpose of a Stage I plan is to establish land uses, layout of the site and density of the development. The next step would be a Stage II plan, which would include a preliminary plat.

The council decided to recommend R-4 zoning for the land proposed for apartments because the R-4 zone would allow Horton to build a three-story building. Mixed-use zoning limits building height to two stories. The taller building would enable Horton to save some trees, but a considerable number of trees would be removed from the rest of the site, Finke said.

The wetland would divide the single-family housing area in two, he said. Horton is proposing to extend Chippewa Road across the wetland on the northern end of the development, so that motorists from the west half of the development could exit to the east to Arrowhead Drive. The developer, Medina and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are discussing where and whether Chippewa Road would be built, because a DNR wetland would be impacted. Finke said decisions about the road would be part of a Stage II development plan.

Ron Mullenbach, of D.R. Horton, said the apartment developer does not want to build without receiving tax credits from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. The MHFA recently granted tax credits to the proposed Dominium rental town home project. He expected the Horton apartments to eventually get tax credits because at least two large employers want affordable housing in the area for its employees.

FAWN MEADOWS

The Cavanaugh family also is involved in plans for Fawn Meadows, a much smaller development proposed for land located east of County Road 116 and south of Hackamore Road. The City Council directed city staff to prepare resolutions approving the rezoning of the 10-acre site from Rural Residential Urban Reserve to R-1 Residential, along with the preliminary plat.

Money Tree Holdings LLC is the developer for Fawn Meadows, which would be adjacent to the Reserve of Medina development. Money Tree is proposing 11 single-family lots on the site, which contains a 4.74-acre wetland. Currently no roads access the proposed development. Daisy Circle would be extended north from the Reserve of Medina. The City Council is asking Money Tree to coordinate with the Reserve on an irrigation plan for residential lawn watering.

WOODS OF MEDINA

The City Council also approved a preliminary plat for Woods of Medina and rezoning from Rural Residential Urban Reserve to R-1 single-family residential. In addition, the council approved a vacation of a portion of Shawnee Woods Road, so that it no longer would extend to County Road 116. Access to Woods of Medina would be via Poppy Trail through the Reserve of Medina.

City Councilor Jeff Pederson excluded himself from council deliberations, because he has an interest in the property.

The Woods of Medina preliminary plat shows a 9-acre site at 710 Shawnee Woods Road and 4412 County Road 116. The applicant, 4412 JKP LLC, is proposing 16 single-family homes.

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at susan.vancleaf@ecm-inc.com

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