Corcoran to ‘iron out’ housing proposal

Rezoning Schendel land would require 4/5 council vote  

The Corcoran City Council heard an update regarding a developer’s proposal to build homes on the 103-acre Schendel property near downtown.

The project would require the council to approve a comprehensive plan amendment with a 4/5 vote, and no input from council members indicated that the council would not support such a concept.

The council also appointed the Downtown Design Guideline Subcommittee and heard an update regarding the new public works facility.



The city was approached in December regarding a developer’s proposal to build single-family homes just north of County Rd. 10 and west of County Rd. 116.

The property one of only three areas in the Comprehensive Plan guided for High Density Residential.

In December the council gave the developer, Peachtree Partners, several questions to answer before moving forward, and Peachtree representatives were back in attendance.

City administrator Brad Martens said those questions included how transportation would work in the area, questions related to density (rezoning from high to low) and where to make up the lack of density.

High density residential is guided for 10-plus units per acre, whereas low density is 3 to 5 units per acre. Peachtree is requesting 4 units per acre using the city’s newly adopted net density definition.

“The city council wanted to clarify that there is no demand for multi family housing,” Martens later said. “They walked through the marketing report. On top of that, they asked how is this going to work with properties in he area, like the school district property … a long conversation about how this is going to work.”

The council’s outcome was to direct staff, the Rockford School District and Peachtree to begin meeting “and iron out how this process should fit together,” Martens said.

The next plan would be for Peachtree to submit a sketch plan or preliminary plat and rezoning request, which would require four out of five votes from Mayor Ken Guenthner and councilors Rich Asleson, Tom Cossette, Diane Lynch and Ron Thomas.

In a letter from Peachtree to the council, the company said “Our research tells us there is a pent up demand for the product we are proposing for this site. In order for us to best meet the demand, we will need to work within a framework that allows us to have the site available by fall.”

Martens said none of the council members voiced opposition.

“The comp plan amendment is the big deal, without that (Peachtree) can’t do what they want to do. It up to (Peachtree) to move forward,” he said.

City planner Kendra Lindahl told the council in December that even if the city rezones the property, the Metropolitan Council might require Corcoran to make up the density elsewhere.



In other news, the council approved appointments to the Downtown Design Guidelines Subcommittee.

Joining councilors Cossette and Thomas on the committee will be planning commissioners Dean Jacobs and Meredith Wu, parks and trails commissioners Tom Anderson and Chad Robran, and at-large members Dennis Stieg, Greg Ebert and Alan Schultz.

The council last year dedicated funds to update the downtown design guidelines ahead of prospective development.

An amount of $20,000 was budgeted to complete the work necessary to update the design guidelines, which will be paid out of tax increment financing funds.

In other action, the council:

HEARD that a certificate of occupancy was formally issued for the new public works facility at County Rd. 19. The public works crew is moving its equipment into the new building. The city expects to host an open house date in May.

SCHEDULED a 2014 goal setting work session for Saturday, Feb. 8.