Developer Peachtree asks Corcoran to table subdivision requests

Subdivision would contain 231 single-family homes 

The Corcoran City Council has been getting ready to review a plan for a proposed 103-acre housing development that would contain 231 single-family homes.

Then, early in the week of March 24, the developer, Peachtree Partners LLC hit the brakes.

Peachtree told City Administrator Brad Martens that it wanted to table the March 27 council agenda item pertaining to the Schendel property at 20400 County Road 10. The agenda item included a request for a review of a sketch plan for a planned unit development and a request for an amendment to the future land use map and sanitary sewer phasing plan contained in Corcoran’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan.

A sketch plan review would have given the developer feedback on its proposal before the company would make significant investments in planning and engineering costs. A planned unit development, if approved, would give Peachtree more flexibility with the development than allowed by city zoning ordinances.

No one at the City Council meeting said why Peachtree decided to table its agenda items. One city councilor commented that passage of a comprehensive plan amendment would require approval by four out of five council members. City Councilor Ron Thomas said, “I don’t believe the Schendel folks have gone away.”

Tabling of the Peachtree agenda items gave the council time to talk about its vision for the future of Corcoran, temporary delay of sanitary sewer work in downtown Corcoran, the Maple Hills Community Center and more.

 

VISION FOR CORCORAN

City Councilors began the discussion of a mission statement and vision for Corcoran at a workshop on March 8. City Administrator Martens, on March 27, asked the council what it wanted to do next.

To prepare the council for the discussion, he sent the council on March 25 a memo that said, “Staff feels that further clarity on the vision of the City would be helpful when considering significant decisions such as the Comprehensive Plan Amendment request that was removed from the March 27 agenda.”

In the memo and at the council meeting, Martens presented drafts of seven possible mission statements derived from the March 8 workshop.

One draft statement said, “The city of Corcoran will protect current and future generations by following specific planning guidelines as established by the comprehensive plan and city ordinances.” Another draft said, “The city of Corcoran will adapt to ever-changing economic conditions to promote new development within the city to expand opportunities for existing and future generations.”

Martens noted that these two statements are quite different from each other.

Mayor Ken Guenthner said the public should be part of a discussion about a vision for Corcoran. He suggested that this item be placed on the agenda for a council meeting.

However, Martens said the agenda for the April 10 meeting contains a number of items. To get the visioning issue before the public as soon as possible, Guenthner called for a work session at 3 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, at Corcoran City Hall. The session is open to the public.

City Councilor Tom Cossette said Corcoran needs to spell out what it wants in the way of development. Then the city must make this clear right away so it can give direction to prospective developers.

“I can’t see anything more important than this,” he said.

Councilors Rich Asleson and Ron Thomas brought up the issues of population density. How dense should it be and where should it go?

Thomas wondered what options the Metropolitan Council would give Corcoran in making decisions about population density. “We can’t say we’re flexible if we’re not allowed to be flexible.”

Cossette said Corcoran should write a comprehensive plan to allow the city to be more flexible. Guenthner said the comprehensive plan should have enough flexibility so that developers do not have to make frequent requests for comprehensive plan amendments.

 

LOCAL BOARD

OF APPEALS

Corcoran’s Local Board of Appeals and Equalization meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, April 10, at Corcoran City Hall. Generally, an appearance before the local board of appeal and equalization is required by law before an appeal of a property valuation can be taken to the county board of appeal and equalization. Property valuations will affect property taxes payable in 2015. It is advisable to talk with the assessor prior to the board meeting. For information, call Corcoran City Clerk Jeanie Heinecke, 763-420-2288.

 

OTHER

The City Council also:

APPOINTED Alan Schultz to the Planning Commission.

APPROVED preliminary and final plats for the Maple Hills Community Center in Maple Hills Estates Third Addition. The two plats adjust property lines so that the new community center would be located on city property.

APPROVED a request from Kopperhead Ranch LLC to initiate the placement of property at 20471 Larkin Road into the Agricultural Preserve program and then to remove the property from Ag Preserve after the eight-year minimum time period. The council also approved application for the necessary comprehensive plan amendment.

APPROVED delay for one-year of construction on a sanitary sewer lift station in downtown Corcoran.

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

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