Developer plans 476-home development in southeast Rogers

BY SUE WEBBER

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Laurel Creek, a large residential development proposed by Lennar to include 476 homes on 316 acres of land, was reviewed Feb. 28 by the Rogers City Council.

The project is planned for the southeast corner of Rogers, on land previously known as “Stones Throw.” Primary entries to the project will be at Territorial Road and an extension of County Road 117 that will lead into the development from Brockton Lane.

The development will feature a mixture of home styles that appeal to different ages and lifestyles, according to Sheila Cartney, Rogers city planner and Community Development coordinator.

A letter from Lennar to the city of Rogers in December 2016 spelled out details for the proposed housing:

  • North Tower: Back-to-back townhomes and row townhomes are planned at the entrance of the community from Territorial Road, designed to attract young professionals and newly married couples. The 1,700- to 1,900-square- foot homes will be managed by an association, and will feature three bedrooms with a loft, two bathrooms and a two-car garage.
  • Tower East Side: Single-family detached home sites are slated south of the townhome area, located in the Osseo School District. The homes, ranging from 2,100 to 3,800 square feet, are intended to attract first- or second time-time move-up buyers from existing single-family detached homes or younger family households.
  • Central Quads: Back-to-back quad townhomes with shared walls, Lennar said, “are targeted towards persons that may want to live in an attached product and enjoy having a sense of familiarity and community with their peers in a single-level, full maintenance and residential setting.” The townhomes will be 1,850-square-foot units featuring two-car garages. They are located in the middle of the community, Lennar said, “to facilitate easy access to the large open space area with trails and centralized open space amenities.”
  • North and West villas: Villa or detached townhomes, ranging in size from 1,600 to 1,900 square feet, are planned in the northern and western portions of the community and will be targeted toward empty nesters. They will feature two- and three-car garages and may be slab on grade or include an optional finished or unfinished basement. A three-season porch option also is available on the back of the home.

An estimated 185 of the development’s 317 acres will be preserved as passive or active open space. An estimated 91 acres of wetlands are on the site.

A traffic study currently is being conducted by the city engineer, as required for the recent AUAR (Southeast Rogers Area Alternative Urban Areawide Review) update, Cartney said. In addition, she said that a needed water main extension will cross I-94 and Territorial Road, to be mainly funded by the developer. The development’s sanitary sewer will be served by the MCES (Metropolitan Council Environmental Services) Elm Creek interceptor current under construction, Cartney said.

The majority of the site is zoned Planned Unit Development (PUD), according to Cartney. Rezoning is required for an 11-acre triangular property Lennar is working to acquire, she said.

A comp plan amendment for that parcel was approved by the city in December 2016. The comment period for surrounding jurisdictions ended March 2, and the city was scheduled to send the amendment to the Metropolitan Council last week.

The Planning Commission reviewed Lennar’s proposal Feb. 21 and was supportive of the plan overall, but had some concerns about traffic on Territorial and Brockton Lane, Cartney said.

The City Council is slated to hear more about the plan March 14, prior to a neighborhood meeting and then a public hearing, Cartney said.

“This has a lot of moving parts,” Mayor Rick Ihli said. “It’s a pretty nice project that will be a big asset to Rogers. We know that Lennar does build good projects.”

The City Council Feb. 14 adopted the Southeast Rogers Area Alternative Urban Areawide Review (AUAR) update for the site. City Engineer Bret Weiss said then that Hassan Township in 2007 completed an AUAR for a 1,043-acre study area called the Southeast Town of Hassan area.

The study included a proposed development of the Stones Throw area (now Lennar Laurel Creek development).

The recent AUAR update was required because no development has occurred in the study area, and because AUAR documents are valid for five years and then must be updated to qualify as the state’s required environmental review, Weiss said in December.